SHANGHAI CALLING Premieres at the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Thursday, 03 May 2012.

May 2, 2012

Newport Beach, California

SHANGHAI CALLING BANNERTomorrow marks the world premiere of SHANGHAI CALLING directed by Daniel Hsia, and produced by Janet Yang ("The Year of the Fish," "The Weight of Water" and "The Joy Luck Club."  

The film makes its premiere as the closing night event of the Newport Beach Film Festival which attracts more than 30,000 attendees annually.

Shanghai Calling stars Daniel Henney, best known for his roles in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the South Korean romantic comedy My Lovely Sam Soon, and starred alongside international pop star RAIN in the series The Fugitive: Plan B.

Henney stars in SHANGHAI CALLING as Sam, a promising young New York attorney selected to open his firm's new satellite office in Shanghai, despite the fact that he speaks no Chinese and knows nothing about Chinese culture. 

Zhu Zhu plays Fang Fang in SHANGHAI CALLING, Sam's attractive and street-smart legal assistant, who uses her impeccable wardrobe and stunning appearance to conceal the truth about her background.  An actress, singer, model and music video host on MTV China, she co-stars in Quentin Tarantino and RZA's upcoming martial arts film The Man with the Iron Fist, alongside Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu. 

shanghai calling directed by daniel hsiaEliza Coupe plays Amanda, a relocation specialist who speaks fluent Chinese and is an expert on local customs and culture. Coupe is an actress from Scrubs, Flight of the Conchords, Community and Happy Endings. 

Geng Le is an acclaimed actor from such critically lauded Chinese films as Spring Subway, Resless, Beijing rocks, Desires of the Heart, andmany television series. Geng Le plays "Awesome Wang," an investigative journalist with an uncanny ability to dig up hard-to-find facts no matter what the circumstances. 

Source: Official website

The film's synopsis:

The film is a romantic comedy about modern-day American immigrants in an unfamily land. When an ambitious New York attorney is sent to Shanghai on assignment, he immediately stumbles into a legal mess that could spell the end of his career. But with help from a beautiful relocation specialist, a well-connected foreign businessman, a clever but unassuming journalist, and a street-smart assistant, San might just save his job, discover romance, and learn to appreciate the many wonders Shanghai has to offer. 

SHANGHAI CALLING director Daniel Hsia is a filmmaker and comedy writer who has worked on the television comedies “PSYCH,” “ANDY BARKER, P.I.,” and “FOUR KINGS,” and has sold original pilot screenplays to Sony Pictures Television, ABC Network, and USA Network.  SHANGHAI CALLING is his first feature film.

Daniel’s interest in the expat world was sparked when a close friend, a young man who had never been abroad, moved to China and began relating to Daniel the hilarious experiences of Americans living there.  Convinced there was a compelling story to be told, Daniel spent two months roaming around Shanghai, interviewing locals and foreigners about their lives and absorbing every detail the city had to offer.  Midway through Daniel’s trip, the story for SHANGHAI CALLING was born.

Daniel is an alumnus of Stanford University and USC’s Graduate Program in Film Production.  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Mary, and dog, Jetpack.

Daniel Hsia: 

"SHANGHAI CALLING is my love letter to Shanghai — the city where both of my parents are from, a place I traveled extensively while researching the screenplay, and a second home that I have grown immensely fond of over the past several years.

This film is also an exploration into the fascinating lives of American “immigrants” on the other side of the world. As one of the characters in SHANGHAI CALLING points out, Americans living abroad call themselves “expats” rather than “immigrants,” perhaps because the latter term brings to mind “poor, huddled masses” rather than the sophisticated jet-setters we are. But with China’s rapid economic growth offering countless opportunities for American corporations and individuals, increasing numbers of Americans are now seeking jobs overseas and discovering what means to be a modern-day “immigrant.” It’s a fascinating paradigm shift for many Americans, and one that is ripe for comedy as well.

Above all, this is a film about contemporary China. Hardly a day goes by without China being mentioned by U.S. politicians, economists, The New York Times or CNN. But despite all of this attention, the majority of westerners still have no idea what is actually happening in China right now. I hope that SHANGHAI CALLING will provide a charming, entertaining, and eye-opening glimpse into modern life in this amazing and important place."

SHANGHAI CALLING producer JANET YANG is a prodigious Hollywood producer who has a long, deep relationship with China.

In recent years, Yang was hired by Disney Studios to produce its highly coveted HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL for Chinese audiences. Prior to HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, Yang produced the acclaimed film DARK MATTER, starring Chinese star Liu Ye and Meryl Streep. DARK MATTER premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2007 and won the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award for “Best Narrative Feature”.

Yang’s previous productions include: Carl Franklin’s HIGH CRIMES, a military courtroom thriller starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman  (20th Century Fox); THE WEIGHT OF WATER, directed by Academy Award-winner Kathryn Bigelow and starring Academy Award-winner Sean Penn (Lion’s Gate Films); and ZERO EFFECT, a cult classic starring Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller.

From 1989 to 1996, Yang served as president of Ixtlan, the company she formed with Academy Award-winning writer/director Oliver Stone. At Ixtlan, she produced THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT, which won the 1996 Golden Globe Awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and garnered Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Actor.  Starring Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, and Edward Norton, THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT was directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Milos Forman for Columbia Pictures.

Yang was also executive producer of the groundbreaking film directed by Wayne Wang, THE JOY LUCK CLUB, based on the best-selling novel by Amy Tan and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.