Gold Angel visits 'Protege' at AFM

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"Crash" producer Mark Harris presented mainland Chinese cop-thriller "Protege" with a Gold Angel award at the first Chinese American Film Festival on Thursday on the sidelines of the American Film Market.

Harris, who has a couple of China-related projects in development, gave out the awards celebrating Chinese culture in front of a crowd of about 600 Chinese film world celebrities and hangers-on gathered at the DGA.

"Protege," directed by Yee Tung-shing, is a Hong Kong-China-U.S. co-production made in part by veteran Hollywood producer Andre Morgan, a co-organizer of the festival.

China's leading actor-director Jiang Wen, whose latest picture, "The Sun Also Rises," opened the event, said, when asked if he soon would make a Hollywood picture, "Who knows?" Jiang added he was "excited" about the event.

Eight other little-known Chinese films also got Gold Angel awards, granted, organizers said, for strengthening U.S.-China ties, encouraging new filmmakers, preserving Chinese heritage and serving the community.

A special award went to Oscar Award-winning documentary short "The Blood of Yingzhou District," Hong Kong director Ruby Yang's film about AIDS stricken kids. Another went to director Zhou Sun for his career achievements. He is best known perhaps for his picture "Breaking the Silence" starring Gong Li, China's submission to the 2000 Oscars.

Also there were film financier and producer Peter Shiao of Iron Pond and Chen Huaizhi, China's cultural consul in Los Angeles.

Organized by California radio station owner James Su and partner Steven Shen, a film producer and former writer for China Central Television, the 33-film festival will run at Laemmle Theaters, Santa Monica College and select theaters in San Francisco through Nov. 25.
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