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Farmer spends fortune for his movie project
By Guo Nei (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-05 06:11

An entrepreneurial farmer in suburban Beijing has invested 1 million yuan (US$123,300) in a bid to realize his childhood dream of making a film.

Geng Lu, 62, of Beijing's northwestern county of Yanqing, said he expected the movie to be completed in May.

"My dream during the past few decades will soon be realized," said the 62-year-old, the Beijing News daily reported.

He invested the money last November to set up a film and television company after deciding to shoot the film, which is based on the police.

Geng spent 40,000 yuan (US$4,930) in buying a script from the No 1 Film Produce Ltd Co under the China Film Group Corp in Beijing, which will also provide equipment and a film director.

After accompanying the film director surnamed Guo in travelling around the county for several months, Geng said they have now chosen the spot to shoot scenes.

"I must show the green mountains and rivers in my hometown in the film," Geng, a renowned businessman in Yanqing's Balizhuang Village, told the newspaper.

He said three major roles in the film will be selected from residents in Yanqing County, while extras would come from nearby places.

The "Song of Yanqing," which describes the county with its Badaling section of the Great Wall and the Longqingxia Canyon, will be the theme song, at the suggestion of Geng's wife.

Geng said he hoped to shoot more motion pictures which local villagers could enjoy in the future.

Poor family

He said he developed a love for films in his childhood. "When I was young, there was only one film projection site in my village. I got to see many old war films there, such 'Tunnel Warfare' about China's War against Japanese Aggression, and I liked them very much."

"Seeing the brave deeds of Chinese military men including those Eighth Route Army men during the War against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), and the People's Liberation Army men during the Liberation War (1945-49), I dreamed to be a soldier," Geng said.

But as his family was poor he had to abandon the idea. He said he was still remorseful at giving up his dream.

Delight of villagers

Geng said his son and his granddaughter have helped him finalize the theme for the film. His son wanted to be a policeman but failed, while his granddaughter entered a police academy this year.

"We put our heads together and decided to make a film focusing on police," Geng said. He added: "Policemen and soldiers are very similar, and this is somehow a fulfilment of my own dream."

Director Guo said the film has received approval from relevant agencies, and they will start filming soon.

"The shooting is expected to last for more than 20 days," he said.

Some villagers in Balizhuang Village said they are happy with Geng's decision in shooting the film, adding that if Geng chose participants from the home village, they would certainly take part in it.

"We want to enjoy ourselves to the full in our roles," said one.

(China Daily 01/05/2006 page3)

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