Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired North American rights from IDG China Media to the sweeping yet intimate drama based on the bestselling novel by Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Directed by Wayne Wang, written by Ronald Bass, Angela Workman, and Michael Ray, the film stars Gianna Jun and Bingbing Li. The adaptation of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is being produced by Wendi Murdoch and Florence Sloan, and executive produced by Hugo Shong.

"Wayne Wang has an incredible vision for creating beautifully moving films - there is a universal truth in his portrayals of women's stories," said Gilula and Utley. "We are thrilled to be distributing this touching film about the unequivocal bond and devotion between friends."

"I love the book, which is set in period China. I love even more the final script which combines a resonant story in contemporary Shanghai," said Wang.

"Guided by Wayne Wang's sensibilities and starring an incredibly talented international cast, we know this deeply moving story of love and devotion is in the best possible hands at Fox Searchlight," said producers Murdoch and Sloan.

Inspired by the bestselling novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, the film is a timeless portrait of female friendship.

In 19th-century China, seven year old girls Snow Flower and Lily are matched as laotong - or "old sames" - bound together for eternity. Isolated by their families, they furtively communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language, nu shu, between the folds of a white silk fan.

In a parallel story in present day Shanghai, the laotong's descendants, Nina and Sophia, struggle to maintain the intimacy of their own childhood friendship in the face of demanding careers, complicated love lives, and a relentlessly evolving Shanghai. Drawing on the lessons of the past, the two modern women must understand the story of their ancestral connection, hidden from them in the folds of the antique white silk fan, or risk losing one another forever.

What unfolds are two stories, generations apart, but everlasting in their universal notion of love, hope and friendship.