China to produce its own 'Avatar'

Updated: 2014-07-27 15:45


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NANNING - China is preparing to produce its own 3D fantasy movie based on romantic folklore, with aims to make it an epic on par with the U.S. blockbuster "Avatar."

"Bainiaoyi" is expected to start shooting in May 2015 in Hengxian County of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and debut in the regional capital Nanning at the end of 2016, according to the movie's launch ceremony on Saturday.

The movie is based on folklore from the Zhuang ethnic minority in which a young man named Guka tries to find the "bainiaoyi," a type of magical clothing, and defeats an evil dragon that bullies the Zhuang people.

The production team includes special effects directors from "Avatar" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" as well as a scriptwriter from "Terminator 2" and "How to train your dragon," according to Zhao Song, general manager of Beijing Chinese Century Media Company, which produces the film.

"The goal of our team is to make the 'Bainiaoyi' an epic oriental romantic fantasy movie that can rival 'Avatar,'" said Zhao, adding that he expects it to become the best movie to represent Chinese classical culture in the global arena.

The "Bainiaoyi" folklore has been listed by the Ministry of Culture as a national-level intangible cultural heritage.