An investor in director Chen Kaige's martial arts epic, The Promise, yesterday denied mainland media reports that the film crew had harmed the environment at a Yunnan scenic spot by not cleaning up after the shoot.
Yang Dandan, of 21st Century Shengkai Entertainment, said the company had paid the government of Shangri-La County - previously known as Zhongdian county - tens of thousands of yuan last year to clean up the sets at Blue Sky Pond.
'We signed a contract with the county government after the crew left the place. The contract states clearly that the government was responsible for restoring the environment,' said Ms Yang.
Media reports said the crew had built a steel and concrete set on the lakeside two years ago and left without removing it. Also left behind were a wooden bridge spanning the lake and construction materials scattered all over the site.
Ms Yang declined to reveal the amount of money paid, but said it would have been more than enough to restore the environment. She added the company was considering whether to take action against the county. 'They said they could not clean up the site because heavy snow had blocked roads on the mountain, but we don't accept this explanation,' she said.
Attempts to reach the county government were not successful.
Ms Yang's comments came as the People's Daily, the official paper of the Communist Party, joined other mainland media and internet forums in criticising the crew of the mainland's biggest-budget movie.
In a commentary on Monday, the newspaper urged local governments not to sacrifice the environment for the economic benefits brought by film and television shoots.