Congratulations to New York Film Academy Master of Arts in Film and Media Production student Ren Zhong, whose first semester film New Life won both Best Short Film and Audience’s Favorite Short Film at the Beijing Film Academy Awards.
Zhong is an award-winning Chinese actor who has appeared in a number of films, including Beginning of the Great Revival 建党伟业 (2011) and Intern 青年医生 (1997). He’s also starred in several Chinese television series, such as Beijing Youth 北京青年 (2012), Man Group 男人帮 (2011) and Marriage Battle 婚姻保卫战 (2010), among others.
Zhong’s short musical film features a girl who struggles with and, ultimately, matures from a difficult breakup with her boyfriend. Normally, a close friend would rise to this occasion, but more often than not, they do it out of obligation as a friend. However, this story depicts a helping hand from a stranger, who did it out of trust, sympathy and compassion. We are all expected to help one another as gregarious individuals. It is from this extraordinary experience that the main character becomes even stronger—mentally and psychologically.
“It is a musical film about love,” said Zhong. “I have been studying at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus for only three months—it is impossible for me to know the states that well. Of course, I can make an ‘American film’ from my perspective, but the audience would not be able to relate to it. It is nearly impossible to make an authentic Chinese movie in LA. However, there is no better theme than a love story that touches every one of us and goes beyond age, race, gender and nationality.”
Indeed it is quite a compelling film to people from all different backgrounds, and an incredible accomplishment for a student film.