Mung-Ling Tsui (Empress Ishida in “Sometimes in Life You Don’t Get To Choose“) will be Nai Nai (Tia’s grandmother) in THE SWAN (aka “Dancing In The Shadow of Mao”), a film adaptation of Agnes Bristow’s biography of Tia (Tiejun) Zhang, a young ballerina who grew up in Maoist China. The book follows Tia as she gains acceptance at China’s first professional ballet school and goes on to become one of the country’s leading experts in traditional Chinese dance. Then her life of privilege is interrupted by the Cultural Revolution. Tia is played by Kristina Tonteri-Young (who will be Sister Beatrice in Simon Barry’s WARRIOR NUN), and Russell Yuen appears as Tia’s father. Directed by Lief Bristow from a screenplay by Agnes Bristow, THE SWAN will be released in Canada on 1 December.
Russell Yuen (Akita in Episode 1.6) is Dan Sun in the seven-episode miniseries RISING SUNS. After immigrating to Canada, Dan (who has made a fortune in China) now wants to protect his money and his family from corrupt officials back home. His wife Rachel (Grace Lynn Kung), works to smooth the family’s rise into the upper echelons of Canadian society. Their son Sammy (Peter Loung) tries hard to distance himself from family matters, while their daughter Nicole (Louisa Zhu) works to convince her father that she really is a better son than Sammy. Dan tries to balance the needs of his family against the constant expectations of Chinese government officials who always want something from him. Pay Chen (GNN Anchor in Episode 1.8) is also in the cast. Written by Richard Beattie and Joel Etienne, RISING SUNS airs in Canada on OMNI television. (Two episodes will air on OMNI 2 on Saturday 27 June at 8pm.) A trailer is available on Vimeo.
Christian Bako (bandit in Episode 1.9) will be Fritz in THE FIGHT MACHINE, the story of two fighters on opposite sides of the Niagara River who meet in the underground world of illegal bare-knuckle fighting. Paul Harris (Greg Hovanessian) is the son of a wealthy Ontario businessman, but after taking a vicious beating he loses himself in the world of hardcore bodybuilders. Rob Tully (Dempsey Bryk) is a working class teenager from upstate New York. He trains with his father and uncle (Greg Bryk and Noah Dalton Danby) who believe that his gift for boxing can change their lives. Directed by Andrew Thomas Hunt, THE FIGHT MACHINE was filmed last year in Niagara Falls, Ontario. No release date has been announced.