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Sun Li Wins Best Actress, Miniseries

A few months ago I wrote about producer and screenwriter Barry Pearson’s project “Iron Road.” Barry sent updates from the production set while working in China.

Today, I received a dispatch from producer Anne Tait who was in Rome for the screening of “Iron Road.” Here is her personal account.

7/11/2008 | 1:35:15 PM | Subject: Sun Li wins Best Actress, Miniseries, for IRON ROAD at Roma Fiction Fest

We’ve just got word from the Roma Fiction Fest [see below] that SUN LI has won Best Actress, Miniseries, for her lead role of Little Tiger in IRON ROAD. This is a really special achievement because it is her first film in English, after the dozen TV series she has starred in, and her co-lead role with Jet Li in the feature film Fearless. … and a great tribute to David Wu for his inspired directing – of her in particular – and to Barry Pearson and Ray Storey for creating the character of Little Tiger [or piccolo tigre, as it appears in the Italian subtitles].

Sun Li is filming in China right now, and cannot attend the Rome ceremony, and Arnie and I are no longer in Rome. But the Canadian Ambassador to Rome, Alexander Himelfarb, will probably accept the award in her stead. Two members of the Embassy, Yves Pepin, and Enrica Abbate, attended the opening gala screening on Monday, and were very keen on IRON ROAD. It’s now posted on the ‘calendare culturale’ on the Embassy website!

The night after the screening, the Embassy gave a cocktail party for us and for the people from “Guns” so CBC was well represented, and got a lot of kudos. Sudz Sutherland, Jennifer Holness, Lyriq Bent and Greg Smith were all there, along with Arnie Zipursky and Fern, his wife, Luke Macfarlane, our co-lead, and his guest – his mother. The Festival arranged press interviews with Luke, as well as his appearance with us on the “orange carpet”. Luke is a regular on Brothers and Sisters, the ABC series, so did a lot of cross-promotion for IRON ROAD on those interviews too.

IRON ROAD was screened at the gala first night of the Roma FictionFest on Monday. Arnie Zipursky, Executive Producer and I were there, and were warmed by the critical and audience response.

“Pure epic and incredibly compelling” was Pat Ferns’ response [remember Pat from Banff ?] immediately after the screening.

The digibeta print looked stunning, actually better than the HDSR we’d used at the screening for CBC on June 13.

Maybe that’s because it was a full size cinema screen with 5.1 sound so the audience heard everything we got in the mix.

The bad news (how Italian!) was that a transport strike hit Rome, so there was no subway, although a big crowd on the street. But not a full house.

However the public who were there ooed and awed at the right places. It was all subtitled in Italian, and the guy beside me, who was Italian, got all the details.

No question that Sun Li as Little Tiger won everyone’s hearts, and many people were in tears over the love story, including some teen girls sitting beside Arnie.

The after-party on the rooftop of the Castel Sant’ Angelo, which looks out on Rome for 360 degrees, was a swinging party with Helen Mirren as a guest being given a lifetime achievement award. The champagne flowed, and so did the praise for IRON ROAD.

We can build on this for the Canadian airing. Here was a Canadian film partly in Mandarin, with English subtitles, fully translated into Italian – truly internationale!

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ETA:
(Kong here) What we can take from this article:
1) Luke Macfarlane attended the Roma Fiction Fest with his mother.
2) CBC already has a digital copy of Iron Road ready for broadcast.
3) There are press interviews with Luke Macfarlane for Iron Road in Italian (for you Italian fans, please search through your entertainment magazines and newspapers!!!!)
4) Two executive producers also attended the event along with Luke.
5) Damn Fiction Festival goers got to watch the mini-series on a digital projection!!!!