Born in Wuxi , China and immigrated to USA at the age of 7, James Z. Feng started filmmaking at the age of 17 in high school making films with friends; his first film "Triads V" ended up being a 50 minute film. Taking a turn in interests by focusing on acting during his college years, James minored in theatre and acted in more than 20 films as a UC San Diego student. Picked up to do a feature film shot in China right after graduation, James decided to pursue acting in Shanghai and stayed there for two years before coming back to USA. His debut film “600” which he wrote, directed, and produced has won numerous awards in Asia and recently submitted to 20 festivals worldwide; we are awaiting the results *crosses fingers*.
Spending two years in Shanghai changed James's life as he experienced a different environment that envisioned endless possibilities with his future as a filmmaker. Combining his efforts with local talent, James put together a team in Shanghai who are all salivating to do something BIG. However, James doesn't feel he is ready to helm his own feature project and iis currently working hard to gain experience and mastering the form of cinema before heading back to Asia to shoot "Two Way Street", his first feature.
James's second film “Drowning” will hit the US festival circuit soon after the post production stage. (20 minute film)
Quote of James Z. Feng's life: "Passion, Hardwork, Perseverance, it's all I know."
After being on numerous film sets as an actor from college to professional, I really wanted to do something of my own using the techniques I've learned from watching. At the time, people had been encouraging me to write since they knew I had been flirting with the idea of writing a short film for a while. Once I wrote a rough sketch of “600”, I contacted my two trusted friends Jiang Sha and Beary Xu about the possibility of actually shooting the film. Before I knew it, we borrowed an HD camera and started shooting the film the very next week!. After that, we entered two festivals and won three awards(One of which we won Top 30 films in all of Asia!). I was very stunned and at the same time encouraged by the results. After much soul searching, I decided to pursue filmmaking full speed ahead and support my new profession through acting. Here's my original inspiration for 600:
“As people we are always changing and evolving in ways that everyone else can see except us. No matter how strong our initial intent is to stay true to ourselves, adjustments to meet the survival demands of life are inevitable. Going out to Asia and experiencing almost two years in the entertainment industry, I saw the most immoral and detestable things people do to themselves and each other that repulsed my moral ideals.
However, after much contemplation, I realized it wasn't just Asia that was dark; it was the societal concept of survival that causes us to bring out the worst in each other. Few people in this world can both survive successfully in life and also stay true to themselves. I hope to be one of them, only time will tell. “600” is a dark part of me that wanted to be corrupt like the rest of the world… and later finding only loneliness and guilt waiting for me at the end of that tunnel…”