INSIDE HOLLYWOOD and a RISING CHINA
FULL SPEAKER BIOS:
Film Producer/Entertainment and Media Consultant
Named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood” by the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, Janet Yang is a prominent Hollywood producer with deep roots in China. She has worked with some of the most formidable directors and actors in the world, including a long partnership with Oliver Stone. As a film producer, she is also focused on discovering unique, often unheard voices and stories, and bringing them into the mainstream. She is a Golden Globe and Emmy-winning producer.
Yang began her career distributing Chinese films in North America by such acclaimed directors as Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou. She was then brought to Hollywood in the 80’s to reintroduce American cinema to the Chinese marketplace, and successfully brokered the first sale of Hollywood movies to China since 1949.
Yang got her start in production working in Shanghai with Steven Spielberg on Empire of the Sun (Warner Bros). She has since produced a number of award-winning films, including the iconic The Joy Luck Club (Disney), directed by Wayne Wang; The People vs. Larry Flynt, which won Golden Globe awards for Best Director and Best Actor, and was directed by multiple Academy Award-winner Milos Forman (Columbia Pictures); Dark Matter with Meryl Streep (Sony); and Indictment: The McMartin Trial, which won both the Emmy and the Golden Globe for Best Television Movie(HBO Films);
In 2009, Yang produced a Chinese adaptation of High School Musical (Disney), the first time that such a successful global franchise was tailor-made for the rapidly expanding Chinese marketplace.
Afterwards, she produced cult favorite Shanghai Calling, a romantic comedy set in contemporary Shanghai about a Wall Street lawyer sent to China to open up a satellite office. Starring Daniel Henney and Bill Paxton, the was released in China by China Film Group in 2012, and in North America in early 2013
Most recently, Yang served as an executive producer for the acclaimed documentary film Documented, directed by famed journalist Jose Antonio Vargas (CNN Films). In it, Vargas recounts his anguished life as an undocumented immigrant despite his soaring career. The film has arguably contributed to President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration.
Ms. Yang is the president of Janet Yang Productions, as well as the film production company, The Manifest Film Company. Manifest productions include The Weight of Water with Sean Penn and directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow (Lion’s Gate) and High Crimes with Morgan Freeman (20th Century Fox). What Manifest productions have in common is the examination and triumph of the human spirit in the most challenging circumstances.
Yang is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, the Committee of 100, and an advisory board member of Asia Society Southern California. She holds a B.A. from Brown University in Chinese studies and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. Ms. Yang is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
President United Entertainment Partners, International
Steve Bruno is President of United Entertainment Partners, International whose parent company, Beijing-based UEP, is a leading film distribution and marketing company responsible for releasing Monkey King and Break Up Buddies. At UEP, he is also focused on bringing Chinese films to the United States and bringing Hollywood and International product to China. Mr. Bruno has also founded Emerge Pictures, a film and television production, development and consulting company.
Prior to UEP and Emerge Pictures, he was Senior Vice President, International Distribution and theatrical supervisor for China, Asia and Latin America for Sony Pictures Entertainment. In his 23 years with Sony, he was responsible for the supervision of China’s first day and date release, its first all-digital release, the film 2012, the Spider-Man franchise, Kung Fu Hustle and more than 20 additional titles. Along with his theatrical distribution team in China, Mr. Bruno was responsible for release of the first Bond film, the Da Vinci Code, Django, Stealth, Robocop and many other films that featured challenging content. In Fiscal 2012, territories under his supervision represented 74% of the international division’s operating profit.
Steve began his career in the entertainment industry working in production at Fox Television and KCET. He holds a BA in Sociology from California State University Los Angeles and an MA in Communication Management from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. Originally from Monterey Park, California, Steve resides in Highland Park with television producer Tara Siener and his 4 children and their dog Milo.
Russell Wong has been one of Hollywood’s leading Asian American actors for over 26 years. Most recently, Russell starred opposite Brandon Routh in the Chinese 3D feature LOST IN THE PACIFIC, which opens in theaters in Asia in December 2015. Prior to that, he also played the male lead in the TV series GRACE, and appeared on the series SERANGOON ROAD, both for HBO Asia.
