YellowBridge Chinese Language & Culture
Chinese Language Center

Famous Chinese Americans Entertainment: Filmmaking

  Who What
Chen Kaige

b. 1952, Beijing

Movie director. His direction of the movie Yellow Earth put the world on notice of the arrival of China's "fifth generation" filmmakers (the post Cultural Revolution generation). He would direct a few other films including Life on a String but major commercial would had to wait until the release of Farewell My Concubine. He would follow with Temptress Moon and The Emperor and the Assassin. Chen directed his first American movie in 2002 with Killing Me Softly.

Jon M. Chu

b. 1979, Palo Alto, CA
Directed the popular dance film Step Up 2: The Streets. He is an alumnus of the USC School of Cinema-Television. Chu has said that he started making films in fifth grade when his family went on vacation and his parents allowed him to handle the camera. Chu said, “Rather than shooting our family in front of the London Bridge or the Eiffel Tower, I was making sci-fi thrillers and murder mysteries.”

Ang Lee

b. 1954, Taiwan

Movie director. The first few films directed by Lee were about Chinese family relationships. The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman were very successful in the foreign film circuits. His skillful handling of human emotion in these two films earned him the opportunity to direct Sense and Sensibility.his transition into big time Hollywood filmmaking. He would go on to direct The Ice Storm and Ride with the Devil. In 2000, he released Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, an epic romance and martial arts fantasy which became the most successful foreign film released in the US. It also received 14 Oscar nominations and earned four Oscars, including Best Foreign Language Film. More recent films include Hulk, Brokeback Mountain, for which he won the Best Director award, and the highly acclaimed Lust, Caution.

Justin Lin

b. 1972, Taipei
Movie director. Justin was raised in Orange County, CA and attended UCLA, where he graduated with a BA and MFA in film direction. In his first two movie efforts he collaborated with fellow student Quentin Lee in Flow (as a cinematographer) and later in Shopping for Fangs, which co-directed. However, it was his first solo effort that gained him attention and a distribution deal. Partially funding his effort by maxing out credit cards, Justin wrote the script and directed Better Luck Tomorrow, a critically acclaimed film about a group of Asian American high-schoolers who turn to crime.
Tsui Hark

b. 1950, Guanzhou

Film actor, director, and producer. Tsui was raised in Vietnam and Hong Kong and studied film in the US. He introduced Hollywood-style special effects with Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain.  His production company, Film Workshop, is one of the most successful ones in Hong Kong. His first major international success came in 1987 when he produced  A Chinese Ghost Story , a movie he would remake ten years later as an animated film. He directed the hit Once Upon a Time in China and its first sequel.  As a producer, he also enjoyed major success with A Better Tomorrow and Swordsman II. Tsui has also directed two American movies with Jean Claude Van Damme, Double Team and Knock Off. His latest film is Timeand Tide.