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Actress Zhao Wei: Films transcend borders

By Li Wenrui | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-05-08 10:21

Visual arts, theater, dance, music and cinema – the Festival Croisements 2019 engages artists from both China and France in a rich and ever-expanding dialogue.

For 14 years now, it has been a meeting point for art lovers in China. Covering 35 Chinese cities, the festival promises a cultural feast from April 26 to July 6.

This time, actress Zhao Wei, music producer Gao Xiaosong, and contemporary artist Xu Bing have been invited as ambassadors of the year. After a news conference promoting the event, China Daily met with Zhao Wei to learn about her impressions of Chinese and French culture, as well as the importance of film in cross-cultural communication.

"Film is an artistic language transcending borders. A person may have never been to China, but watched Chinese films," Zhao said. "And art helps to foster better understanding among people from different countries and races."

A poster for the online TV drama Everyone Wants to Meet You, produced by Zhao Wei. [Photo/Mtime]

Rising to national prominence in the 90s as Xiao Yanzi (Little Swallow) in hit TV series My Fair Princess, Zhao has starred in many box-office hits. Her directorial debut So Young was well received both by critics and audiences, becoming one of the highest grossing Chinese films of the year.

Now the actress-director is working online. She took the job as executive producer for online TV drama Everyone Wants to Meet You, which will be broadcast on iQiyi, one of China's largest online streaming platforms.

"Some parts of this production are filmed abroad," she said. "I chose the shooting location in France, because like China, France boasts a very rich culture and history with beautiful landscapes. If a story is imbued with such beautiful scenery and charming culture, it can please the eye and the mind."

Li Sicheng (front right), the 25th leukemia patient supported by V Love Foundation, has recovered well since his bone-marrow transplant two years ago. [Photo/Official Weibo account of V Love Foundation]

Having been actively involved in philanthropic work, Zhao launched the V Love Foundation for childhood leukemia in 2014. "To set up a charity for leukemia, we have no idea how long we can keep it running. Every patient will cost 100,000 to 300,000 yuan," she said.

"This year is the fifth year of V Love. At first we could only support one child a month. Now we can help nine to 10 patients every month."

According to the charity's Sina Weibo account, it had helped 161 patients by March 12.

"Running this charity makes me realize that we can grow and improve by tackling difficult tasks. In return, it gives me profound consolation," Zhao said.

Guest: Zhao Wei

Reporter: Li Wenrui

Camera: Zhou Bing

Copy editor: Eoghan Norris McNeill; Ian Goodrum

Subtitles: Sun Jiao

Producer: Li Wenrui

Executive producer: Feng Minghui

Acknowledgement: The Festival Croisements 2019

Contact the producer at liwenrui@chinadaily.com.cn

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