Tag Archives: The Last Dragon

2019 Urban Action Showcase & Expo Lineup – November 8-9; THE LAST DRAGON Anniversary Celebration Screening on November 9

Lia Chang and Taimak. Photo by Lia Chang

I made my feature film debut as a martial arts student in Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon and am looking forward to experiencing it on the big screen on Saturday, November 9 during The Last Dragon 35th Anniversary Celebration at AMC Empire 25 Theaters as part of Urban Action Showcase and Expo (UASE).

Taimak in THE LAST DRAGON

From 10am to Midnight, The Last Dragon Tribute and Daetrix Productions is sponsoring The Last Dragon 35th Anniversary Celebration which will feature a day-long celebration of Cosplay, Photo Experiences, a screening of The Last Dragon at 8pm, and a Fan meet and greet with Taimak Guarriello, star of The Last Dragon.

Grab your TLD 35th VIP Fan Experience pass and join Taimak aka Bruce Leroy, screenwriter Luis Venosta,  Rudy C. Jones and other cast members for autographs, photo ops, VR Photo and Video experiences, an exclusive TLD 35th Swag Bag and more!

  • Preferred Seating for the TLD 35th Screening
  • Special TLD 35th Anniversary Swag Bag
  • 1 Autograph of the special TLD 35th Poster
  • 1 Selfie Photo with Taimak The Last Dragon
  • ​All Festival and Showcase Films (1st Come 1st Served) 
  • All  Free Action Panels (1st Come 1st Served)
  • All Free Action Seminars (1st Come 1st Served)
  • Urban Action Expo
  • ​VR Anniversary Photo Experience
  • ​UAS Afterparty
  • *Note You must Be On Time to get your Preferred Seat!
  • *Note You are allowed 1 VR Photo Experience per turn.
  • Get the Glow at https://www.urbanactionshowcase.com/eventpasses.html

uproxx.com: A Deeper Look Into How ‘The Last Dragon’ Became An ’80s Classic
grant land.com: ‘The Last Dragon’ 30 Years Later: A Glowing Glory of Kung Fu, Magic, and Progressive Racial Politics

Cinemax® is sponsoring the Urban Action Showcase and Expo (UASE) at the AMC Empire 25 Theaters (234 West 42nd Street Times Square in New York on Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9.  Click here for tickets and more information.

Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang and Demetrius Angelo. Photo by Patrick Cashin

I had terrific time with my Big Trouble in Little China castmate Peter Kwong in 2016 when the UASE celebrated the 30th anniversary of the making of the film.

Peter Kwong and Lia Chang received the 2016 Martial Arts Cult Classic Cinema Award for Big Trouble in Little China’s 30th Anniversary at the 4th Annual Urban Action Showcase and Expo at the AMC Empire 25 Times Square in New York on November 12, 2016. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

Inside the 2016 Urban Action Showcase and Expo with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s Peter Kwong and Lia Chang; Full List of 2016 Honorees 

The UASE is the premier Action entertainment platform advocating diversity and honoring the multicultural achievements within the blockbuster Action genre bringing awareness and access to heroes of color. Showcasing Independent and Mainstream Action content in the multifaceted Action genre including Adventure, Fantasy, Grindhouse, Action Horror, Martial Arts, Sci-Fi, Supernatural and Urban Action content. The UASE is the only Action entertainment platform offering both fan and professional experiences through its International Action Film Festival, Action Expo and Action Film Awards platforms.By focusing on the thrill and excitement of the Action genre and recognizing the need for integration, the UASE sets itself apart from other festival platforms as the only one of its kind. The purpose of the UASE is to ultimately see an increase in ethnic heroic principal characters in film and television, increase the development of content and expand distribution platforms reflecting multicultural images and interests as it pertains to the multifaceted Action genre.

