Leading Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming will take a production role on selected film titles emerging from Stars Collective, the talent incubator program backed by China- and Los Angeles-based financier Starlight Media.
Huang, who has credits including “The Message” and “American Dreams in China,” will lead Stars Collective’s talent discovery efforts in China, be a mentor to the selected filmmakers and take a formal producer role on selected, individual projects the program hatches.
Stars Collective was launched last year with the idea of supporting 50 emerging filmmakers. Starlight now says it has over 100 filmmakers sighed up and has earmarked $100 million for development and initial production.
“The majority of those selected of the program are female, and represent a highly diverse mix of nationalities, ethnicities, races and personal and professional backgrounds,” the company said. “Stars Collective integrates global resources by bringing together local alliances of film producers and film commissions, throughout Europe for instance, in order to spark the production of more films of distinctive styles and genres.”
As a mentor, Huang joins industry luminaries including Donna Gigliotti, Gianni Nunnari, Chris Lee, , Paula Wagner, Patrick Wachsberger, Eric Heumann and Han Sanping and Ke Liming.
The addition of Huang means that Stars Collective will now be promoted in China. Previously, all Stars Collective operations were conducted out of Starlight’s Los Angeles headquarters.
Huang is a graduate of the Beijing Film Academy and enjoyed early success with his performance in the large-scale historical trilogy “The Emperor of Han Dynasty” in 2001. Since then he has starred in films including “Forever Young,” “Winter Begonia,” “The Return of the Condor Heroes,” “Shanghai Bund.” His 2013 performance in “American Dreams” earned him triple accolades at the Golden Rooster Awards, the Huabiao Film Awards, and the Hundred Flowers Awards. He won the Hundred Flowers and Golden Rooster acting awards again in 2020 with “The Bravest.”
“(Huang) is the type of multidimensional talent emblematic of what Stars Collective aims to cultivate. Leveraging his relationships and connectivity to the artistic and entertainment community throughout China, Xiaoming will be a bridge builder for so many Chinese actors as we expand Stars Collective globally,” said Starlight CEO Peter Luo.
“There are so many talented actors in China and (Luo’s) support for these actors through Stars Collective will lead to many amazing opportunities,” said Huang.
Stars Collective recently acquired the rights to director Thomas Mendolia’s horror short “Mr. Thisforthat” and is developing and producing a feature adaptation that Mendolia will direct.
Other upcoming films from Starlight include: James Wan’s “Malignant” for New Line; supernatural horror film “Umma” for Sony Pictures, which is a collaboration with Sam Rami, and stars Sandra Wu; an action-crime thriller trilogy starring Thai martial arts and action star Tony Jaa; “Golden Empire,” starring Donnie Yen; Thai filmmaker Baz Poonpiriya’s horror-mystery-thriller “The Innkeeper”; and a television series adaptation of Rebecca F. Kuang’s award-winning fantasy novel trilogy “The Poppy War,” “Dragon Republic” and “The Burning God.”