Film Synopsis (short)

Of Anna And Dreams is a visual journey into the dreams of Anna May Wong (1905-61), the first Asian-American actress to earn a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Anna defied cultural and legal barriers to achieve international success and was a true pioneer of her time. This film is a modern, artistic interpretation of three dreams exploring three themes in her life: Fear, Identity Complex and Lust for Love.

Film Synopsis (medium)

Anna May Wong lived in a Hollywood world mixed with reality and the surreal. Of Anna And Dreams is composed of three dream sequences, symbolic interpretations depicting aspects of her life and her love story. Anna May Wong once said: “I die a thousand times” which describes how vulnerable she was on screen as an actress with an Asian face. Dream sequence 1, in which she is haunted by an ominous, monstrous figure in an industrial setting, is a nightmare exploring her fears.  Dream 2 focuses on the confusion of her own identity and her frustration with the anti-Chinese laws and prejudices of the era*; Dream 3 depicts Anna May Wong's joy of acting in the movie 'Piccadilly (1929)' and a poetic presentation of her tragic romance with a Caucasian man named Eric Maschwitz.

*Note: The Chinese Exclusion Act prevented Chinese immigration and lead to intense anti-Chinese discrimination in America (1882-1943). Chinese in California were forbidden, by law, to marry whites until 1948 when the law was repealed.

Director Statement

The daughter of a humble Chinese laundry-man, Anna May Wong rose to become the most famous Asian American movie actress in the world, Incredibly courageous, she endured many hardships to achieve her success in the 1920s and 30s – arguably the most racially discriminative time in Hollywood. Even to this day, there has been no other Asian actress to rival her acclaim. While many documentaries have been made to honor Anna may Wong, Of Anna And Dreams tells the story with more artistic color, from an internal perspective. It is a film is about Anna May Wong and beyond, about her internal motivations, her emotional life.

After months of research I identified three themes that represent her struggles. I chose to create her surreal dreams in contemporary times to demonstrate that her struggles could be universal. i wanted to pay tribute to all women who are fighting against stereotypes in a prejudicial society.

While Anna May Wong was a true pioneer, I do not want my message to be misconstrued as being merely political.  She was also an incredibly beautiful and graceful woman, and it is her inner contradictions that make her even more beautiful.  She is a sexy fighter. She is a fearful pioneer. She is a true romantic during an era of forbidden love. For these reasons, I chose to depict her story in a more symbolic and romantic way. Anna May Wong is a mix of East and West, vulnerable and strong, modern and ancient. It is this complicated identity that makes her so sympathetic and so real. It is through her surreal dreams that I hope to make her spirit live.

Let us enjoy Anna May Wong in our own way,

and let our imagination grow!

O Zhang

                                                             World Premiere:

                            The Royal Opera House in London at 7:30pm on March 30th and 31st                


  as part of the multi-media project “Piccadilly Revisited” :

                                                  New York crews and friends screening:

           8:30pm on April 3, 2010, Bennett Media Studio, 723 Washington Street, New York, 10014

                                                            North America Premiere:

Of Anna and Dreams at New Asian Film Festival Vancouver (Canada) May 29th 2010, Saturday 4:45pm




Written, Directed and Produced by

O  Zhang

Produced by

Jonathan Hsu

Director of Photography

Jack Lam


Anna May Wong- Chantal Thuy

Anna May Wong’s lover- Klemen Novak

Shadow Monster- Michele Hirsig

Laughing Mask #1- Klemen Novak

Laughing Mask #2- Michele Hirsig

Laughing Mask #3- Christine Hung

Turtle – Fred


Production Manager- Jonathan Hsu

1st Assistant Director- Xiao Li Tan

1st Assistant Camera- Tinx Chan

Gaffer- Jordan T. Parrott

Grip- Alfonso Ponton

Swing- Justin Coco

Swing- Alex Keipper

Art Director- O Zhang

Assistant art director - Emmeline Wilks-Dupoise

Props Person - Peter Garfield

Props Person - Jeremy Hersch

Casting Director - Shan Ng

Location Scout - Peter Garfield

Location Scout - Darcy Schlitt

Producer Assistant- Michelle Hirsig

Makeup Artist- Angelique Velez

Hair Stylist- Jillian Moschitto

Editor - Xiao Li Tan

Music composer -  Ed Bennett

Colorist – Lee Eaton

Computer Supervisor -  George Argento

Set Photographer  - Cynthia Chung

Set Photographer - Samantha Chan

check out Of Anna And Dreams fan page for the latest screening:!/pages/OF-ANNA-AND-DREAMS/110159415676484?ref=mf


check out Cynthia’s website for more photos:

                       most photos on this page are taken by Cynthia Chung for short film “Of Anna And Dreams”

                                                                    last photo is taken by Ed Bennett

              The project is commissioned by Chinatown Arts Space, funded by Arts Council England, United Kingdom

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