August 3, 2021
Press release - Janet Yang, the legendary executive producer of the first Hollywood blockbuster with an entire Asian cast - THE JOY LUCK CLUB - and President of the Academy of Motion Pictures, formally endorsed the film sample of writer/director/producer Zhu Shen's personal documentary feature debut, JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES, co-written and co-produced by her son Perry S. Chen, a rising senior and Regents' Scholar at the University of California Irvine.
"A beautifully touching tribute to Zhu's late husband and an ode to the bond between mother and son, told with radical vulnerability and honesty. Zhu’s deep commitment to her son also reveals surprising twists in their dynamic. JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES is a deeply moving look into the love that binds a family."
- Janet Yang, Founder and President, Janet Yang Productions; Executive Producer, THE JOY LUCK CLUB, OVER THE MOON; Governor, Academy of Motion Pictures; Co-Founder, Gold House
"I was drawn to the cinema as a young girl growing up in China right before the Cultural Revolution when movies were the only entertainment available to the masses, fascinated by the movie picture and the fascinating stories of imaginary characters that I could escape into, never ever dreaming of one day becoming the person behind the camera, shooting and directing the deeply personal story of my family" said Zhu Shen, a former medical student from Peking Union Medical College, former biomedical researcher/biotech executive-turned filmmaker who earned her MBA from the Cornell SC Johnson School of Management, "I remember watching THE JOY LUCK CLUB in 1993 when I was a biochemistry Ph.D. graduate student at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver with my husband and fellow graduate student Changyou in a movie theater. It was such a moving experience seeing characters that looked like us who shared the same cultural values portrayed in such an authentic, relatable, vulnerable way. Having read Amy Tan's breakthrough first novel and perennial bestseller by the same name first, I was so impressed with the movie adaptation (written and co-produced by Amy Tan) - the visual authenticity, the emotional power, and incredible Asian cast who brought Amy Tan's vision from the pages and to vivid embodiment of flesh and blood characters on the big screen. Now 28 years later, I could not believe that my personal idol and hero, the executive producer of THE JOY LUCK CLUB Janet Yang has endorsed my directorial debut in such a wholehearted way. I am truly humbled, honored, and encouraged by Janet's wonderful support of me and my son in our creative endeavors to tell our own unique life stories through the medium of film - my childhood love."
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