Movie on Shang­hai’s old Jewish com­mu­nity on stream­ing sites

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE - By XU FAN

Hav­ing lived in Shang­hai for a few years, pro­ducer and ac­tress Jane Wu learned that more than 20,000 Jewish refugees had taken shel­ter in the city after flee­ing Europe dur­ing World War II.

In 2015, Wu shared the story with Sid Ga­nis, a for­mer pres­i­dent of the Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences and a vet­eran Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer.

“Ga­nis is Jewish. The story res­onated with him, and he be­lieved it could be adapted into a movie,” she says in a re­cent in­ter­view to China Daily.

Spend­ing nearly a year in re­search, Wu and Ga­nis have co­pro­duced the short film, A Chil­dren’s Song, retelling the story through the per­spec­tive of two mod­ern-day stu­dents. The 22-minute movie, which swept up around 20 prizes in the United States, will soon run on some Chi­nese stream­ing sites.

With A Chil­dren’s Song, Wu ex­pects that her prospects will im­prove in Hol­ly­wood.

Born in North­east China’s Liaon­ing province in 1989, Wu moved to Shang­hai as a teenager. She be­gan her ca­reer as a model but soon dis­cov­ered her tal­ent in ac­tion movies.

In 2015, she spent a lot of time learn­ing English, es­pe­cially slang and film in­dus­try jar­gon, to in­te­grate with the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment of Hol­ly­wood.

She says Hol­ly­wood is chang­ing with re­gard to its taste in Chi­nese per­form­ers.

“The cast­ing di­rec­tors usu­ally have some­one to tell them about what kind of ac­tresses the Chi­nese grav­i­tate to­ward. They now not only make sure it ap­peals to the North Amer­i­can view­ers but also care about the Chi­nese mar­ket,” TeenageMu­tan­tNin­jaTur­tles Wu says. “But what they re­gard as the most im­por­tant is if the ac­tor or ac­tress is fit for the role, and tal­ent.”

Compared to many out­siders strug­gling in Hol­ly­wood, Wu says she has been lucky.

In the past two years, she has ob­tained cameo roles in the big-bud­get block­busters Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War

Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles: Out of the Shad­ows.

“Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur- andtheCi­ty­ofaT­hou­sandPlan­ets tles was my first big Hol­ly­wood movie. I was so ex­cited and in­vited my mother to the US to at­tend the pre­miere,” she says.

After see­ing the movie, how­ever, they were dis­ap­pointed. Va­le­rian Wu had a role with 11 lines but most of her scenes were edited out in the fi­nal ver­sion.

“I then com­forted my­self. That is Hol­ly­wood,” says Wu.

She says she will be work­ing in the fourth movie of the Hol­ly­wood fran­chise xXx, star­ring Amer­i­can ac­tor Vin Diesel.

In ad­di­tion, Wu is us­ing her con­nec­tions in Hol­ly­wood to pro­duce and host the talk show Be­hind the Spot­light, which is be­ing shown on Chi­nese stream­ing site iQiyi and the satel­lite TV chan­nels CCTV 6 and Shang­hai TV Sta­tion since April. The show will also run in the US in the fu­ture, she adds.

The pro­gram un­rav­els be­hind-the-scenes sto­ries of some Hol­ly­wood hits through in­ter­views with top pro­duc­ers and stu­dio ex­ec­u­tives.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

REUTERS

Luc Bes­son (sec­ond from right) and cast mem­bers Ri­hanna (left), Cara Delev­ingne and Kris Wu at the pre­miere for

in Los An­ge­les.

A still from A Chil­dren’sSong, a short film pro­duced by Jane Wu (left). The work is about Jewish refugees in Shang­hai dur­ing World War II. Wu is also an ac­tress who has starred in Hol­ly­wood movies like (right).

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