Florida Film Festival is honored to welcome Joan Chen, star of the Opening Night Film, SAVING FACE.
Joan Chen was born in Shanghai, China. She was selected for the Actors’ Training Program by the Shanghai Film Studio in 1975. Joan’s first starring role was in the movie Youth directed by the famous veteran director Xie Jin. Her second film Little Flower won her the Best Actress Award in China in 1980. She became the cinematic darling of her native country and was dubbed the “Elizabeth Taylor of China.”
Joan left China for America in 1981 to study filmmaking, and graduated with honors from California State University, Northridge. She began her U.S. acting career in 1985, where she played leading roles in Taipan, the Academy Award winning The Last Emperor, Blood of Heroes, Turtle Beach, Golden Gate and Heaven and Earth. She also starred as the enigmatic Josie Packard in the highly regarded David Lynch series Twin Peaks. In 1993 she returned to her hometown of Shanghai and starred in Stanley Kwan’s Red Rose, White Rose. Her role as the sultry Red Rose later won her the Best Actress Award in Taiwan and the Film Critics Award in Hong Kong.
In 1997 Joan made her directorial debut with the critically acclaimed film Xiu Xiu, The sent Down Girl. The film was released internationally in May of 1999 and has received numerous awards. In 2000, Joan was honored with the National Board of Review’s “International Freedom of Expression” award. Joan’s second effort behind the camera was MGM’s Autumn in New York starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder. She is set to star in the upcoming Jasmine with co-star Ziyi Zhang.
Joan lives in San Francisco with her husband, Dr. Peter Hui and their two daughters.
Florida Film Festival is honored to welcome Alice Wu, director of the Opening Night Film, SAVING FACE.
Alice Wu was born and raised in San Jose, California and is now based in New York City. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science at Stanford University. She directed the short film Trick or Treat (2002) before her first feature, SAVING FACE (2004).
Florida Film Festival is honored to welcome Paul Reiser, writer and star of THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS. Mr. Reiser will be presented with an Artistic Achievement Award from the Festival at the annual Festival Revel (formerly Awards Gala).
A seasoned actor, writer, and stand up comedian, Paul Reiser continually adds to his list of accomplishments. In addition to cocreating and starring in the acclaimed Mad About You, which garnered him numerous Emmy nominations, he has seen his books Couplehood and Babyhood reach the New York Times bestseller list. A New York City native, Reiser majored in music at SUNY Binghamton and cowrote the Mad About You theme song with Grammy winner Don Was. Remembered for his performances in films such as Diner; Bye, Bye Love; Aliens; and Beverly Hills Cop I and II, Reiser currently stars in two original Showtime movies: Strange Relations and Chazz Palminteri’s Men vs. Women. His development company is producing several projects for NBC, including My 11:30 with Jeff Goldblum, which Reiser cowrote. In the works for Showtime is a mockumentary about the Smothers Brothers’ battles with censorship in the late 1960s. THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS is his first original screenplay.
Florida Film Festival is honored to welcome Peter Falk, star of THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS.Mr. Falk will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Festival at the annual Festival Revel (formerly Awards Gala)
Born in New York City and raised in Ossining, Peter Falk made his first stage appearance at age 12 in a Camp High Point production of The Pirates of Penzance. Seventeen years later, he appeared off Broadway in Don Juan and, the following season, in Circle in the Square’s revival of The Iceman Cometh. In 1960, Falk moved to Hollywood and immediately started landing jobs and nominations: Murder Incorporated (Oscar nomination); The Law and Mr. Jones (Emmy nomination); A Pocketful of Miracles (Oscar nomination); and The Price of Tomatoes (Emmy Award). But as the inimitable Lt. Columbo, the actor started seriously collecting Emmy statuettes (four). In 1971, Falk returned to Broadway for Neil Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue, for which he received a Tony. His affectionate collaboration with Neil Simon continued with Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective, and The Sunshine Boys. Falk’s film career also includes work with his close friend John Cassavetes: A Woman Under The Influence, Husbands, and Mikey and Nicky. Falk’s flair for comedy is most evident in his personal favorite, The In-Laws, but his angelic performance in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire blew audiences away. In the new millennium, Falk continues to appear in feature films, and in January 2003, the 69th Columbo episode aired.