Wong made his theatrical debut in the feature film adaptation of James Clavell’s epic novel TAIPAN. He went on to star in Wayne Wang’s EAT A BOWL OF TEA and Abel Ferrera’s CHINA GIRL, and played leading roles in CHINA CRY, the box office hit NEW JACK CITY, and the critically acclaimed THE JOY LUCK CLUB. He also starred opposite Jet Li, Delroy Lindo, Isaiah Washington and Aaliyah in Warner Brothers’ ROMEO MUST DIE. His other feature film credits include MUMMY 3: THE TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR, TWISTED, WU WEN XI DONG (无问西东), Wayne Wang’s SNOWFLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN, COLOR ME LOVE (愛出色), the Chinese adaptation of WHAT WOMEN WANT (我知道女人的心) and the German / Hong Kong co-production FRAGRANT HARBOR.
On television, Wong made history by becoming the first Asian American actor to have his own series by playing the title role in THE VANISHING SON. Wong also led in the Warner Brothers television network series THE BLACK SASH, where he played a wrongfully imprisoned former San Francisco narcotics officer who upon his release, recovers by teaching Martial Arts to troubled teenagers. Wong’s other television credits include guest star spots on current television shows like HAWAII FIVE O, NIKITA, CSI, NCIS CYBER etc. In 1994, Wong was honored with two awards: the Image Award by the Organization of Chinese Americans and the Media Action Network for Asian Americans’ Media Achievement Award, both in recognition of his outstanding work in the entertainment industry as well as for being an exceptional role model for Asian Americans. In 1995, Wong was named as one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People. In 1997, Wong was honored in San Francisco by the Asian American Arts Foundation (along with John Woo, Terrance Chang and Tia Carrera), and also received The Bridge Builder Award for his outstanding leadership and for giving back to the community by serving as a role model for youths. He was also nominated for Best Actor for his performance in ROMEO MUST DIE in the First Annual AMMY Awards.
A native of New York, Wong is one of seven children. His father is from Shanghai and was a former restaurateur. His mother from upstate New York is an artist. He has been studying martial arts for many years, which enables him to perform many of his own stunts, Wong is also actively involved with his favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity / Hong Kong.
Diana C. Weng
Actress & Dialogue Coach to Jackie Chan
Diana Weng is an actress who is best known for her work as the dialogue coach to the martial-arts legend and actor Jackie Chan. She assists with dialogue (from running lines to inflections), translations, rehearsal and performance. She began working with Mr. Chan on Rush Hour (1998). Since then, she has continued to work with him on many action and comedy films, including the Academy Award-nominated animation hit Kung Fu Panda 1, 2 & 3; the 2010 remake of the Karate Kid; the blockbuster sequels Rush Hour 2 & 3, which co-starred Chris Tucker; The Spy Next Door; Around the World in 80 Days; Shanghai Knights, which co-starred Owen Wilson; The Tuxedo, and The Medallion.
For the Karate Kid, Weng also worked as the dialogue coach to China’s newest young stars, Zhen Wang Wei, who played Cheng the bully, and Wen Wen Han, who played Meiying, the love interest of Dre Parker (Jaden Smith).
As an actress, Weng was first cast in Wayne Wang’s iconic The Joy Luck Club in 1993. This led to a variety of leading, supporting and guest star roles for films and television shows including Hong Kong director Gordon Chan’s The Medallion; The Tuxedo; Ivan Reitman’s comedy, Father’s Day; the sitcom hit Dharma & Greg (ABC); Lizzie McGuire (Disney); and the sitcom Becker (CBS), which starred Ted Danson.
Weng’s acting and entertainment career began with San Francisco’s Asian American Theater Company and the sketch comedy group 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors. Her work also includes numerous acting roles, voice-over work and audio work in commercials and audio digital recordings. Weng speaks Mandarin and Cantonese, and holds a BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley.
A board member of the 1990 Institute, Stephanie is a communications strategist in the technology and entertainment sectors with her own practice for the last two years. Prior to her move into Silicon Valley, she worked in Hollywood at New Line Cinema managing the online marketing releases for films, including the 17-time Academy Award-winning trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Wedding Crashers.