The Victorian Government has announced filming will commence at Melbourne’s Docklands Studios for The Whistleblower – the largest Australian-Chinese official co-production in Victoria’s history.
Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley greeted acclaimed co-producers Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers), Greg Basser (Concussion, Goosebumps and Chinese productions Cold Wall II, Rise of the Legend), female director Xue Xiaolu (Together), lead actor Jiayin Lei (Guns and Roses, Brotherhood of Blades II), and key cast and crew who are producing the ambitious feature in Victoria.
The announcement builds on the Victorian Government’s productive economic and cultural ties with China who is Australia’s largest trading partner with The Whistleblower expected to spend more than $40 million in Victoria’s economy as it films in Docklands Studio’s largest sound stage and in iconic locations across Victoria.
It also increases trade for over 800 Victorian businesses with 220 employment opportunities created for local screen workers.
A big showcase will be the state’s versatile locations with filming to take place in the cities of Melbourne and Geelong. Additional locations include Dandenong, Footscray, Werribee and in the Latrobe Valley at the de-commissioned Hazelwood Power station. The region can expect significant flow-on tourism benefits through the accommodation of more than 250 film crew over a two week regional shoot.
The project has received financing through Perfect Village, Edko Films and Beijing Carving Films, with government support through Creative Victoria and Film Victoria. As an official co-production The Whistleblower is also receiving assistance from the Federal Government through Screen Australia. Roadshow Films will distribute the feature locally.
Ausfilm, in partnership with the Australian Embassy Beijing assisted in attracting the production to Australia through a filmmaker familiarisation tour with location scouting, and facilitation of introductions to leading screen businesses.
Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley said “From our talented crews to our diversity of locations, Victoria has been steadily building its reputation as a screen leader and a destination of choice for local and international productions.”
“We are honoured to welcome The Whistleblower to our state. It’s our largest ever Chinese Australian co-production and it shows the significant benefits these productions can have on local jobs and businesses.”
Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher said “I warmly welcome Whistle Movie Productions’ Chinese partners to our great state of Victoria. Whilst working hard with talented Victorian cast and crew to make a great film for global audiences I also encourage them to enjoy the cultural and diverse experiences of our state, including our sporting and arts precincts and our exceptional coffee, food and wine.
Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason noted, “Official co-productions are a fantastic opportunity for creative partners to come together and collaborate on story, share skill sets and benefit from the financial screen incentives offered by both countries. We are thrilled to have The Whistleblower being produced in Australia, and are sure our Chinese guests will be impressed by the Australian cast, crew and locations.”
Greg Basser, Vice Chairman, Perfect Village Entertainment remarked “We are thrilled to be filming The Whistleblower in my home state of Victoria and working with such supportive partners who share our vision and values. Shooting in the Docklands and around Victoria reinforces our focus on working in the best locations with the most creative talent and we look forward to bringing this film to China and the rest of the world.”
Bill Kong, President of Edko Films Limited said “I am honoured to be working with Perfect Village, Screen Australia and the Victorian Government. Most of all, I am thrilled to be able to work with the most talented crews from Australia and I look forward to a successful movie.”
The Whistleblower films at the studios and various locations between June and October 2018.
The Whistleblower synopsis
Mark Ma is a Chinese expat working in Australia for a local company. A fatal accident leads Mark to discover that the new technology developed by the company he works for may have tremendous safety concerns. In search of the truth, Mark investigates into the company’s conspiracies behind closed doors.
About Perfect Village
Established in 2017 by partners Perfect World Pictures, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group and WME | IMG China, Perfect Village Entertainment Group is a China-based filmed entertainment company with global ambitions. With offices in Beijing and Hong Kong, Perfect Village is engaged in the development, financing, production management and marketing and distribution of films and premium online series filmed primarily in Chinese. The company implements a hands-on, creator and talent-friendly approach that draws upon the combined IP, brand assets and content creation and distribution capabilities of Perfect World, Village Roadshow and WME/Endeavor to create distinctive, innovative content and deliver it to the Greater China and global markets. Upcoming Perfect Village releases include Zhang Yimou’s highly anticipated Shadow; Guilt By Design, the directorial debut of Hong Kong writing/directing team Li Zhaojun, Shi Bolin and Liu Yongtai; and Reborn, the directorial debut of Li Hailong.
About Edko Films
Established in 1959, Edko Films Limited is one of the leading film distribution, production and exhibition companies in Asia. It produced many internationally acclaimed movies and handled the distribution and marketing campaigns, including Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Lust, Caution; Zhang Yimou’s Hero; House of Flying Daggers; Curse of the Golden Flower; Under the Hawthorn Tree. Its latest works, Finding Mr. Right series and Monster Hunt series were huge commercial and critical successes. Edko has also distributed for Hong Kong and China with over 300 movie titles with box office successes such as Train to Busan; The Imitation Game; Moonlight; 3 Idiots. Besides production and distribution, Edko operates Broadway cinema circuits in China and Hong Kong with more than 400 screens. In 2013, Edko established Movie Movie and Popcorn TV channels.