I had planned on eating dinner during the screening. But there I was, sitting between Mayor Lee and San Francisco’s Chinese Consul General Gao, and I was so enjoying their reactions, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave! Oh well, food can wait.
Afterwards they gushed. It seemed totally genuine. They talked about how it wonderful it was to see a work that was as entertaining as it was authentic, set in a China that some of us know, but even more of us do not. Consul General Gao had the best line of the evening: Perhaps you could follow up SHANGHAI CALLING with a movie called SAN FRANCISCO ANSWERING!
Who knows exactly “how” this movie will do. The response has been overwhelming, but the box office and VOD numbers don’t always reflect what you think. What I do know however is that we have pushed the envelope a little further open., and giving people a taste of something a little different.
So many of us stayed really late. We basked in the feeling that maybe, just maybe, the wide Pacific Ocean that separates the sister cities of San Francisco and Shanghai, may have just shrunk a bit.
My good friend Steve Horowitz, who helped me back in the mid-80’s promote Chinese cinema at the now defunct World Theater on Broadway, reminds me of the struggles then, and the promise now. He says:
“Thanks for including me in the event and fine opportunity to connect with that bicultural, bilingual, best and the brightest group at dinner. Fun to see your SF film world come full circle from a near empty office at CIM to a full house at Lucasfilm, around the World (Entertainment) to Shanghai (Calling), a Manifest destiny if ever there was. And you’re far from finished!”
Well, I would like to not be finished.