“Laowai” in the movies: Life in the trenches of Chinese film production | Beijing International Society
When and Where
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Residence of the Embassy of Afganistan
8 Dongzhimen Outer Street
A panel discussion with Luc Bendza and Andy Friend.
Come meet our very own Beijing Foreign film stars Luc Bendza and Andy Friend, who have both worked in the trenches of Chinese film production for over thirty years! Both work in fluent Chinese and on Chinese productions and do not seem to qualify as “laowai” any longer. Luc is from Gabon and Andy is American and Italian. Luc is a martial artist and Taiji champion. He has been acting in a multitude of Chinese movies with the likes of Jackie Chan and played in the Legend of Bruce Lee. His childhood dream became reality when he came to Shaolin to “learn how to fly” as the great Chinese martial arts masters did. The African who wanted to fly, a documentary on Luc’s life received multiple international awards. Andy did not choose to come to China as he was born in Beijing to foreign expert parents. He worked with the likes of Bernardo Bertolucci on the Last Emperor and Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun in the early 80’s. After a decade in Hollywood, he came back to China and is now working as a director and an actor and a highly sought after concept designer, collaborating with many of the top Chinese directors. He recently finished an important role in Jiang Wen’s latest movie. Luc is interrupting his current shoot where he plays a Moroccan king to join this lecture. These two will bring their show and tell and keep you entertained for the evening.
Luc Bendza arrived in China at age 16 where he studied at Shaolin temple. He was spotted by Jet Li’s agent and started his career in film as he earned a masters degree from Beijing Sports University in Martial Arts. He acted in a multitude of Chinese Martial arts films and television series. In addition to his acting, Bendza now works as a cultural consultant at China-Africa International Cultural Exchange and Trade Promotion Association in Beijing. Martial arts have changed Bendza’s life and now he says he hopes to promote it across Africa. But his work has also moved away from purely performing toward promoting cultural exchanges. As a member of the International Martial Arts Association, he organizes Chinese martial arts teams to perform and teach in African countries. Luc Bendza considers himself a China-Africa cultural ambassador.
Andy Friend is a fine artist by training but stumbled into film production in his late teens, he worked on The Last Emperor and Empire of The Sun as a young translator then continued onwards in his film career by moving to Hollywood and becoming a storyboard artist in the concept designing of action movies. His many credits include Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity series and Alien Resurrection. Andy returned to his hometown in 2001 and dove back into the Chinese film production scene. He’s directed several television films and Chinese comedy sit-coms, in fact he was one of the first foreigners given a “prestigious” certificate allowing him to direct Chinese television content by the Ministry of Propaganda. He’s also created many animation based commercials, public service advertisements and he’s a busy artistic collaborator on many computer effects based Chinese films. In recent years, Andy’s impressive Chinese has landed him in front of the camera as an actor, he’s the Caucasian without an accent.
Please visit our web page for more information, including links to maps and the address in Chinese: https://www.beijinginternationalsociety.com/events/%E2%80%9Claowai-in-the-movies-life-in-the-trenches-of-chinese-film-production