HBO/Cinemax® VIP Red Carpet Reception and Awards:
Friday, November 8th, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. at AMC Empire 25 Theaters (234 West 42nd Street Times Square NYC)
• UAS International Action Film Festival Awards
• Diversity in Action Awards (Honoring the Past Present and Future Mainstream Achievements in the blockbuster Action genre)
• Behind the Action Awards (Honoring the Hidden Heroes in the Action genre)
Knighting of The Black Dragon

 

There is a new Dragon on the horizon. Michael Jai White will receive the mantle of The Black Dragon from Grand Master Ron Van Clief. This will happen during the Awards presentation on Friday November 9th at 8 pm.

Urban Action Showcase International Film Festival and UASE 14 Hour Cinema Mega-Thon: Saturday, November 9th, 10 a.m. – Midnight at AMC Empire 25 Times Square: Screening of Features, Shorts and Showcase Films.

Showcase Features:
Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater
Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks Feature Documentary Film and Panel (Special Guests: Cynthia Rothrock, Michael Jai White, Warrington Hudlin, Robert Samuels, Ron Van Clief, Ric Meyers)
Above The Law (Cynthia Lady Dragon Rothrock)
Blood Fist (Don The Dragon Wilson)
Blood and Bone 10th Anniversary (Michael Jai White)
Ninja Assassin 10th Anniversary
Street Fighter: Legend of Chung Li 10th Anniversary
Showcase Anniversary Screenings
The Warriors 40 Anniversary
• The Last Dragon 35 Anniversary

Back 2 Black Action Cinema
Black Dynamite 10th Anniversary
Black Belt Jones 45th Anniversary
That Man Bolt 46th Anniversary
Blood and Bone 10 Anniversary

Retro Action Cinema
Universal Soldier The Return 20th Anniversary
Avatar 10th Anniversary
G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra 10th Anniversary

Official Selections of the 2019 UAS International Action Film Festival Urban Action Expo:
Saturday, November 9th, 10 a.m. – 7p.m. at AMC Empire 25 Times Square
Featuring Entertainment Industry Exhibitors, Comic Book and Graphic Artists, Celebrity Guests, Panels, Seminars, Master Classes and more

Featured Seminars
Action Icon Experience (Master Classes with Cynthia Rothrock, Don The Dragon Wilson and Michael Jai White)
Blunt and Bladed Weapons 4 Film (Grand Master Felix Cortez)
Firearms 4 Film (Hanshi Nikwan Murphy)


JKD 4 Film (Guru Chris Moran JKD NYC)
Batman 30th Anniversary
Kickboxer 30 Anniversary
The Matrix 20th Anniversary
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 20th Anniversary

Featured Panels:
• Urban Fists of Legends Panel featuring the legends of Action cinema
• Sheroes in Action: Women in Action Cinema Panel
The Warriors 40th Anniversary Panel
• Martial Arts in Cinema Panel
• Behind The Action: Stunt and Fight Choreographer Panel

Celebrity talent attending the 2019 UASE celebration:
• Nafessa Williams (Thunder of Black Lightning)

• Michael Jai White (Spawn, Universal Soldier, Black Dynamite, Triple Threat)
• Taimak (The Last Dragon)

• Cynthia Lady Dragon Rothrock (Lady Dragon, Sworn To Justice, Yes Madam)

• Don The Dragon Wilson (Blood Fist, Ring of Fire)

• Fred The Hammer Williamson (That Man Bolt, Three The Hard Way, From Dust to Dawn)

• Perry Yung (Father Jun in Cinemax’s “Warrior”)

• Henry Yuk (Long Zii of “Wu Assassins”)

• Celia Au (Ying Ying of “Wu Assassins”)

• Ron Van Clief (The Black Dragon’s Revenge)
• Robert Samuels (Made in China Town, Gambling Ghost)

• Vincent Lyn (Operation Condor)

• Ric Meyers (The Kung Fu Movie Movie, Martial Arts Film Historian)
• David Harris (Cochise in The Warriors)
• Brian Tyler (Snow in The Warriors)
• Dorsey Wright (Cleon in The Warriors)
• David Worth (Director of Kickboxer)


• Stuntman, Actors, Stunt Coordinators
• Other guest TBA

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Taimak Celebrates Release of Autobiography with National Tour of Book Signings and Screenings of ‘The Last Dragon’; in Detroit today at The Maple Theater

ldtPasadena based Incorgnito Publishing Press is presenting a national tour screening of the cult classic The Last Dragon with personal appearances by the movie’s co-star Taimak  Guarriello. The tour includes the launch of Taimak’s autobiography, Taimak, The Last Dragon.

