Ann Hu

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
The life of writer-director-producer Ann Hu could easily be the subject of a feature film. Born and raised in China to parents who were academics, she found her life uprooted in the mid-1960s when Mao Tse-tung ... Read more »
Born: 11/29/1955 in China

Filmography

other (8)

Beauty Remains 2007 (Movie)

(Producer)

Beauty Remains 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

Shadow Magic 2001 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Shadow Magic 2001 (Movie)

(Producer)

Shadow Magic 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

Dream and Memory 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Dream and Memory 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

Dream and Memory 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

The life of writer-director-producer Ann Hu could easily be the subject of a feature film. Born and raised in China to parents who were academics, she found her life uprooted in the mid-1960s when Mao Tse-tung instituted what has come to be known as "The Cultural Revolution". Separated from her parents (who were sent to labor camps), Hu spent some ten years working at a dingy restaurant just outside Beijing barely earning enough to support herself and her younger brother. When the government relaxed some of its constrictions, she taught herself English and began earning extra money as a translator. In 1979, she passed China's first college entrance exams and was allowed to travel to the USA to attend NYU. Earning a business degree in 1985, she began a career as a successful commodities trader, working first for an Australian conglomerate and then forming an investment company with her husband. Still, something was lacking in her life, despite the trappings of wealth.

At the height of her career as a businesswoman, Hu withdrew and took an 18-month sabbatical, during which she traveled the world alone. Visiting such far-flung places as Egypt and Tibet, she developed a greater appreciation for the various cultures of the world. To further satisfy her yearnings, Hu enrolled in a summer course at NYU's film school and found her metier. Penning the experimental screenplay "Dream and Memory" (1993), she went on to finance and produce the 85-minute, 16mm drama which focused on a pair of artists whose lives are altered by the Cultural Revolution. Now ensconced in her new career, Hu began to research a documentary on the Red Guards but stumbled upon a screenplay that caught her attention and eventually became "Shadow Magic" (2000), a lilting drama set in 1902 about the introduction of movies to Chinese society. The film worked on many levels: not only did it depict a society in flux thanks to new technologies but it also dealt with a clash of cultures and the passing of older traditions. The beautifully rendered film which was a rare joint production between China and Taiwan earned laudatory reviews and numerous prizes.

Relationships

Charles Xue

Husband
born c. 1953

EDUCATION

New York University

New York , New York 1985

New York University

New York , New York
enrolled in 1992; attended for two months

Milestones

2000

Co-wrote, produced and directed the feature film "Shadow Magic" (filmed in 1998)

1993

Produced, wrote and directed the 85-minute film "Dream and Memory"; shot film in NYC and China

1992

Enrolled in NYU's film school

1990

Withdrew from business career and spent 18 months traveling

1985

Obtained MBA from New York University

1979

At age 24, allowed to leave China to study in the USA

Taught herself English and worked as a translator; had many translations of fiction published in China

With husband formed C & A Investments

During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1971), was separated from parents who were sent to labor camp; worked in a restaurant outside of Beijing to support herself and her younger brother

Raised in China

Was an executive at Elders, an Australian business conglomerate

Involuntarily inducted into the Red Guards as a teenager

Worked on Wall Street as a commodities trader

Bonus Trivia

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"Film making allows me to open doors about life and its mysteries, to open that door without knowing what is behind it. I am that curious kind of person." --Ann Hu quoted in The New York Times, May 1, 1994.

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