UNTAMED, an official co-production film between China’s Juben Pictures and UK’s Sinner Films recently completed filming in the UK at the Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, England. The film is the first official China-UK co-production project that has started shooting since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
On October 22nd, the China National Tourist Office, London (CNTO London) and Juben Pictures jointly held a virtual wrapping ceremony for this film. Minister-Counselor YU Peng of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, Madam XUE Ling, Director of CNTO London, Chairman WANG Qiang of Juben Pictures, Director Justin Chadwick, UK producer and Councilor Christopher Kettle, former Chairman of the Stafford-upon-Avon District Council, and the main cast of the film delivered remarks at the event.
The film tells a story of three young and passionate underdogs from the 16th century England, 1930s Shanghai, and contemporary China, persevering and struggling for their dreams against all odds on their own terms. The three stories are thematically and seamlessly connected by Shakespeare’s famous comedy Taming of the Shrew.
Zhu Shenghao devoted himself during his short life-time to translation. He had translated 31 Shakespeare plays before he died at an early age due to overwork. His Chinese translation edition is regarded as the most complete, high-quality and widely acclaimed version of Shakespeare’s works in China
The film was co-written by Chinese and UK screenwriters and filmed separately by the two directors in London, Derbyshire and Shanghai. Since its inception, the film has been selected into the 23rd Shanghai Film Festival SIFF Project and has received an official China-UK co-production certificate from the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Madam Xue Ling delivered a welcoming speech at the ceremony. She praised that the co-production of UNTAMED is an excellent culture project in bridging to move forward for publicity and promotion in China and Britain.
The film’s initiator, WANG Qiang, Chairman of Juben Pictures, made his words via a pre-recorded video. Nearly a century ago, ZHU translated Shakespeare’s works into Chinese with precision and elegance, like the builder of the Babel Tower, linking people who do not understand each other’s tongues together and passing down the baton about communication, understanding for China and the world.
UK director Justin Chadwick who has won the BAFTA Award for Best Director and been nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmys) Chadwick said that making the film was a very memorable that the international team from China, UK, US and Europe worked together under the pressure of the pandemic to bring this story onto stage.
Alexandra Gilbreath, an acclaimed actress at the Royal Shakespeare Company and an expert in Shakespeare studies, said that ‘collaboration’ was the keyword in this production and that joining in the film’s pre-production was one of the most enjoyable and inspiring experiences of her career.
The film shooting location is set in the thousand-year-old Haddon Hall, the most intact Tudor-style manor in England, where many films such as Jane Eyre, Elizabeth and Pride and Prejudice have been shot here. The owner of the Haddon Hall, Lady Edward Manners, said that she had worked in China for many years and she hopes the film will inspire more people in China and the UK to engage in cultural exchange and improve communications between the two nations.