TAIMAK BIOYou can meet Taimak today in Detroit at The Maple Theater, 4135 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan  48301. A Q & A with Taimak will follow each screening.

Bruce-Leroy-Poster

 1st Appearance: 5:00PM (Movie @ 6:00PM) / 2nd Appearance: 7:45PM (Movie @ 8:45PM)

“The Glow” ticket with VIP status includes:

• Your Movie Ticket

• FREE copy of Taimak, The Last Dragon hardcover – $25 value

• PLUS Meet & Greet and Photo Opp with Taimak

• Popcorn eating Chopsticks

NOTE: Please make certain you are at the event by 5:00pm for the first showing and by 7:45pm for the second showing. The Meet & Greet has a limited time availability before the movie begins!*

The Glow tickets are limited by event and sell out so reserve them now! They may be gone before the performance night!! General Tickets without the glow benefits on sale via the Maple Theater website.

Note: VIP & General tickets will also be on sale at the Maple Theater if available.

The Last Dragon is a cult martial arts film originated by Motown legend, Berry Gordy. The film debuted in 1985 and though critically not well received, it was a financial success, grossing over $33 million, making it the highest grossing martial arts film of the time. The film pays tribute to marital arts legend Bruce Lee. Combining pulsating music, cutting-edge dancing and the best in non-stop action, producer Berry Gordy’s cult favorite features an amazing Motown soundtrack, including music by Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Vanity, and DeBarge performing “Rhythm of the Night.” Directed by Michael Schultz.  Prince protege Vanity, Taimak’s co-star, recently passed away from kidney failure, the result of drug abuse in her early years.

In The Last Dragon, a martial arts student (Taimak) on a quest to obtain the elusive all-powerful force known as “The Glow” must battle the evil, self-proclaimed Shogun of Harlem—a kung fu warrior known as Sho’nuff (Julius J. Carry III)—and rescue a beautiful singer (Vanity) from an obsessed record promoter.

The Last Dragon was released on Blu Ray by Sony in August of 2015 to celebrate the 30 th anniversary of the film. It has since been screened to sold-out audiences in select cities and remains a favorite to decades of inspired fans. The film launched Taimak onto the Hollywood scene and introduced a few notable actors including Chazz Palminteri and William H. Macy.

This eighties cult classic film is a unique blend of action, comedy, romance, fantasy, martial arts philosophies and Motown music. Featuring the unforgettable larger-than-life villain “Sho’nuff”, the meanest, prettiest, baddest mofo, lowdown around town! It’s also an underdog story that resonates with anybody who’s ever felt bullied, underestimated or a little different. From helping people to understand it’s ok to be different or teaching the power of believing in yourself, Berry Gordy’s ‘The Last Dragon’ is an inspirational action film with a deeper message that connects with generations of fans. Taimak Official Website.

Cool Video Clips: Cult Classic Video Review | Remastered Movie Trailer

Taimak now

About the Actor/Author – Taimak is a versatile actor, director and writer as well as a nationally recognized marital arts expert. At the age of eighteen, he won the New York State Kickboxing Championship and was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2010. He has worked as choreographer with such notables as Debbie Allen, Jaime King, Madonna, former rock band Bush, and many others. He has guest starred on several national television shows including “A Different World,” “Alley McBeal,” “Red Shoes Diaries” and “Malcolm and Eddie.” His stage appearances include the highly successful Roadhouse the Comedy at the Barrow Street Theater in New York City and in the national tour of Cheaters. He is making his directorial debut with a film noir detective story titled, “I’ve Seen Things” (in pre-production).

