The director of the Jackie Chan films has shot a new video to help promote Beijing 2022 ©Beijing 2022

The director of Jackie Chan action blockbusters has produced a very different film to promote the Beijing 2022 Olympic Flame.

Ding Sheng made A Date with Snow and Ice starring actor Yi Yangqianxi, also known as Jackson Yee, and 2021 halfpipe and slopestyle world champion Gu Ailing, a double gold medallists at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne. 

"The real 'protagonist' of the film is the Olympic Torch, but we wanted to give it a romantic rendering," Ding said.

Some sequences were shot in the Altay prefecture in the Xinjiang region, an area where human rights groups have identified the location of internment and forced labour camps and the ethnic group Uygurs are being abused. 

The film opens in the caves at Altay where there are wall paintings depicting hunters skiing in ancient times.

Yi is cast as an explorer who carries a lighted torch into the cave and "surprisingly discovers the paintings".

The film then switches to a dream-like sequence where he is shown in a frozen field where he sees a beautiful woman, played by Gu, riding a white horse in the snow.

The pair ride away and are seen skating on a frozen lake, skateboarding and skiing.

"Seemingly falling for each other at one glimpse, they enjoy the romantic moments with a variety of winter sports like skiing and skating," said the producers.

The film reaches its climax on the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, as Gu appears with the Olympic Torch. 

She passes the Flame to Yi as the film displays the Beijing Torch Relay motto of "Health, Joy, Energy".

Yi had coached Gu in performing for the camera.

"Gu is an excellent athlete, but she hadn't acted in such a film before." said director Ding.

"I was worried if she could accurately display layers of emotions in close-up shots. So, I asked Yi to express more emotions through his eyes to help Gu find the feeling.

Ding had previously worked with Jackie Chan on Little Big Soldier, Police Story 2013 and the 2016 film Railroad Tigers.

"Though it's a short film, I took the job as seriously as I would have for a feature-length work." Ding said. 

"Most of the time we got up at around 4am to shoot the breathtaking scenes of sunrise."

Some of the sequences in the film
Some of the sequences in the film "A Date with Snow and Ice" were shot in the Altay prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur region, an area where human rights groups have claimed the Muslim population is being abused ©Beijing 2022

The film also made extensive use of slow-motion sequences.

"Most winter sports are fast, so a lot of documentaries and video works try to capture the movements with an attempt to showcase the sense of speed. But we intentionally slow down to help the audience feel the emotions of those engaged in the sports," Ding said.

"Snow and ice sports are a gift from nature. 

"We really hope audiences will get interested to participate in such activities as skating and skiing, making more friends and enjoying the charm of winter sports."

Beijing 2022 claims that since the film was released, it has received over a million views online including Sina Weibo, said to be one of the biggest social media platforms in China.