Today, Simon Yin’s $upercapitalist opens theatrically at the Village East Cinema, 181 – 189 2nd Ave in New York, while simultaneously debuting day and date on Video on Demand and iTunes across North America.$upercapitalist will open in Washington DC on Aug 17th at the E – Street; in San Francisco on Aug 24th at the SF Opera Plaza; and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Noho on August 31st.
Kudos to Derek Ting, the writer, producer and star of $upercapitalist, for taking control of his destiny and realizing his vision with his six years in the making journey from inception to the big screen.
$upercapitalist, a U.S./China co-production and the first English language financial thriller independently produced out of Hong Kong, follows Conner Lee (Derek Ting), a maverick New York hedge fund trader who moves to Hong Kong to orchestrate a mega-deal that swiftly escalates beyond his control. Caught between competing forces in America and Asia in a ruthless culture of profits at all costs, he desperately negotiates and maneuvers inside China’s closed, complex society. With his life and Hong Kong’s future staked on a corrupt billion dollar deal, the trader takes the ultimate risk.
The film also stars Linus Roache, (Batman Begins, The Chronicles of Riddick, Wings of a Dove), Kenneth Tsang (Rush Hour 2, John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow), Richard Ng (Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life), Kathy Uyen (How I Met Your Mother), Darren E. Scott and 2-time Emmy winner, Michael Park (“As the World Turns”). $upercapitalist had its world premiere as the Centerpiece Presentation on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas for the 35th Asian American International Film Festival.
I met Ting and his wife, Joyce Yung, a producer on the film, when the Screen Actors Guild Foundation hosted a special Conversations advance screening of $upercapitalist, at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway in New York on Wednesday, August 1, 2012. Ting, Linus Roache and Michael Park were in the house for a candid Q & A, moderated by actor Nick Sakai, SAG-AFTRA National Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee Member. Ting talked about the challenges of wearing three hats as the writer, producer and lead actor, about the casting process, his inspiration for the storyline, and related the story of his $upercapitalist path.
Ting has always had a passion for acting, and rediscovered it while taking an acting class at Cornell University. After experiencing September 11, 2001, Ting decided that life was too short and started making the transition to become an actor. He had a successful run landing national commercials quickly, and bit parts on television shows, however he felt there were too few opportunities for him. Ting gave up acting to become a producer at CNN International in Hong Kong. However, local Hong Kong commercial directors asked him to be in their commercials, and then Ting soon followed up with a part in “Largo Winch,” an international French production starring Kristin Scott Thomas.
The actors also talked about what convinced them to be part of $upercapitalist, their advice for aspiring actors and filmmakers, and their projects in the works.
In 2008, Ting had been searching for someone to play the key role in $upercapitalist of “Mark Patterson,” a hedge fund manager modeled after several notable shareholder activists like Daniel Loeb and Carl Icahn. He was introduced to Linus Roache through fellow filmmaker Donna Tsufura, and after reading the script in 2009, Roache signed on.
“The only reason I’m in this film is because of this man (Derek), because he was committed and dedicated to making this film,” said Roache. “I feel so proud and have so much respect for anybody who has a vision, has an idea, and takes it all the way, from nothing to a piece of paper, to a bunch of people, to this. It’s incredible. I’ve been offered things in the past but this is quite a unique story for me. I’m proud to be part of it.”
During a trip to New York in 2010, Ting caught a performance of Will Eno‘s play Middletown Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre, in which Roache was appearing with Michael Park, and knew he’d found the actor to play the role of Morris Brown. It took some convincing by Roache who talked Park into flying to Hong Kong for essentially a weekend, to shoot his scene in $upercapitalist at the Bloomberg studios in Hong Kong.
“Sheer determination from this man got me to Hong Kong,” said Park. “When I got there, it was a lovely city, and an experience that I’ll never forget. The hosts were amazing. Talk about going on blind faith. I hadn’t met Derek. I had just spoken to him via emails and going on Linus’ recommendation as well. I got there and he had emailed me to look for the guy in the yellow jacket. Okay, Hong Kong airport, I’m sitting there looking around, do you know how many yellow jackets, about 20. And then all of sudden comes this man, ‘Michael’? It was wonderful. I’m also so proud. I had no idea you did everything.”
Click on the link below to see excerpts of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s Conversations with Supercapitalist's Derek Ting, Linus Roache and Michael Park.
Video: Screen Actors Guild Foundation In Conversation with Supercapitalist's Derek Ting, Linus Roache and Michael Park
On his Facebook page, Ting writes, “It’s an amazing feeling to know all those nights and weekends I gave up, all the family/investors/sponsors/cast/crew/friends/fans that really went the extra mile for this project, 6 years in the making, 11+ years to pursue a dream, it’s something I can’t describe but to tell you how much joy is in my heart. To stare down failure in the eye, to keep getting up after getting knocked down, to find my own true identity and wants in life, to find goodness in people and rejoice with them on this journey. Today, I know in my heart my conscience rests easy knowing and walking a path filled with glass and made it to the finish line. No one can take this moment from us.”
I’ll be at the premiere screening at 7;15pm tonight, and the afterparty at Crimson (corner of 21st St and Broadway) which kicks off at 10:30pm. You’ll need your ticket stub or receipt for free entry to the club and VIP area before 12am. Tickets to all New York showtimes are available through Fandango! http://supercapitalist.net/
In addition to premiere night, Derek Ting (Producer, Writer, Lead Actor), Joyce Yung (Producer), David Hou (Associate Producer), Emeline Rodelas (Associate Producer) and additional cast/crew will be available for Q&A’s at the following screenings:
- Saturday 4:15pm
- Saturday 7:15pm
- Sunday 4:15pm
Founded in 1985, the Screen Actors Guild Foundation is an educational, humanitarian and philanthropic 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The mission of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation is to enhance the lives of actors by investing in programs which help them in their professional endeavors and the communities in which they live. Their programs reflect the concerns and interests of SAG-AFTRA members as well as their desire to “give back” to their communities. The SAG Foundation is independent from SAG-AFTRA but offers substantive services to SAG-AFTRA members, free of charge. The Foundation relies solely on the support from grants, corporate sponsorships, bequests and individual contributions to maintain our programs and create new ones. Their mission is to assist, educate and inspire actors. http://www.sagfoundation.org/userhome/eventdetails/9461
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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
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