When asked why he chose to write his autobiography now Taimak replied, “I wrote the book in part because my fans thought I left them prematurely and I wanted to explain. And, because I wanted to give people of all backgrounds, something inspiring that would help them through their journey of life”.

The tour kicked off in Seattle at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) on April 1st and continues throughout 2016. A complete listing of cities can be found at here.

About Incorgnito – Incorgnito Publishing Press is a small indie press that launched in January of 2015. The first two volumes of their 8 volume series, Chronicles of Ara, is in development with Ovation Television for an 8-hour miniseries.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

THE LAST DRAGON
THE LAST DRAGON

Full disclosure. My big screen debut was in The Last Dragon as a student in Bruce Leroy’s dojo and it was wonderful to reconnect with Taimak at a recent screening of Black Salt presented by the Urban Action Showcase at HBO in New York. Check back for my in-depth interview with Taimak.

Taimak, Lia Chang and Kinyumba Mutakabbir attend The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Taimak, Lia Chang and Kinyumba Mutakabbir attend The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

BLACK SALT Premiere and UASE Diversity in Action Panel Discussion featuring Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang, Taimak, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Mike Hodge, Kelly Edwards, Bobby Samuels and Vincent Lyn 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

BLACK SALT Premiere and UASE Diversity in Action Panel Discussion featuring Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang, Taimak, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Mike Hodge, Kelly Edwards, Bobby Samuels and Vincent Lyn

Photos courtesy of Al Cayne/Sugarcayne.com and Patrick Cashin/UASE.

Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang and Demetrius Angelo. Photo by Patrick Cashin
Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang and Demetrius Angelo. Photo by Patrick Cashin

Welcome to the wild, wonderful world of Diversity in Action, courtesy of Demetrius Angelo, founder of The Urban Action Showcase & Expo, the premier all-action experiential entertainment platform celebrating diversity and honoring the past, present and future multicultural achievements within the blockbuster Action genre including Adventure, Fantasy, Grindhouse, Action Horror, Sci-Fi, and Supernatural content.

Anita Clay and Manny Brown at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Anita Clay and Manny Brown at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Q & A with Emmanuel Brown, Actor, Award-Winning Fight Choreographer and Champion Martial Artist 

The UASE is the only Action entertainment platform offering both fan and professional experiences featuring the Cinemax Action Short Film Competition.

The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

On Wednesday, April 27th, Angelo invited me to the HBO sponsored premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s Black Salt, directed by Ben Ramsey, a live action film based on the critically acclaimed comic book franchise. Black Salt, last year’s winner of the Cinemax Action Short Film Competition, received $10,000 and distribution on Cinemax On Demand and Max Go for 15 months.

The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

“What’s amazing about that is that now we have platform where heroes of color will be,” shared Angelo.

Taimak, Lia Chang and Kinyumba Mutakabbir attend The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Taimak, Lia Chang and Kinyumba Mutakabbir attend The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Owen Ratliff created the Black Salt franchise in an effort to introduce more African Americans into leading superhero type roles.

black saltThe film stars Kinyumba Mutakabbir as agent Samuel Tharpe. Kinyumba a rising star from New York, who burst on the scene starring in Keri Hilson platinum music video “Turnin Me On”, and from there he received small roles in “Entourage,” Iron Man 3 and the” Bold and the Beautiful.” Sheena Chou, Michelle Lee, James Lew, XJ Wang, Panuvat Anthony Nanakornpanom and Ron Yuen are also featured in the cast. blacksaltstorefront.com

Taimak in THE LAST DRAGON
Taimak in THE LAST DRAGON

Thanks to Demetrius Angelo for including me on the panel on Action in Diversity which followed the screening, to discuss my action genre roles in The Last Dragon, King of New York, and Big Trouble in Little China. The 30th anniversary of Big Trouble in Little China will be celebrated at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo on November 12th in New York. Click here for more information.

Lia Chang and Donna Noguchi in John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986).
Lia Chang and Donna Noguchi in John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986).

