Originally trained as a molecular biologist, Hao Wu traveled via the Internet before focusing on filmmaking and writing. He directed and produced Beijing or Bust, his first feature documentary that was shown on PBS. His second feature documentary, The Road to Fame, received funding from The Ford Foundation JustFilms and was co-produced by BBC, VPRO, CNEX, DR, the Center for Asian American Media and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Wu previously worked in management positions in Silicon Valley for Alibaba and in China for Yahoo. From 2008-2011, he was the China Country Manager for TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website. Wu holds a Master of Science degree from Brandeis University, and an MBA degree with High Distinction from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He is currently a fellow at the New America Foundation. His writing has appeared on Time.com, Slate.com, Marketplace Radio and China Daily.
The Road to Fame Synopsis:
China’s top drama academy stages the American musical Fame—China’s first official collaboration with Broadway—as the graduation showcase for its senior class. During the eight-month rehearsal, five students compete for roles, struggle with pressure from family and authority, and prepare to graduate into China’s corrupt entertainment industry. They must confront complex social realities and their own anxieties, and, in the process of staging Fame, negotiate their own definitions of and paths to success in today’s China.
The Road to Fame explores how the cultural idea of fame complicates when Fame the musical is produced in China, with a Chinese cast, and directed by both Chinese and Americans. The film tells both a universal coming-of-age story and a unique narrative on modern Chinese youth. Caught in the crux of China’s dramatic transformation, these youths oscillate between intense hope and deep despair: part of China’s one-child generation, they were spoiled growing up but are now obliged to carry on the failed dreams of their parents; they embrace the Western ideas of freedom, fairness and individuality, yet their teachers and the traditional Chinese value of obedience still push them to conform and to swallow gross social injustices. Through their individual stories, the film examines the restless psyche of Chinese youths today and the many contradictions of modern China.
November 13, 2014: Robinson Film Center, Shreveport, LA
November 14, 2014: Union College, Barbourville, KY
November 15, 2014: The Tennessee Valley Art Association/Ritz Theatre, Sheffield, AL
November 18, 2014: Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC
November 20, 2014: Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, Madison, GA
November 21, 2014: City of Hapeville, Hapeville, GA