Young director savors her
At 25, Livi Zheng has already impressed Hollywood with her directorial debut, Brush With Danger, which was selected to compete with 322 other candidates from about 40,000 titles for the 2015 Academy Awards.
Brush tells the story of an immigrant sister-and-brother duo from Asia, who sneak into Seattle after hiding in a shipping container. Their talents — the brother is good at fighting and the sister is skilled at painting — attract an art gallery owner and pull them into a deadly crime.
Zheng wrote the script, revising it more than 30 times to lure investors. She and her younger brother, 19-year-old Ken Zheng, star in the film and do all of the stunts.
Some majorWestern media outlets have applauded the newbie director’s debut work.
“The seemingly divergent worlds of art and martial arts intersect colorfully in Brush With Danger,” says a September review in the Los Angeles Times.
Zheng, who is now pursuing her master’s degree in the United States, recently spoke about Brush at the CommunicationUniversity of China and Beijing Normal University. The film was released in the US last year, but for now can only be seen online in China.
The young Chinese-Indonesian director, who looks rather like a college student in her white shirt and black pants, says the movie is “a natural evolution” from her two favorite interests — filmmaking and martial arts. Zheng’s family has a tradition of practicing martial arts half a day every weekend.
“I have taken all the opportunities that can help me get into the movie circle, and took many relevant jobs, such as assistant and stand-in. I’ve realized film is my lifelong passion,” Zheng tells China Daily.
Born in a small town in East Java, where there are no movie theaters, Zheng moved to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, with her family when she was 4.
At age 15, she came to Beijing to pursue her kung fu