The former head of the China Film Group will be the head of the Asian World Film Festival jury

The former head of the China Film Group will be the head of the Asian World Film Festival jury

Chinese film executive Han Sanping, who for a generation headed China’s powerful state-backed studio China Film Group, will head the competition jury at the upcoming Asia World Film Festival. An annual showcase of Asian cinema held annually in Los Angeles, the festival is dedicated to fostering greater recognition of Asian creative talent and foreign and independent cinema. Han headed the China Film Group until 2014 and was involved in some of China’s biggest films during the decade leading up to his resignation. In recent years, he has acted more as a cross-border producer behind the scenes, with recent credits including Halfway (2019) e Greyhound (2020).

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Los Angeles-based filmmaker incubator Stars Collective, launched in 2020 by China-backed but Beverly Hills-based film financier Starlight Media, has also joined the Asian World Film Festival as an official partner. In a new deal covering the next three years, the two parties will work together to promote Asian cinema and expand its international influence, with Stars Collective recommending industry organizations and sponsors to become co-hosts or partners for the festival .

“In addition to our core focus — which is our mission to bring Asians and Asian-Americans in entertainment into the Hollywood spotlight — we value the partnerships and collaboration,” said Georges N. Chamchoum, executive and program director of the AWFF. “Stars Collective has proven that they are a major player in Hollywood, so together I have no doubt we can make a difference.”

The Stars Collective program currently supports over 200 up-and-coming filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, connecting them with industry mentors that Starlight Media has built relationships with, names like directors Sam Raimi, John M. Chu, Rob Minkoff, Alan Taylor, and more. Since its inception, Stars Collective has produced and funded projects such as Jamojayadirected by Justin Chon and starring Rich Brian, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival; Nezouh, directed by Soudade Kaadan, which won the Armani Beauty Audience Award at the Venice Film Festival; AND Country of gamesdebut film by artist-director Georden West, which premiered in the Tiger Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2023.

Jennifer Caiqin Zhan, director of the executive committee of Stars Collective, added, “As an Asian producer, I am an advocate for Asian and Asian-American films and filmmakers. Furthering the partnership between AWFF and Stars Collective, I’m excited to work towards a shared vision for future endeavors.”