iQIYI teams with Chen Kaige for online drama | Programming | News | Rapid TV News
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Chinese director Chen Kaige is embarking on his first digital drama series in conjunction with Beijing-based video-on-demand (VOD) platform and content creator iQIYI.

The Eight iQIYI Chen Kaige 18 June 2018Shooting has begun on the drama, called The Eight, which is set in Paris and China amid the turmoil of the early Republican era. It tells the story of a young Chinese man who is influenced by both Chinese and Western culture and is drawn to the criminal underworld while fighting to save China’s independence.

Chen, who directed acclaimed films Farewell, My Concubine, The Emperor and the Assassin, and Forever Enthralled, is executive producer of The Eight. He was responsible for the script and has been deeply involved in every aspect of the series, from casting to editing to cinematography.

“The rise of premium internet dramas has opened up a huge space for creative innovation,” said Chen Kaige. “With this freedom, directors can now approach storytelling from many different dimensions and create deeper, more richly drawn characters.”

iQIYI has helped popularlise the Chinese paid online content model, adopting top tier creative talent to cooperate on high quality original dramas.

Last year iQIYI worked with filmmakers Han Sanping and Chen Guofu to produce dramas Burning Ice and Tientsin Mystic, both of which became part of the first slate of Chinese dramas to stream on Netflix.