Chinese film talent wins awards in Houston

By MAY ZHOU in Houston | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2017-05-01 05:07


Chinese film talent wins awards in Houston

Chinese actress Yang Mi accepts the Remi award for Best Actress from Hunter Todd, president of WorldFest Houston International Festival, while flanked by WorldFest chairman Ray Jiang (left) and director Dan Qi (right) on April 29. MAY ZHOU / CHINA DAILY

Reset boosts Panorama China's focus on sci-fi fantasy genre

The Chinese sci-fi feature film Reset won the Remi Best in Show award and its leading actress Yang Mi won the Remi for Best Actress on April 29 at Houston's 50th WorldFest International Film Festival.

Yang, a popular actress in China who has starred in TV shows such as Eternal Love (San Sheng San Shi), made a brief appearance at the festival's award ceremony before going on stage to accept the award.

"I have not attended that many film festivals. I am much honored to be awarded. More and more people are paying attention to Chinese films, thanks," said Yang.

More than a hundred people from China's film industry attended the ceremony, including actress Lisa Lu and actors Sun Chun and Wang Luoyong.

Reset, with Jackie Chan as its supervising executive producer, tells the story of a mother who travels back in time twice in order to save her only son. It's scheduled to be released in China in June. Its screening in Houston was its world premier.

"This is our first try at a sci-fi movie," said Jason Huang, executive director at New Clues Film which produced Reset. "We did 2,000 special effects frames, but we know it's a far cry from Hollywood's big budget action films. Our budget was only $20 million while most Hollywood movie budgets start at $200 million. Despite that, we did our best."

Huang said Reset focused on the creative sci-fi idea behind the story of a mother and son rather than on action and special effects.

A US-China film summit was held during the festival. Industry insiders exchanged views on the two major film markets in terms of box office, cultural differences and how to bridge them and how to better work together.

At the summit, Michael Berry, a professor of contemporary Chinese cultural studies at UCLA, recounted the history of the sci-fi and fantasy genre in Chinese cinema and what's likely to come in the future.

While predicting the genre will increase in popularity, Berry cautioned the industry not to rush too blindly into it and a solid story remains the key to a good movie.

The sci-fi and fantasy genre has become a focus of WorldFest Panorama China, attracting many scripts with production potential.

Liu Xiaolin, chairman of WD Pictures and a host of the summit, said that China has surpassed the US in number of movie screens.

"The summit discussion was very fruitful," Liu said. "With all the discussion on technique and bridging the cultural difference, we agree that the future is bright for China-US cooperation."

"Panorama China is a new program developed by Ray Jiang to promote Chinese cinema," said Berry. "I was impressed by the number of filmmakers from China participating in the event. There are established people such as Lisa Lu and Wang Luoyong here. It's great to see so many talents here."

Of the 33 Chinese films showcased at the festival, Justice Forever, Sunset Blue and Mr Zhu's Summer won Platinum Remi Awards, Strangers and Survival in Shanghai won a Gold Remi and a few others won Special Jury Awards.

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