CANNES, FRANCE (May 16, 2015) — Renowned Chinese filmmaker Peter Ho-Sun Chan’s We Pictures and China’s highest-ranked tennis player Li Na are bringing Li Na: My Life to screen. Based on Li Na’s best-selling autobiography, “Li Na: My Life” (working title) will be produced and directed by Chan with Li Na serving as a consultant on the project. The film is set to commence production in the fall of 2015 with a release date in 2016.
A global sporting icon, Li Na is the first and only Asian tennis player in history – male or female – to win a Grand Slam title (Roland Garros, 2011 and Australian Open, 2014) and was ranked as high as World No. 2 during her career. “Li Na: My Life” is an inspirational story about a young girl who has achieved tennis success beyond her wildest dreams. Through her story of struggle, perseverance and grit, Li Na has become a symbol of independence, freedom and hope and has been the trailblazer for women’s movement in China. Li Na retired from professional tennis at the end of 2014.
Film makes my sacrifices seem worth it: Li Na
“Li Na had an impossible dream and found a way to turn it into reality. She broke rules and defied conventions and, against all odds, became a legend. I’m mesmerized by what she has been able to accomplish and what she represents as a symbol of hope for millions of people around the world. I’m more curious at her raison d’etre in China today,’’ said Peter Ho-Sun Chan.
“I am honored to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell my life story through a film and work with such an accomplished film director as Peter Ho-Sun Chan. I had to make a lot of sacrifices in my life in order to become the best tennis player I could be and the film project makes it all worth it. Hopefully, the film will be able to inspire others to believe in themselves and follow their dreams,’’ added Li Na.
Chan is one of today’s most acclaimed international filmmakers, and is the only Chinese director to have achieved Best Director awards in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. He was named the most valuable filmmaker by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Chan previously collaborated with Steven Spielberg for the “The Love Letter” which he directed, and his films “Comrades, Almost a Love Story” and “Wu Xia” (aka “Dragon”) were chosen by TIME magazine to be the top ten movies of 1997 and 2012, respectively. Chan’s most recent films include “Dearest,” and “American Dreams in China.”
Following the World Premiere at last year’s Venice Film Festival, “Dearest” earned ten film awards, including four Best Actress awards for Zhao Wei. “American Dreams in China” ranked among China’s top five grossing films of 2014 and grossed more than US$90 million at the box office.
We Distribution is handling international sales for “Li Na: My Life” during Festival du Cannes. Chan and Li Na are represented by WME | IMG, which negotiated the deal and brought the two parties together following the acquisition of IMG by WME last spring.