With fame fol­low­ing her de­but

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

dream with her brother.

They be­gan to study mar­tial­skills at Shicha­hai Sports School, which is known for pro­duc­ing top ac­tion stars, such as Jet Li, Don­nie Yen and Wu Jing.

“Ev­ery­thing had been tough for me at the be­gin­ning. I called my par­ents al­most ev­ery night. I only knew a few words of Man­darin then,” re­calls Zheng, smil­ing at the mem­ory of how a bro­ken light switch would drive her crazy.

Af­ter three years of study­ing in Bei­jing, she re­turned to the US in 2007. Zheng has won 26 mar­tial arts medals and tro­phies, in­clud­ing first place at the 2009 USA World Cham­pi­onships in Las Ve­gas and another first at theUS Open in Or­lando, Florida, the same year.

Last month was her first time to re­visit Bei­jing. She gave more than 100 col­lege stu­dents and teach­ers at film academies a sneak peek at Brush.

While some of them re­garded it as an in­ter­est­ing fea­ture with dra­matic com­plex­ity, oth­ers sharply pointed out that the smug­gled im­mi­grants look cliche and out­dated.

In an era that more Chi­nese take lux­ury-shop­ping tours and are re­port­edly re­spon­si­ble for the prop­erty-price rise in the US, Brush still fea­tures Asian im­mi­grants as “poor” and “strug­gling for the Amer­i­can dream”, they said.

Zheng ex­plains the film pays homage to her great­grand­par­ents, who were from East China’s Fu­jian province and mi­grated to In­done­sia.

More­over, she says this film is ded­i­cated to the spirit and de­ter­mi­na­tion of Chi­nese peo­ple around the world who al­ways work hard and stay hon­est even in the most dif­fi­cult times.

Zhou Xing, pres­i­dent of the School of Art and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion of Bei­jing Nor­mal Univer­sity, says Brush could be an ap­peal­ing Os­car nom­i­nee be­cause it “shows the smart­ness and gen­eros­ity of Amer­i­can peo­ple, which makes it eas­ier to strike a chord with the Amer­i­can mar­ket”, he says.

“Its sto­ry­line and di­a­logues are fa­mil­iar to Western au­di­ences.”

Zheng’s sec­ond movie— its ti­tle is yet to be de­cided — cen­ters on two broth­ers with supernatural abil­i­ties, who flee from their abu­sive fa­ther and get picked up by a spe­cial agency which as­sists the gov­ern­ment to hunt evil gang­sters.

The ac­tion thriller, fea­tur­ing Tony Todd, Made­line Zima and John Sav­age, will pre­miere in the US in spring 2016 and then be re­leased glob­ally.

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