Striving to create cultural fusion

By Liu Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-17 08:10
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BEIJING - Cindy Shyu practices tai chi and yoga. She is also chairwoman of a film company, who believes that culture crosses boundaries and ends misunderstandings. Her latest work is a Chinese-Indian effort, the first of its kind in both countries' film industries.

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An action comedy, Gold Struck portrays the story of Chinese chemist Tommy and Indian computer engineer Sanjay, who cooperate on a formula to turn bronze into gold. Following a misunderstanding, the pair part ways and return to their homes. They later meet up again on a magic adventure to the past, in which they join forces to avert a disaster.

"China and India have a lot in common, though they compete in almost every field," said Shyu, who is fond of both cultures and keen to promote mutual understanding between them.

"With more cultural exchanges, we will see more cooperation and hospitality than through competition," she said.

The film's story, which was written by Shyu with a team of Indian writers, is like a fable about the relationship between China and India.

"The two characters are like the two countries," Shyu said. "They may have some misunderstandings, but they cannot risk losing each other and their cooperation helps create a better world."

From the film, Shyu hopes that both Chinese and Indian audiences will perceive not only what they share culturally and in terms of values, but also how they differ from their stereotypes: aggressive Chinese competitors and geeky Indian nerds.

For example, when Tommy and Sanjay return to their hometowns, the audiences will see that Chinese and Indian people have strong family bonds and place a high value on education, while parents in both nations like to try to exert control over their children's marriages.

The film also depicts how both countries engage with the past and the present. Tommy embarks on adventures to metropolitan Shanghai and the fabled city of Xi'an, where the 2200-year-old tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang and the terracotta warriors are located, while Sanjay travels to modern Mumbai and the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest shrine of Sikhism founded in 1604.

Filming, which is expected to start in September 2011, will take place in English, Chinese and Hindi.

The China Film Group will join Shyu's Hong Kong-based Light House Productions and India's Eros International in producing the film and distributing it globally.