Big Trouble in Little China Cast Reunion 

The panel discussion was moderated by Warrington Hudlin, Director/Producer, and also featured Mike Hodge, SAG AFTRA NY president; Kelly Edwards, HBO VP Talent Development and Programing; Kinyumba Mutakabbir, star of Black Salt; Robert “Bobby” Samuels, Actor/Stuntman (First African American in the Hong Kong Stuntmans Association); Vincent Lyn – Actor/Stuntman, Grammy Award Musician (Jackie Chan’s Operation Condor); Taimak, star of The Last Dragon and author of Taimak: The Last Dragon.

Warrington Hudlin, Kelly Edwards, Vincent Lyn, Taimak, Lia Chang, Demetrius Angelo, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Robert Samuels and Mike Hodge. Photo by Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com
Warrington Hudlin, Kelly Edwards, Vincent Lyn, Taimak, Lia Chang, Demetrius Angelo, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Robert Samuels and Mike Hodge. Photo by Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com
Warrington Hudlin moderating panel discussion at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo courtesy of Warrington Hudlin
Warrington Hudlin moderating panel discussion at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo courtesy of Warrington Hudlin
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels and Kinyumba Muttakabbir at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo courtesy of Vincent Lyn
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels and Kinyumba Muttakabbir at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo courtesy of Vincent Lyn
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Kelly Edwards and Mike Hodge. Photo courtesy of UASE
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Kelly Edwards and Mike Hodge. Photo courtesy of UASE
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Kelly Edwards and Mike Hodge. Photo courtesy of UASE
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Kelly Edwards and Mike Hodge. Photo courtesy of UASE
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Kelly Edwards and Mike Hodge. Photo by Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Kelly Edwards and Mike Hodge. Photo by Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Kelly Edwards and Mike Hodge. Photo courtesy of UASE
Taimak, Lia Chang, Vincent Lyn, Robert Samuels, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Kelly Edwards and Mike Hodge. Photo courtesy of UASE
The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Mike Hodge and Demetrius Angelo at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Mike Hodge and Demetrius Angelo at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
TaiMak, Lia Chang, Kinyumba Mutakabbir and Robert Samuels at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016.
TaiMak, Lia Chang, Kinyumba Mutakabbir and Robert Samuels at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016.
Lia Chang, a guest and Kelly Edwards at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com
Lia Chang, a guest and Kelly Edwards at The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com
The Urban Action Showcase & Expo's premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com
The Urban Action Showcase & Expo’s premiere screening of Owen Ratliff’s BLACK SALT at HBO in New York on April 27, 2016. Photo by Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com

Black Salt is an epic thriller merging the world of modern day espionage and political intrigue with the ancient world of martial arts. With time winding down towards world-ending devastation, the fate of mankind rests in the hands of Interpol agent Samuel Tharpe. The minifeature is a precursor to the Black Salt feature film and TV series. www.blacksaltfilm.com

Check out Al Cayne’s great coverage of the Black Salt Premiere here. Special thanks to Al Cayne and Patrick Cashin for their photos.

Al Cayne, Lia Chang and Manny Brown. Photo by Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com
Al Cayne, Lia Chang and Manny Brown. Photo by Al Cayne/SugarCayne.com

Video: HIDE AND SEEK Starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits to Screen in 2016 Katra Film Series in New York on May 14; Complete Lineup

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Q & A with Emmanuel “Manny” Brown, Actor, Award-Winning Fight Choreographer and Champion Martial Artist

Emmanuel "Manny" Brown. Photo by Lia Chang
Emmanuel “Manny” Brown. Photo by Lia Chang

Last November,  Emmanuel “Manny” Brown nabbed two awards at The Urban Action Showcase International Action Film Festival for his fight choreography on the short film Junkyard a.k.a. Stuntmen – a   2015 UAS IAFF Award for Best Action Sequence and 2015 UAS IAFF Award for Best Action in the 2 Min Warning Action Scene Contest.

junkyard

The UASE also celebrated the 30th anniversary of my first film, The Last Dragon last year, and will continues it’s Diversity in Action initiative of honing the past, present and future multicultural achievements in the genre of Heroes, by celebrating my second film, the 30th Anniversary of the Martial Arts Cult Classics Big Trouble in Little China,  in which I played a Wing Kong Guard.

