Young di­rec­tor sa­vors her

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By XU­FAN xu­fan@chi­

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

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