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Chinese-Canadian Actress Xiao Sun judges Toronto Korean Film Festival

With over ten years of ballet and Chinese traditional dance experience, performing has always been a passion of Xiao Sun’s. The trilingual Chinese-Canadian film and television actress always knew she was meant to entertain audiences. Now that she is recognized around the world for what she does, she feels lucky to do what she always dreamed of every day. Her innate talent and sheer dedication have allowed her to rise to the top, and her respect for her craft is evident in everything she does.

Having starred in acclaimed films like Les 3 P’tits Cochons 2, Mother!, X-Men: Days of Future Past and more, Sun finds herself at the forefront of Canada’s entertainment industry. She always, however, aims to help those looking to follow in her footsteps, frequently finding ways to assist those at the beginning stages of their career. Earlier this year, Sun was a panelist at the 2018 ACTRA Winter Conference, providing advice on how to build your brand as an actor, and just recently, she served as a jury member at the Toronto Korean Film Festival.

“I love to support new talents, and by acting as a jury member at this film festival, it helped to give them a good platform for their talent. As an actor and performer, I understand how important this support and these platforms are when you’re new in the industry. I want to do what I can to help and guide the new generation of talented filmmakers,” said Sun.

The festival ran from July 11-15 at the Innis Town Hall in Toronto. Sun watched every film in the festival in a short time and was extremely impressed with the quality of work that these filmmakers brought forward. She knew the responsibility of being a judge, feeling as if she was holding a part of every filmmakers’ future in her hands. Because of this, she was sure to be as fair as possible, taking her time to consider every shot of each film.

“It was a really fun experience for someone like me who loves films. The experience made me foresee the bright future of filmmaking and creativity in the industry, and I am very much looking forward to seeing more of their work on the big screen in the future,” she said.

Sun says judging a festival is a completely different ball game than having a film compete at one. The latter she is no stranger to, as many of her films end up seeing great success at the world’s most prestigious film festivals. One such film was the 2015 crime thriller Anna. The film was an Official Selection at the Busan International Film Festival and was nominated for Achievement in Makeup at the Canadian Screen Awards 2015.

Anna was a very important film for me, with such a meaningful purpose. It’s a female driven story, which is very empowering and the lesson, although somewhat dark, aims to give positive energy and deliver a good message to the world,” said Sun.

The story follows Anna, a photojournalist, who travels to Bangkok to pursue her investigations for a news story on the traffic in human beings being carried on by the triads. There she herself is kidnapped by Asian gangsters and subjected to the same abuse endured by the women she has interviewed and photographed. In a Montreal hospital, she awakens to these brutal recollections. Scarred for life, obsessed by her desire for revenge, Anna embarks on a dark journey, where violence beckons at every turn, but the impact provoked by her investigations will prove to be more important than the satisfaction of her own quest for vengeance.

Sun played Xiao in Anna, a fierce member of a Mafia group in Montreal. Anna has to go through Xiao to get to the person who possesses the evidence of the individual that raped her. Sun understood what a pivotal role she played and wanted to do so convincingly. To prepare, she did extensive research on gangs and the epidemic of human trafficking.

“The story of the film is about human trafficking. It was heartbreaking to see how hateful human trafficking is, and we need to do whatever we can to stop it,” said Sun.

Undoubtedly, Sun has made her mark as both an actress and a mentor for emerging filmmakers. Now living in Los Angeles, any chance she has to promote Canadian films and help a new generation of Canadian filmmakers, she takes. For those looking to follow in her footsteps, she offers the following advice:

“Make sure this is what you really want to do. Prepare yourself for lots of rejections, and don’t take it personally. That’s the job. Just keep working on your craft, and when the opportunities get to you, you are ready to catch them. Go out meet other actors and filmmakers, start to create your own projects, build your reel and have more control of your career,” she said.

Next year, Sun stars alongside award-winning actors Charlize Theron, Seth Rogan, and Alexander Skarsgård in the comedy Flarsky. Check it out at a theatre near you.

Written by Annabelle Lee

Chinese-Canadian Actress Xiao Sun judges Toronto Korean Film Festival Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:21:00 PM Rating: 5
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