Lia Chang and Donna Noguchi in John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China (1986).
Lia Chang and Donna Noguchi in John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China (1986).

The Urban Action Showcase International Action Film Festival (UAS IAFF) will screen both competition films as well as showcase main stream action cinema over two days, November 11-12, 2016, in New York. Click here for more information.

2015 Big Trouble in Little China Cast Reunion

Emmanuel "Manny " Brown
Emmanuel “Manny ” Brown

In addition to being an award-winning fight choreographer, Brown is also an actor, a champion martial artist,  an acrobat/tricker, a singer, and a dancer. He played Spider-man and Electro in the original Broadway cast of Spider-man:Turn Off the Dark, and has worked on the TV shows  “Elementary”(CBS), “Taxi Brooklyn” (NBC),  and “Forever” (ABC).

Cole Horibe, Emmanuel "Manny" Brown, Clifton Duncan and Jon Rua in David Henry Hwang's "Kung Fu." Photo by Lia Chang
Cole Horibe, Emmanuel “Manny” Brown, Clifton Duncan and Jon Rua in David Henry Hwang’s “Kung Fu.” Photo by Lia Chang

I first met Brown in 2014 at The Pershing Square Signature Center, where he was acting in and serving as fight director for Signature Theatre Company’s Off-Broadway world premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu, and subsequently garnered a 2014 Village Voice Obie Award for his fight direction.

Emmanuel "Manny" Brown takes a bow at the curtain call of David Henry Hwang's "Kung Fu" at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Emmanuel “Manny” Brown takes a bow at the curtain call of David Henry Hwang’s “Kung Fu” at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s ‘Kung Fu’ 

Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 Obie Award Winners

His other Off-Broadway credits include Charles Mee’s Big Love (Signature Theatre Company); Sweet Science Suite (BAM); and the Classical Theatre of Harlem productions of The Tempest as Stefano and Romeo N Juliet as Tybalt. In addition to Kung Fuhe has served as fight director for Sweet Science SuiteDeadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon! (La Mama), Coin TossWorld’s FinestUnder the GunHis regional theater credits include Sucker Punch  (Studio Theatre of DC) and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (La Jolla Playhouse). Brown holds a B.F.A from the University of Florida.

Bobby Steggert, Emmanuel Brown and Ryan-James Hatanaka. Photo by T Charles Erickson.
Bobby Steggert, Emmanuel Brown and Ryan-James Hatanaka. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

Below is my interview with Manny about his favorite martial arts films, his latest accolades and what he’s been up to lately.

Emmanuel "Manny" Brown. Photo courtesy of Emmanuel "Manny" Brown/Facebook
Emmanuel “Manny” Brown. Photo courtesy of Emmanuel “Manny” Brown/Facebook

Lia: How old were you when you developed your love of acting and martial arts?
Manny: I developed a love for martial arts after my first class as a 10-year-old. I had an appreciation for acting all my life and did some acting classes in middle school and high school, but I decided to get serious about it when I was 19.

Lia: The 2016 Urban Action Showcase will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Big Trouble in Little China in November this year.  Does this mean anything to you?
Manny: Absolutely. Big Trouble in Little China was one of the first movies featuring the martial arts that I had ever seen because I have an older sister who was obsessed with it. It is a part of my youth.

Lia: What other films have inspired you? 
Manny: Rumble in the BronxThe Last DragonLady DragonLegend of Drunken Master, Enter the DragonFist of Legend36th Chamber of ShaolinFearless Hyena, Jackie Chan’s First Strike.

Lia: What did it mean for you to receive these awards?
Manny: These awards mean that I am one step closer to doing fight choreography on film and TV and that all of my studying of film fighting is paying off.

Emmanuel "Manny" Brown. Photo by Ryu Ronnie Wright
Emmanuel “Manny” Brown. Photo by Ryu Ronnie Wright

Click below to watch Junkyard.

