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EMPIRE OF SILVER – FEATURED PREVIEW

At the end of the 19th century, a young man destined to inherit the vast wealth of a Chinese banking empire must decide whether to follow his strong willed father's path or find his own. Greed, deception and jealousy surface under the pressures of war and the impending change from silver to paper money... and the love of his life has become his step-mother. (Based on a true story.)
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China, 1899. A hedonistic young man, Third Master* (Aaron Kwok) must assume the role of heir to a banking empire he cares little about. Following the tragic kidnapping of his brother’s wife, Third Master reluctantly submits to pressure from his overbearing father. Powerful bank-owner Lord Kang (Tielin Zhang) is determined to prepare Third Master for financial leadership by molding his son into his own image. 

The ruthless businessman tries to convince his son to choose a proven unscrupulous bank manager over a more honest one. But the idealistic Third Master has always questioned his father's autocratic rule and ethics. 

The tense relationship is further complicated by Third Master’s undying love for his beautiful young stepmother (Lei Hao), his first and only love stolen from him by his own father. Embarking on a metaphysical journey, Third Master must decide whether to follow his father's path or find his own. Greed, deception and jealousy surface under the pressures of war and the impending change from silver to paper bills...

* Third Master is a nickname in the system used by pre-modern Chinese families. The first son is called First, second is called Second, by the parents. And if the family is well-off, people of lower social status would refer to the male members as “master.” This became a custom because Chinese families used to have many children. Today, however, the number-as-nickname system is no longer in practice.

Director Christina Yao:
“Like Wall Street today, the Shanxi merchants worked in intimate ways with the central government. Besides lending to businesses, Piao Hao (bankers) lent heavily to the Qing government. They financed the civil war that the Qing court engaged with the Taiping Rebels. They also often financed local governments’ taxes to the central government and earned big interests from the local government. 

When I started working on this project, the Enron fraud scandal was still big news. I realized how much EMPIRE OF SILVER could be a story of business ethics. So I tried to make this my voice for the film. At that time, I didn’t realize how this would become even more relevant today.”

Festival Awards & Nominations for Empire of Silver:
Shanghai International Film Festival 2009
Winner: Jury Award
Winner: Best Director, Press Award

Orlando Film Festival 2010
Winner: Best Director
Winner: Best Foreign Feature

Williamsburg International Film Festival 2010
Winner: Best Picture
Winner: Best Director
Winner: Best Cinematography

Dixie Film Festival 2010
Winner: Best Picture
Winner: Best Foreign Picture
Winner: Best Cinematography

South Appalachian International Film Festival 2010
Winner: Best Foreign Language Feature Film
Winner: Best Editing
Winner: Best Score

Hawaii International Film Festival 2009
Winner: Best Picture

Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival 2010
Winner: Best Feature film

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival 2010
Winner: Spirit of Independents Award

Anchorage International Film Festival 2010
Winner: Audience Award

Hong Kong Academy Awards 2010
Nomination: Best cinematography
Nomination: Best art direction
Nomination: Best costume/make-up design

Huabiao Awards 2009
Nomination: Best Co-produced Feature Film
Nomination: Best Chinese Actor from Outside of Mainland China (Aaron Kwok)

Golden Rooster Awards 2009
Nomination: Best Cinematography

Shanghai Film Critics’ Award 2010
Winner: Film of Merit

Published May 17, 2012

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TRAILER & MORE



Trailer

Official Website

CAST: Aaron Kwok, Tie Lin Zhang, Hao Lei, Jennifer Tilly

Director: Christina Yao

Screenplay: Christina Yao (book by Cheng Yi)

Cinematography: Yiu Ming Pun

Producer: Chiao Hsiung Ping, Christina Yao

Executive Producer: Jeremy Thomas

Genre: Drama

Runtime:113 mins

Origin: China, 2010

Language: Mandarin (English sub-titles)








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