It was late evening in August 2016, casting class at the New York Film Academy in Burbank, California, where Sha Peng – Victoria (Canada) based theatre director writer and filmmaker – and London based actor Arek Zasowski met for the first time.
Few days later, Sha Peng and Arek Zasowski were shooting their first short student film together at the backlot of the Universal Studios Hollywood, as part of their New York Film Academy acting and filmmaking programs.
At the time, little that they knew that six months later, they will meet again on the other side of the world, beautiful island of Cyprus, to apply the skills that they learned at the New York Film Academy and practiced at the Universal Studios backlot, to run one of their biggest independent projects, and to co-direct and film “Chinese Angel” short drama.
After returning from Hollywood to London and Victoria, it took around six months for Arek and Sha to organize the cast and the crew and to write “Chinese Angel” story, before filming began in February (London) and March 2017 (Cyprus).
“Chinese Angel” a short drama written by Sha Peng (based on the original idea) is a story about Spencer Thompson (portrayed by Arek Zasowski), a depression suffering financial consultant from London, who after losing his job and place to live in deteriorating economic environment, embarked on the journey to Cyprus with a plan to end his life. On the island, Spencer met young girl Angela (portrayed by Cynthia Dou), who introduced herself as “Chinese Angel” and life changing miracle happened in four days.
When asked what inspired Sha Peng to write the “Chinese Angel”, Sha said: “Due to my early career requisition I had a chance to meet people from all over the world. Later, my living experience across three continents and three countries: China, France and Canada offered me the chance to observe people from different countries, different cultures and backgrounds. I clearly saw that people are actually identical no matter which religion they follow and which color of skin they have. The grief and happiness are rooted from the same earth. Therefore, I created “Chinese Angel”, a short drama about depression, love and life. The main roles, Spencer and Angela are derived from different backgrounds, different generations, they actually know nothing about each other. However, compassion and love connects them through the deepest way in just three days that it changes the path of Spencer’s life. Despite of continuous conflicts and wars amongst people in the world, I’m always more captured by those shining beautiful moments in the life. I believe that the world is perfectly combined by light and darkness. I would simply prefer to emit some light from my creation to people who crave for it.”
“Chinese Angel” cast include: Arek Zasowski (Spencer Thompson), Cynthia Dou (Angela, Chinese Angel), Elisa Li (Emily), Auguste Li (Charlie), Valerie Dent (Doctor), Viola Zasowska (Sandra), Sha Peng (Mother), Maegan Coker (Chelsea), Bing Dou (Father) and Sumit Sharma (MC).
In April 2018, “Chinese Angel” won SILVER REMI Award at the 51st Annual WorldFest – Houston International Film Festival, Houston, TX, the oldest Indie Film Festival in the world.
Earlier this year, in February 2018 “Chinese Angel” was aired on Shaw TV, channel 4, in Victoria, Canada, and in November 2017, “Chinese Angel” was officially selected by Monthly Edition of Miami Independent Film Festival (MINDIE).
At the time of writing, June 15, 2018, “Chinese Angel” was announced a Semi-Finalist in Best Canadian Drama category by Alternative Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, and is awaiting final announcements.
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