Film ambassador promotes Chinese films, TV series in US
Updated: 2014-07-25 11:44
By Cindy Liu in Los Angeles(China Daily USA)
Chinese actress Hai Qing was recently appointed the first ambassador of the Chinese-American Film Festival, organized by Los Angeles-based EDI Media.
Earlier this month, China and the United State forged a set of practical agreements on people-to-people exchanges as the world's two biggest economies at the fifth round of High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) meeting on July 9 and July 10 in Beijing. During the two-day talks, China's Vice-Premier Liu Yandong and US Secretary of State John Kerry reached a 104-item agreement aimed at increasing cooperation in education, science, culture and sports. The Chinese American Film Festival organized by EDI Media is ranked the 55 th on the list of 104 items.
"I am grateful for this opportunity," Hai Qing said in interview with China Daily in San Marino, California. "I have done more TV series than films. I will do my best to let more Chinese people know about this festival and to encourage more excellent Chinese films and TV series to come to the US. My goal is to make this award as known as the Golden Rooster Awards or Hundred Flowers Awards in China."
Born in 1978 with a background in dance and opera training, Hai Qing is a well-known name to Chinese film and TV audiences. Her film achievements include Finding Mr Right (2013), Love Is Not Blind (2011), and Sacrifice (2010). Her TV series include Dwelling Narrowness (2009), Angel Heart (2011) and award-winning A Beautiful Daughter-In-Law ERA (2010).
Hai Qing revealed that in addition to American films, she enjoys American TV drama series. She believes storytelling opportunities in television trump cinema's reliance on the drudgery of 90-minute three-act plots.
"TV takes the time to go much, much deeper, especially when creating characters. The long-running subplots and subtle elucidation of characters' personalities in a well-written TV series are reasons why I think TV does better than film nowadays," Hai Qing commented. "Just like in Breaking Bad, it shows a character transforming over two years of his life in a way that could never be achieved in film."
Hai Qing's favorite American TV series include the political drama House of Cards, the crime drama Breaking Bad by Vince Gilligan, the political thriller Homeland, the drama aired on Showtime, Shameless, and Israeli director and screenwriter Gideon Raff's Tyrant.
The Chinese American Film Festival added awards for TV series last year. Hai Qing proposed bringing in more Chinese TV series to the US market, leveraging the film festival network. The TV series A Beautiful Daughter-In-Law ERA that Hai Qing starred in received the 25th Golden Eagle Award in 2010, the main award in China's TV industry presented by the China Television Artist Association, as well as the 28th Flying Goddess Award, China's governmental awards for excellent Chinese TV programs in 2011.
Hai Qing believes that a good Chinese film or TV series helps Americans to know China. "Other than what the press says what China is like, film generates passion about the characters and about the cultures," she said.
"I remembered the first time I watched American Beauty in China. I got to know real American culture other than what I had heard from news reports. I got to know the issues and struggles of an ordinary American middle-class family through their stories. This is the power of films and TV series," she said.
"Chinese films and TV series can have the same power and influence in communicating Chinese culture and presenting real Chinese society to American audiences."
For the best Chinese TV to be promoted in the US, she proposed two of her most successful TV works, Dwelling Narrowness, a 35-episode story depicting two sisters' struggles with metropolitan life in Jiangzhou, a fictional city that resembles present-day Shanghai of China, and a 36-episode medical drama TV series, Angel Heart, often compared to Grey's Anatomy.
"I am glad that the Chinese American Film Festivals selects the best Chinese films and TV dramas to introduce them to American audiences," said she.
Last year, 22 Chinese films had been distributed in the US, bringing in a total $7.64 million in box-office revenue to the US market. Since Crouching Tiger, Hiding Dragon achieved $128 million box-office earnings in the US in December 2000, playing in theaters for almost 8 months, more and more Chinese films began to enter the US market. Chinese films have been mainly distributed by WellGo, Indomina, MAC and China Lion, which distributed Finding Mr Right that Hai Qing starred in.
Hai Qing said that she is willing to bridge today's Chinese culture and American culture as the ambassador of the Chinese American Film Festival. She indicated to China Daily that her connection with the US began a long time ago.
After attending the Jiangsu Theater Arts School for six years since the age 12, Hai Qing's mother suggested that she study in the US. But the strong-willed 18-year-old woman told her mother that she would never go to the US because of any failure by her in China. She was laster admitted to the Beijing Film Academy.
In 2013, US audiences saw her for the first time in the locally distributed film Finding Mr Right.
This November, Hai Qing will return to Los Angeles as ambassador of the Chinese-American Film Festival to introduce more Chinese films and TV series to American audiences who want to know about today's China.
Provided to China Daily
(China Daily USA 07/25/2014 page11)