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Wayne Wang (January 12, 1949, Hong Kong) is an American film director of Chinese origin awarded for such important festivals as Cannes and San Sebastian and mainly known for films as Smoke (1995) and Anywhere But Here (Anywhere except here) (1999).
Wayne Wang’s family was originally from mainland China, although he moved to Hong Kong a couple of years before his birth. It received the name of Wayne due to the admiration of its father by the actor John Wayne. When he was 18, after his degree at Wah Yan High School in Hong Kong, his family emigrated to the United States, settling in San Francisco, where his parents wanted him to study medicine.
Finally Wang opted for artistic studies, more specifically for cinema, forming in this field at the California College of the Arts and Crafts in Oakland. His end of project film (A Man, a Woman, and a Killer, in Spanish “A man, a woman and a murderer”) was screened in US theaters in 1975.
Later he returned to his hometown, working for the Radio and Television of Hong Kong, where among other works he directed the successful television series “Below the Lion Rock” (Under Lion Rock). Meanwhile, he undertook independent and more personal work, camera in hand, but that did not fit between the public nor the televisions, so that he would return to California.
In 1982 he filmed Chan is Missing (Chan has disappeared) with only $ 27,000, black and white and 16 mm. The film was screened and received rave reviews at various film cult festivals and at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association video awards this film won the prize in the Independent / Experimental Film category. One of her favorite films, Dim Sum – A Little Bit of Heart, was awarded the 1984 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the British Film Academy awards for best foreign film.
In 1987 he directed his first commercial film Slam Dance, starring Tom Hulce, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Virginia Madsen, selected by the Deauville Festival. During 1989, he shot two films: Eat a Bowl of Tea (with his wife, Cora Miao, in the lead role) and the independent comedy Life is Cheap.
In 1994 he brought the screen Smoke, with a screenplay by Paul Auster.
Although currently Wayne Wang lives mainly in commercial cinema, he is still a person with more interest in independent and author films and, as he himself has confessed, he does not feel especially comfortable in the Hollywood world.
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