Female Murder Case Reporter Takes the Helm as Chief Producer for ‘ Betel Nut Xi Shi,’ Bringing Taiwan’s Unique Culture to International Screens
Los Angeles — In her illustrious career as a journalist, having covered numerous high-profile cases, including homicides and other societal news, it seems as if she unwittingly laid a solid foundation for the creation of this film. Therefore, when discussing the film ‘Betel Nut Xi Shi Murder Case’ (tentative title), the producer and screenwriter Huang Yunti is very confident (pictured in the center).
“Reflecting on the time when I used to cover murder cases, during gatherings with friends, despite coming from various industries and educational backgrounds, they always wanted to delve into the stories behind such crimes and the poignant struggles of special industries they wouldn’t normally encounter. Perhaps, this is the audience’s ‘curiosity.’ In the summer of 2023, when I visited Taiwan, the thought of ‘Betel Nut Xi Shi’ crossed my mind.”
This film is jointly produced by the American Shengshi Yayun International Cultural Media Group and the Xiamen Baijia Zhengming Cultural Media Co., Ltd.
The Chinese Executive Producer, Huang Yunti, graduated from a well-known domestic university with a master’s degree in psychology. During her university years, she began her career as a legal program interviewer at the Fujian Broadcasting and Television Group. During the pandemic, she was invited to serve as a reporter for Phoenix North America Chinese Channel. She is currently a partner at Xiamen Baijia Zhengming and an independent producer.
She has won the Best Popularity Award in the National New TV Host Competition in ten provinces, the Top Ten Outstanding Youth TV Workers Award in Fujian Province, and the Gold Award in the 2017 National University Student Debate Competition in the Teacher Education category.
During her university graduate studies, she worked as a reporter and host for legal and entertainment programs at the Fujian Broadcasting and Television Group.
The people she once interviewed at film festivals have now become her greatest confidence as she ventures into the film industry. At the same time, they also form the excellent behind-the-scenes team for the film ‘Betel Nut Xi Shi.’
Introduction of the American Executive Producer:
Mr. Zhang Ming (William), Dean of the Hollywood Academy, American film and television producer, and Emmy Award winner.
At the 2016 Chinese American Film Festival, he was honored with the China Cultural Heritage Ambassador Award jointly presented by China and the U.S. He has been a long-term special guest of the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, invited to participate in various cross-cultural performances, significantly enhancing the dissemination and influence of Chinese culture. He is also a recipient of the 2023 Emmy Award.
The American producer of the well-known domestic web series ‘Seven Days’ also involved in the behind-the-scenes production of the Hollywood film ‘The Thaw’.
Specially invited as the executive producer of this film is Meng Xiaoqiang (Sanmu), a renowned figure in the domestic film industry, known as a publisher of ‘Movie View’
Sanmu has served as the initiator of the “China in Focus” event at the Cannes International Film Festival, the “Focus on China” event at the Venice International Film Festival, and the “Asian Brilliant Stars” event at the Berlin International Film Festival.
He has been the international consultant for the 3rd Macao International Film Festival and Awards, and the inaugural international consultant for the Hainan Island International Film Festival. Additionally, he holds the position of the general advisor for the 3rd Silk Road International Film Festival.
Specially invited as the director of this film is the renowned cinematographer, Chen Zhixuan, winner of the Best Cinematography at the 56th Golden Horse Awards.
It is reported that the director of this film, Chen Zhixuan, has been involved in the filming of numerous works, including “Monga” “KANO” “Twa-Tiu-Tiann” “The Great Buddha+”. He has received recognition, including the Golden Bell Award for Best Lighting, and won the Best Cinematography award at the 56th Golden Horse Awards for the film “The Scoundrels”.
His film “The Falls,” representing Taiwan, competed for the Best International Feature Film category at the 94th Academy Awards in 2021. Additionally, the film “Xiao Mei” won the Best Cinematography Award at the 20th Taipei Film Awards in 2018, the Jury Prize at the Strasbourg Fantastic Film Festival in France, and was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 55th Golden Horse Awards in 2018.
The art direction for this film has been entrusted to Huang Jianzhong, a prominent figure in the fourth generation of Chinese directors, a nationally recognized director, screenwriter, and art director.
He has previously received awards, including the Jury Prize at the 4th Tokyo International Film Festival, the Best Director Award at the 11th China Golden Rooster Awards, and the Best Screenplay Award at the 12th China Golden Rooster Awards.
His directed film “The Spring Festival” won the Best Feature Film Award at the 15th Hundred Flowers Awards, “Soubrette” received the Best Feature Film Award at the 22nd Hundred Flowers Awards, and “My 1919” won the Best Feature Film Award at the 20th China Golden Rooster Awards.
Adapted from a true story, this script delves deeper into the psychological aspects of human nature. It is a mature and well-crafted screenplay, offering insightful portrayals of adolescent rebellion and the struggles and kindness of those in the lower strata of society. Although the story is set in Taiwan, its themes hold universal significance. The narration of the 121st scene, a box of matches, serves as the soul of the film, with profound meaning and thought-provoking nuances.
A film of this nature should not be labeled as “erotic”. It is intended to be a meaningful and thought-provoking piece of cinema — as expressed by Huang Jianzhong.
Both Chinese and American producers have expressed that, in terms of casting, they are simultaneously selecting newcomers from both Taiwan and Los Angeles, aiming to choose the most suitable actors and focus on star-building.
The collaboration between China, the United States, and Taiwan involves a strong partnership, and there are plans for a follow-up co-production with Malaysia titled “If There Is Still Tomorrow,” with the original team working behind the scenes actively planning the project.
The picture above shows the producer challenging the styling of the rebellious Betel Nut siblings. The Chinese producer Huang Yunti expressed that she will soon transition from behind the scenes to the forefront, taking on the challenge of one of the main roles.
Almost a bare-faced candid photo, forming a sharp contrast with the previous picture.
The film “Betel Nut Xi Shi” is scheduled to start filming around April 2024, with plans to participate in various major international film festivals starting in 2025.
Let’s look forward to the movie “Betel Nut Xi Shi” together. Perhaps the next rising star in the film industry could be you!