Lia: How did you get hired for Spider-Man? What was your experience of working on the production and being on Broadway?
Manny: 
I got cast in Spider-man by attending an open dance call. I had a great experience working on the show despite all of the controversy/problems. Being on Broadway is an experience like no other. Such great, receptive and enthusiastic audiences.

Cast members of the Broadway production of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." Dale May for Time Out New York
Cast members of the Broadway production of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.” Dale May for Time Out New York

Lia: What kind of adjustments do you make working on your fight direction on film, on television and on stage? 
Manny: I usually find myself having to make more adjustments when working on stage, as I can’t rely on editing and complete control of audience sightlines. I always try to adjust to my performers abilities to make them look as good as possible. On stage I have to work harder to make each technique “sell” to the audience.

Ari Loeb and Cole Horibe in David Henry Hwang's "Kung Fu". Photo by Joan Marcus
Ari Loeb and Cole Horibe in David Henry Hwang’s “Kung Fu”. Photo by Joan Marcus

Lia: Do you have a preferred medium?
Manny: I don’t have a preferred medium as each poses its own set of challenges.

The cast and creative team of David Henry Hwang's celebrate at their opening night party at Signature Theatre Company's Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
The cast and creative team of David Henry Hwang’s celebrate at their opening night party at Signature Theatre Company’s Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Tell me more about the Urban Action Showcase.
Manny: The Showcase has been terrific both times I attended. It has introduced me to other action artists and icons I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. Demetrius (Demetrius Angelo is the Founder and Executive Producer of the Urban Action Showcase and Expo) has done a lot to provide a platform for us, indie filmmakers and I am grateful for that.

Lia: Who have you been inspired by in the martial arts world? 
Manny: Jackie Chan, Don Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, Billy Blanks, Ted Jan Roberts, Bruce Lee, Jim Kelly.

Lia: Have you had mentors? If so, who have they been and in what capacity have you worked with them?
Manny: My martial arts teachers – Allen Abdul, Dean Butler, Dale Herring). My acting teachers – Harry O’Reilly, Mikell Pinkney, David Shelton). Also John Chung, who coached the karate team I competed for, and the late Fred Ho.

Sheldon Best, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Emmanuel "Manny" Brown and Clifton Duncan at the opening night party for David Henry Hwang's "Kung Fu" at Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Sheldon Best, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Emmanuel “Manny” Brown and Clifton Duncan at the opening night party for David Henry Hwang’s “Kung Fu” at Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Who have been your acting role models?
Manny: Jeffrey Wright, Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Martin Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Sidney Poitier.

Emmanuel "Manny" Brown in flight as a Knicks Acroback Tumblers at Madison Square Garden. Photo: Facebook
Emmanuel “Manny” Brown in flight as a Knicks Acroback Tumblers at Madison Square Garden. Photo: Facebook

Lia: What did you do during your time with the New York Knicks and the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden?
Manny: I was an acrobat for the Knicks Acroback Tumblers and a dancer/acrobat/cheerleader for the Liberty. It was a cool job working at the Garden.

Sheldon Best and Emmanuel Brown in Studio Theatre’s production of Roy Williams SUCKERPUNCH (2012). Photo: Scott Suchman.
Sheldon Best and Emmanuel Brown in Studio Theatre’s production of Roy Williams SUCKERPUNCH (2012). Photo: Scott Suchman.

Lia: What have been your three favorite projects?
Manny: A play I did in Washington DC called Sucker Punch, the episode of “Blindspot” that I was in, and the play Kung Fu I worked on in NY.

Lia: What are you working on now?
Manny: I am planning on working on a production this Summer with Classical Theatre of Harlem.

Lia: A fun fact that nobody know about you.
Manny:
I am a cinephile and and learn how to say certain things in other languages from watching foreign films.

The 2016 Urban Action Showcase International Action Film Festival Featuring the Cinemax Action Short Film Competition Call for Entries is Now Open! Submit Now through Oct. 1 2016. Over $100,000 in Cash, Distribution and Prize Opportunities! Click here for details.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene Oregon in April. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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