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1 item from 2015

Women to Watch: Roxanne Messina Captor Writer/Director of the Upcoming Film 'Pearl'

3 August 2015 8:00 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

After many years of a varied theater, dance and film career, Roxanne Messina Captor will be directing her script “Pearl” starring Juliette Binoche along with Leehom Wang (“Blackhat”) and Jing Tian (“Great Wall”). Based upon the life of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck, who was in China during the upheaval of the 1920s. The story follows the “Ten Years Civil War” which took place between the Communists and Nationalists after the Nanking Incident of 1927. Her family escaped Nanking with the help of her family’s nanny and moved to Shanghai. She left China in 1934 and never returned.

Buck won the Pulitzer Prize in 1931 for her novel “The Good Earth,” about the struggle of Chinese farmers, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938, “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces.” She also wrote “Peony” a deeply moving romance about the last Jew in K’aifeng in the province of Hunan.

The 1937 movie “The Good Earth” starred Paul Muni and Luise Rainer, who won an Academy Award for best actress.

During the Beijing Film Festival 2012, writer/ producer/ director Roxanne Messina Captor tied in China Film Group to co-finance and co-produce her project. About 85% of the film will be shot in China.

Binoche, who won an Oscar for “The English Patient,” recently starred in “Clouds of Sils Maria” and will be seen next in Mike Medavoy’s mining rescue drama “The 33″ opposite Antonio Banderas. She’s repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment. Roxanne and the project are also repped by CAA.

Roxanne has also been invited by the Pearl Buck foundation to present her research paper on Buck in the Pearl Buck Symposium to be held in Zhenjiang early September. This is Pearl’s hometown and museum.

Pearl” is scheduled to start production in 2016 in Zhejiang Province, Shanghai and Prague. Vilmos Zsigmond has been attached as the cinematographer.

"I found so many parallels in Pearl's life. At twelve I followed my two professional passions, writing and dancing. Both stayed with me as my career expanded to directing. Pearl and I believe anything can manifest with passion and determination."

A Juilliard Theater School graduate, Roxanne Messina Captor was with Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet, Harkness Ballet, New York Metropolitan Opera Ballet and performed as a guest artist with Rudolph Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. She has performed On and Off Broadway under the direction of Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett, Uta Hagen, Robert Lewis (Yale Repertory Theatre).

As a theatre director and choreographer working in Regional and Off-Broadway theatre. Francis Ford Coppola chose Captor to assist Gene Kelly with the choreography of "One From the Heart." She danced in the films “Cotton Club”, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," "Xanadu" and "Pennies From Heaven. Other film producing and directing include: Emmy-nominated "Home Sweet Homeless”, "A Clean Kill” starring Daniel Benzali, “Her Married Lover” prime time premiere Lifetime Television. "Dead On Sight,” starring Jennifer Beals, and Oscar nominated William H. Macy ("Fargo").

In 2001 she was the Executive Director of the San Francisco International Film Festival and one of the few Americans to moderate a panel at the Havana International Film Festival. She received international recognition and was awarded the prestigious Chevalier du Ordre des Arts and Lettres, Republic of France in 2005. One of the original programming executives who formed Turner Network Television. »

- Sydney Levine

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