By Stephen Rakower
Wu Xia (U.S. title: "Dragon") directed and produced by Peter Ho-sun Chan, and written by Aubrey Lam premiered this past weekend at the Cannes Film Festival to positive reviews. The movie is set in the early 1900's in a village in Yunnan province. Liu Jin-xi, played by Donnie Yen ("Hero"), is a papermaker and his wife, Ayu, played by Tang Wei (Lust, Caution), and two young sons, live a seemingly normal life in the remote village. However, the arrival of a detective, Xu Baijin , played by Takeshi Kaneshiro ("House of Flying Daggers") soon threatens to tear them apart. Critics are raving about the story, the cinematography, and the martial arts scenes.
Here are some of the early reviews coming in for the film:
The playwrights and producing team of AEA's Asian Heritage Celebration, featuring the Leviathan Lab Asian American Women Writers Workshop (L to R) Kristine M. Reyes, May Nazareno, Leanne Cabrera, Dorim Lee, Christine Toy Johnson, Nancy Eng, Marisa Marquez, Siho Ellsmore, Nelson Eusebio, Ji Hyun Lee, Ariel Estrada, Elaina Erika Davis, Eileen Rivera. © Lia ChangOn May 12th and 13th, AEA’s Eastern Region Equal Employment Opportunity Committee in collaboration with Leviathan Lab’s Asian American Women Writers’ Workshop, celebrated Asian Heritage Month with a salon of concert readings of new monologues and 10 minute plays, at the AEA Audition Center in New York. Leanne Cabrera, Nora Chau, Elaina Erika Davis, Siho Ellsmore, Nancy Eng, Christine Toy Johnson, Dorim Lee, Marisa Marquez, May Nazareno, Kristine M. Reyes, Eileen Rivera and Susan Soon He Stanton were among the playwrights featured.
Tanforan playwright Christine Toy Johnson (center) is flanked by her cast (L-R) Jennifer Prescott, Valerie Wright, Charlotte D'Amboise, and director JoAnn Hunter. © Lia ChangThe Festival was the brainchild of Christine Toy Johnson (Playwright/Actor and Co-chair of AEA’s EEOC), Ariel Estrada (EEOC member and founder of Leviathan Lab), Nelson T. Eusebio III (Resident Director at Leviathan Lab), and Ji-Hyun Lee (playwright) who joined forces to create a platform for Asian American female playwrights.
Cast and crew of AEA’s Asian Heritage Celebration. © Lia Chang
Siho Ellsmore in...
Actor Ajay Naidu’s directorial debut Ashes screens during the 6th Annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival on Sunday, May 15 at 5:30pm, at the Regent Square Theater, 1035 S. Braddock Ave in Edgewood, PA. Faran Tahir, Samrat Chakrabarti, Firdous Bamji, Heather Burns, Maurice Carr and Piper Perabo are also featured in the Ashes cast.
The 6th Annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival, presented by the Silk Screen: Asian Arts and Cultural Organization, runs from May 11 -15, 2011.
Ajay Naidu is an award-winning actor, filmmaker, dancer, director, M.C., vocalist and writer. He has worked extensively in film, television and theater with more than 50 onscreen credits. He has appeared in the films Office Space, K-Pax, π, Requiem for a Dream, Bad Santa, The War Within, The Guru, Waterborne, The Loins of Punjab Presents, Where the River Runs Black, Vice Versa, Touch and Go and many more. When Naidu’s portrayal in SubUrbia as convenience store owner “Nazeer Choudhury” garnered him an Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Actor nod, his formidable competition included Roy Scheider and Sam Jackson. He can currently be seen in Ashes, his directorial debut in which he played the title character, served as writer and director. Ashes was nominated for Best Film, Screenplay and Director, after the film screened at New York’s MIAAC Film Festival in 2010; Naidu took home the prize for Best Actor at MIAAC and the London Asian Film Festival. Ashes also won Best Film of the...
Chakrabarti, an award-winning actor and internationally acclaimed musician, starred in three short films- Rehana Mirza’s Zameer & Preeti: A Love Story, Soham Mehta’s Fatakra and Shiva Shankar Bajpai’s Raju- that screened at the Festival. Film projects in the can include A.J. Carter’s Extinction, Deepa Mehta’s Winds of Change, Dagen Merrill’s Murder in the Dark, Michael Walker’s Price Check, Richard Atkinson’s Dogs Lie and Salim Khassa’s Desperate Endeavors. His recent guest starring appearances on TV include “Outsourced” (HBO), “In Treatment” opposite Irrfan Khan (HBO), “30 ROCK” (NBC) “The Horrible Terrible Misadventures of David Atkins,” and “Bored to Death.”