Teen di­rec­tor wins ku­dos for new film

China Daily (Canada) - - TORONTO - By DENG ZHANGYU dengzhangyu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Stylish and con­fi­dent, 17-yearoldHu Ziming stood in front of a screen in Bei­jing’s down­town in late Au­gust and shared with au­di­ences his ex­pe­ri­ence pro­duc­ing his re­cently fin­ished short movie, Hy­per­som­nia.

The 27-minute movie, which screened in Bei­jing in Au­gust, has al­ready won ac­claim from some well-known names in China’s film in­dus­try.

It re­volves around a man who con­fuses his cur­rent life with the past and strug­gles to re­turn to his nor­mal life. It’s a story Hu wrote two years ago, inspired by the film Amer­i­can Psy­cho (2000).

For the young di­rec­tor, who is still in 11th grade in the United States, it’s the first time to work with a pro­fes­sional team to put his work on the sil­ver screen. How­ever, it’s not his first movie. He started film­ing at the age of 10, pro­duc­ing a short an­i­ma­tion on his own. Hy­per­som­nia, in fact, isHu’s sixth work.

“He’s good at us­ing film­ing tech­niques and telling sto­ries. He has a nice un­der­stand­ing of the lens,” says award-win­ning film di­rec­tor Zhuang Yuxin.

“I think it’s nor­mal for China to have tal­ented young di­rec­tors now since so­ci­ety has im­proved a lot com­pared with 20 years ago, a pe­riod when many di­rec­tors were un­able to fin­ish a work at such a young age.”

Zhao Yun­fei, the lead ac­tor in Hu’s film, says he was as­ton­ished to see that the di­rec­tor was a fash­ion­able teenager with dyed hair. But work­ing with­Hufelt no dif­fer­ent from his ex­pe­ri­ences in other films.

“He’s ma­ture and knows ex­actly what he wants. I to­tally for­got his age when work­ing with him,” Zhao says.

Born in a Shang­hai fam­ily of di­rec­tors and scriptwrit­ers, Hu grew up im­mersed in film­mak­ing. His grand­fa­ther, Hu Weimin, was an in­flu­en­tial drama di­rec­tor in China, who was ded­i­cated to mix­ing Eastern el­e­ments into Western dra­mas like Shake­speare’s.

At age 13, Hu trav­eled to the Ti­bet and In­nerMon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous ar­eas, mak­ing a short doc­u­men­tary on their en­vi­ron­ments and lo­cal cul­tures.

He also got lots of in­tern­ship ex­pe­ri­ences in many films, such as Zhang Yi­mou’s latest work, GreatWall.

“I feel lucky. My fam­ily sup­ports me to do what I like,” says Hu. Be­fore Hy­per­som­nia, he pro­duced all five of his other works on his own.

While he’s pro­duc­ing films, Hu is also pre­par­ing to ap­ply for US univer­si­ties. He ex­pressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion ofHol­ly­wood, a place where he wants to learn more to im­prove his abil­ity to shoot Chi­nese movies.

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