A film depicting the birth of Peking Opera will hit theaters on May 10.
Entitled ‘Enter the Forbidden City’, the film is directed by Hu Mei and stars actors Fu Dalong and Ma Jinghan and actresses Ma Yili and Wang Ziwen.
Peking Opera dates back to 1790, when troupes from Anhui province traveled to Beijing to perform in celebration of the birthday of the then emperor Qianlong (1736-1796).
Hu, 61, said at the debut of the film in Hefei, capital of Anhui, on Tuesday afternoon, that she visited Qianshan county, the hometown of Peking Opera’s creator, Cheng Changgeng (1811-1880), when preparing for the shooting.
Anhui is a province of traditional Chinese opera with rich cultural heritage, the director said.
“In Qianshan, people are aware of the importance of protecting traditional opera culture,” Hu said. She found a local family had kept more than 200 costumes in a camphor wood chest for many years and intended to continue from generation to generation.
The province’s natural scenery and exquisite Hui-style architecture won many foreigners’ admiration as the film was screened in the United States last month, according to the director.
Two local companies - Anhui Film Group and Anhui Xinhua Distribution Group - took part in making the film.
The film was selected as the opening movie for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Film Festival last year. It also earned Hu the best director award at the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival.
(By Zheng Weiling)