Asia Society to Honor Trailblazing Actor and Filmmaker Xu Zheng at U.S.-China Entertainment Summit

Entertainment Summit

Los Angeles, CA, October 12, 2018 – Asia Society Southern California will honor acclaimed Chinese actor, writer, director and producer Xu Zheng at the U.S.-China Entertainment Summit on October 30. New speakers featuring the executives behind Asia’s blockbuster year in Hollywood have also been announced, including The Meg Producer Belle Avery and Executive Producer Catherine Ying, who is Managing Director and CEO of China’s Gravity Pictures; Birds of Prey Director Cathy Yan; Academy Award-winning animator Glen Keane, and Kung Fu Panda Producer and current Netflix Vice President, Kids and Family, Melissa Cobb.

Xu Zheng

Mr. Xu joins other leading entertainment figures who will be honored at the Summit: Actress Michelle Yeoh, Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara and Elizabeth Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Mr. Xu is one of China’s most popular and influential contemporary film figures. His creative range spans from comedy to drama to dark comedy, and his movies have had commercial success as well as social impact. In 2012, for instance, Lost in Thailand, electrified China’s film industry by grossing more than $200 million and caused a surge in Chinese tourism to Thailand, earning Mr. Xu a meeting with that country’s Prime Minister. This year, Mr. Xu produced and stars in Dying to Survive, which depicts the true story of a man’s plight to get life-saving leukemia medication. Not only has Dying to Survive been a box-office hit, it struck a chord among the Chinese public and accelerated government efforts to bring down the cost of drugs.

“Xu Zheng changed the face of Chinese cinema forever. Lost in Thailand was the first local blockbuster,” said Janet Yang, Chair of the Entertainment Summit and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “Dying to Survive is an important addition to his repertoire of film, television and theater works. It demonstrates the power of film to portray and impact issues in contemporary Chinese society.”

Asia Society Southern California will co-host a screening of Dying to Survive on October 29 as part of the Asian World Film Festival, and in partnership with the China Onscreen Biennial and the Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival.

The Entertainment Summit will feature high-level “Spotlight” speakers, including newly announced headliners:

  • Belle Avery and Catherine Ying will join an all-star discussion of The Meg, the most successful U.S.-China co-production ever. Avery produced the film and built the cross-border team with Gravity Pictures, now led by Catherine Ying, and Warner Bros. Other speakers include Executive Producers Jiang Wei, who was then at Gravity and is now CEO of Legendary East, and Ben Erwei Ji; Director Jon Turteltaub, and Warner Bros. Vice President Chantal Nong.
  • Former Disney animation legend Glen Keane and Melissa Cobb, Netflix Vice President, Kids and Family, will speak about finding and telling multicultural stories. Keane is directing an animated feature for Netflix, Over the Moon, which was inspired by China’s mythological moon goddess.
  • Cathy Yan, the first woman to direct a superhero film, Birds of Prey starring Margot Robbie, will talk about how her Chinese roots inform her filmmaking. Yan is a rising star whose first feature, Dead Pigs, about contemporary China, has won awards at Sundance and other film festivals.

More program details to come. To register/buy tickets to the U.S.-China Entertainment Summit, click here.

This signature Asia Society event will be held at the Skirball Cultural Center from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST. The Gala Dinner will follow at 6:00 p.m. PST.

About the U.S.-China Entertainment Summit

The U.S.-China Entertainment Summit is the most prestigious U.S. gathering of Hollywood and Chinese entertainment-industry leaders. Founded in 2010 as the U.S.-China Film Summit, it has led the conversation about co-production, cross-border investment and the integration of Chinese and American talent. The trans-Pacific relationship has deepened and with the digital-led convergence of media, the 2018 Summit will look beyond film and TV to areas such as immersive entertainment and gaming, as well as digital technologies that are transforming media.

For more information, please contact:

Maxine Leonard PR

Charlotte Hallam

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