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Sunday, March 8, 2009

China students ‘graduate’ to big screen

They came here from China to study but ended up on the silver screen instead.

Han Xiao, Zhou Rong and Zhai Chun Chao had come here to pursue higher education.

Somewhere along the way, they were introduced to local film director Jeffery Wong, who was looking for actors from China for his film Jin Hutan (Mountain Spirit).

It was a proud moment for the three actors and Wong who were at a preview of the film shown at Cineleisure at The Curve here on Friday.

“I am thrilled to be part of the film. It was a wonderful experience and I’m really lucky to have worked alongside Wong,’’ said Beijing-born Han, 24, whose adopted Malay name is Indah.

Zhou, who is now working in Singapore after completing her accountancy degree at SEGi University College, said: “I was surprised when I got the role, as I had never acted before. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance.”

The film has six actors from China, who joined several local cast including Wong.

They spoke a mixture of English, Bahasa Melayu and Mandarin in the film.

Wong said it was tough featuring actors from China.

“Except for Indah, the others could not speak Malay. But they were all very hard-working,’’ he said.

Wong said he completed the film with a basic budget of RM630,000, compared to at least RM1.5mil needed to produce a typical film.

Wong who has worked in many international production from Hong Kong took it as a challenge to direct his first film in order to take Malaysian movies to the international arena. “We are now in discussions to release the film in Singapore, the Philippines and China.

“I’m hoping for the best because if it comes about, it would be a bigger accomplishment for me and the crew,” said Wong.

The film will hit the silver screen on Thursday.


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