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U.S., Chinese Filmmakers Hope for Greater Cooperation Ahead

U.S. and China’s artistic cooperation took a big boost on Thursday during a day of animated, in-person, entertainment industry-related panel discussions, hosted by the 19th Chinese American Film Festival and the Chinese American Television Festival in Pasadena, a neighboring city of Los Angeles.

“Festivals like this one are an essential part of fostering cooperation and collaborations between the U.S. and China,” said Academy Award-winner Richard L. Anderson, director of the Chinese-American themed comedy feature, “Lee’d the Way,” about a wise, blind Chinese-American man running for President of the United States. “They enable us all to keep learning from each another.”

“Lee’d the Way” won the “Best Independent Feature” Award at the 18th Chinese American Film Festival last year.

Led by James Su of Los Angeles-based EDI Media, the annual festival brought together entertainment industry leaders and filmmakers from both sides of the Pacific to discuss a range of topics from enhancing collaboration and promoting meaningful cross-cultural exchanges to the impact of AI on the industry.

Hollywood producer and panelist Arthur Sarkissian told Xinhua, “We are all here because we want to collaborate with our Chinese colleagues and share stories from different cultures with heart and humor that resonate all over the world.”

Towards that end, Sarkissian told Xinhua he is currently producing a Chinese-themed musical romantic comedy feature entitled “Tenor by Night.”

Previous American productions like Disney’s “Mulan” have introduced Chinese culture to global audiences and explored the Asian-American experience, offering nuanced and highly entertaining portrayals of identity, family, and cultural integration.

Conversely, popular Chinese-language dramas and movies like “Wandering Earth,” “Dying to Survive,” the animated blockbuster “Ne Zha” and others have sparked interest in Chinese history and culture and prompted more Western students to study Mandarin.

Pop culture narratives like movies contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the similarities and differences of each culture and can foster deeper connections and greater cross-cultural understanding.

Wang Jun, president of Shanghai Film Group, invited American filmmakers to come to Shanghai to collaborate and take advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities, skilled film professionals, animators and technicians, and their huge backlot.

“It’s a special place,” she said, “and ready to help you make magic happen.”