By Julia Pierrepont III
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- "I have been to the Golden Angel Awards for the past several years and each year they get bigger and better," producer Larry Namer told Xinhua at the Awards evening ceremony following glittering red carpet arrivals.
"They are a much-needed joint celebration of the art of filmmaking and the need for both China and the U.S. to realize how much they depend on each other in this industry," he added.
Days after the Golden Angel Awards Night last week in Hollywood, business insiders are still talking about the star-studded event, for the sake of diversity and cooperation that were regarded as key factors under current trade situation between the two biggest economies.
Actor/Producer, Byron Mann, won the Golden Angel Most Breakthrough American Award for his role in the Dwayne Johnson blockbuster "Skyscraper," recalled nearly 20 years of exemplary acting work on both sides of the Pacific.
"I've spent half my life in China and half in the U.S., so I'm honored by this award that represents both worlds. People are frightened in this time of turbulence and we need more films that speak to the human heart that unites us all," Mann told Xinhua in an exclusive interview Thursday.
The diversified awards list impressed Mann, which celebrated an array of artistic and commercial films, and the experienced or young talented artists that created them.
The lovely Bingbing Li snapped up the Best Actress Award for her performance in the blockbuster, "The Meg" and also was awarded the Chinese-American Film Ambassador of the Year Award.
"The Meg," showed in China this summer, holds the record for the biggest U.S.-China co-production in term of incomes, with a global box office of 527.8 million U.S. dollars, and is currently Warner Bros' biggest debut in 2018.
Best Supporting Actress nod went to Lu Xu, for her fine work in "Our Shining Days," a film about a group of students learning both traditional Chinese folk songs and Western music.
Lu Xu told Xinhua "I'm so excited and grateful. I was glad to have a chance to star in 'Our Shining Days.' It promotes the friendship of our two nations. I think that is happier and even more meaningful than winning."
First Prize for the Outstanding Short Film Award went to Beijing Film Academy and Loyola Marymount film student, Gao "Sophie" Qianzi, for "Cue Jane," her film on the day in the life of an actress struggling to balance her career with an ailing father with Alzheimer's, which also won Best Narrative Short at the Santa Cruz Film Festival early this year.
"I feel blessed to win this award on Mothers Day. This festival which is internationally recognized and I feel very proud to win this award for doing what I love. My parents gave me this opportunity and it feels wonderful to win for them."
The awards list included more veterans and young talents in the industry, such as Chinese playwright Jingzhi Zou, 66, who won the Outstanding Achievement of the Year Award, while Hong Kong movie star Runfa Zhou, 63, took home the Best Actor statue for his role in "Project Gutenberg."
Female Chinese writer and director, Angie Su, won the Outstanding Short Film Award Silver Prize for her first product "Cello," which is about an American superb cellist who considers suicide when he loses his ability to play without any Chinese factor inside except the human being's common feeling against the death.
"It's a complicated issue that profoundly affects the whole family and the world," she told Xinhua, adding that she was motivated to do the film because her own grandfather faced a similar daunting struggle after a stroke.
The Chinese American Film and Television Festival, founded by James Su, Chairman of Los Angeles-based EDI Media, hosts the Golden Angel Awards in the past 14 year to foster cross-cultural collaboration and celebrate the achievements of film and television in China and America.
With co-productions facing an uncertain future in an industry feeling the effects of the tensions cross the Pacific, business insiders agreed that the importance of fostering collaborations is growing in Hollywood.
"James Su does an amazing job to pull this together and keep it a true celebration of art and talent. James has kept this true to its purpose," said Namer.
More than 500 films and TV shows from both countries were presented at this year's festival and some will be screened in mainstream theaters in Los Angeles and San Francisco in whole November.
The collaboration between Chinese and U.S. film industries has not only brought prosperity to each other's development, but also brought the two peoples closer, Zhang Ping, Consul General of China in Los Angeles, said at the opening ceremony.
Elizabeth Dell, chairman of the International Committee of the Producers Guild of America, also hailed that the film festival will help cement understanding and friendship between both countries.
Vivian Wang, chief marketing officer of China's leading video streaming company iQIYI, told Xinhua during the festival that her company would like to do more jobs to promote the cooperation spirit and works at iQiYI is planning to further collaborate with its U.S. partners such as Netflix in licensing content for video streaming.
The Chinese company, which debuted this spring in NASDAQ stock market, will also cooperate with the New York-based THC Films next year to co-produce movies, Wang said.