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Bao honed his visual sense from Kung Fu movies, silent comedies, musicals, and Hitchcock. Mentored early on by master action director Corey Yuen, he was instilled with an approach to action that doesn’t rely solely on spectacle, but draws on story and character. Twitch Film praised his written-and-directed short Bookie for its “flawlessly realized world populated by entirely fleshed out and believable characters, driven by a compelling narrative and brought to sumptuous life.” Following an award-winning film festival run, he directed Black Coffee as part of a film anthology produced by Cinema Seattle. His segment’s unique noir style caught the attention of Seattle Magazine, which awarded him their Spotlight Artist of the Year. He has since traveled back to his homeland of Vietnam to work as a film editor. His editing credits include Cho Lon, one of Southeast Asia’s highest-budgeted action blockbusters, and Jackpot, a heartfelt comedy selected as Vietnam’s official entry to the 2016 Oscars for Best Foreign Film. Ain’t It Cool News enthusiastically declared Bao as “a director I expect to see big things from.”
An original member of the ground-breaking indie action team ZeroGravity Stunts, Ken has over 20 years of achievement in martial arts, earning a senior instructor rank in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and four Grand Championship titles. He has gone on to broaden his knowledge with Wushu, Capoeira, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has played starring roles and served as action director/fight choreographer in several key independent action films of the last decade, including Unlucky Stars which recently won Best Fight Choreography at the Action on Film International Film Festival. Ken lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Nicole, where he also works as a graphic artist in the entertainment industry.
Michael has over 20 years of experience working in video and post-production. As a Creative Producer, Michael’s purpose is to make sure every individual’s needs are met and to help shepherd the director’s creative vision through all levels of the production. He can be a sounding board, yes man, or devil’s advocate as the situation demands. A content creator in his own right, Michael has screened dozens of his short films both nationally and internationally, while his visual effects work has been featured in several award-winning documentaries. His other skills include drawing, design, and photography. Though he began training in martial arts at the age of four, much like the heroes of our film, it’s been decades since he won his last challenge match.
Al’n harbored great passion for martial arts films and NBA basketball from a young age. After reaching the staggering height of 5 foot 7 inches, Al’n put all his energy into making backyard Kung Fu films in high school using home video cameras. He continued his education in Seattle at the University of Washington, focusing on post-modern cinema and martial arts films. Having started out in camera department before transitioning to producing, Al’n brings a holistic knowledge in creative problem-solving and film set management – ensuring a productive, positive, and safe environment.
A veteran actor for over 35 years with nearly 100 productions under his name, Yuji is best known for his breakout role in The Karate Kid, Part II as the iconic villain Chozen. Younger generations may know him from Disney hits such as Johnny Tsunami and Johnny Kapahala. With a rare ability of understanding feature film production from the front of the camera to behind the scenes, Yuji has written and produced several television and film projects such as Out, Black Thread, and Katana. Yuji recently produced the feature film Beta Test, starring Manu Bennett and Larenz Tate, which released in U.S. theaters in the summer of 2016. Outside of the film industry, Yuji is a successful proprietor of Kona Kitchen, a Hawaiian-American restaurant and Seattle landmark for 14 years.
XYZ Films is an integrated content company whose mission is to empower visionary storytellers from every corner of the planet. As a worldwide sales agency, the company is uniquely suited to identify talented filmmakers and bring their stories to life. Notable films sold include The Raid: Redemption, The Raid 2, On the Job, The Invitation, and Green Room. XYZ was founded in 2008 by Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, and Aram Tertzakian.