Dayyan Eng, known as Wu Shixian in China (Chinese: 伍仕贤; pinyin: Wǔ Shìxían) (Born in Taiwan in 1975), is a Chinese-American filmmaker. He studied film arts at the University of Washington and transferred to the Beijing Film Academy, where he finished his undergraduate studies in directing.
In 2001, he wrote and directed Bus 44 (Chinese: 车四十四; pinyin: Chē Sì Shí Sì) starring Chinese film star Gong Beibi. The film premiered and won awards at the 2001 Venice Film Festival and 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and was invited to 2002 Cannes Film Festival "Directors' Fortnight" - becoming the first Chinese short film to be invited in all three festivals' history. The film was covered extensively in the Chinese media and was critically acclaimed in both China and Europe and gained TV and theatrical distribution in territories worldwide.
In 2005, Eng wrote and directed a Chinese independent feature film Waiting Alone (Chinese: 独自等待; pinyin: Dú Zì Děng Dài), starring an ensemble cast of Chinese stars including Xia Yu, Gong Beibi, Li Bingbing, and featuring cameos from some of Asia's most well-known actors including Chow Yun-fat. The film has been called one of 2005 "best films" by over 50 media. Waiting Alone became a hit after its September 2005 domestic China wide-release, and went on to receive 3 nominations (including Best Picture) at the Chinese Academy Awards (Golden Rooster Awards) -- the first ever in the history of the awards by a foreign director. The film remains the highest-rated romantic comedy in China on Douban and other review sites.
Eng was invited, in 2007, to direct the first-ever opening short for the Chinese academy awards. He got some of Asia’s biggest stars, Ziyi Zhang, Liu Ye and Ge You, to spoof the action-movie genre in a humorous send-up on national TV in China.
In 2011, Eng wrote, directed, and produced Inseparable starring Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey, Daniel Wu, Gong Beibi, Yan Ni, and Peter Stormare. The quirky psychological suspense/dramedy debuted at the Busan International Film Festival in 2011 to positive reviews and was released in China in May 2012. Inseparable was named as one of The Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 Most Notable Asian Films of the Year.
In 2015, Eng was invited to be on the five-member jury of the prestigious China Film Director's Guild Awards.
In 2017, Eng returned to his comedy roots with an indie film (co-written by Justin Malen) Wished (Chinese: 反转人生; Pinyin: Fan Zhuan Ren Sheng), which debuted in third place at the Chinese box office (behind Transformers 5 and a Chinese action film). It went on to beat market expectations and gross an estimated RMB$70 million. The fantasy-comedy had the highest audience scores (averaging 8.0/10) for live-action comedies released that summer, and gained a total of 100,000,000 paid views across the top three online movie platforms in just over two weeks in China. Wished stars Xia Yu, Yan Ni, K-pop star Victoria Song along with cameos from China’s biggest names including Daniel Wu, Wang Baoqiang, Bao Bei'er et al. Wished went on to win a Golden Angel Award at the 2017 Chinese American Film Festival, and Best Fantasy Film and Best Director awards (in addition to wins in several other major categories, including Best Actor/Actress, Best Editing, Best VFX) at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Awards and New York Film Awards. It was an official selection at the 37th Hawaii International Film Festival.
As Writer, Director, Producer, Editor:
- Wished (Chinese: 反转人生; Pinyin: Fan Zhuan Ren Sheng) (2017)
- Inseparable (Chinese: 形影不离; Pinyin: Xing Ying Bu Li) (2011)
- Waiting Alone (Chinese: 独自等待; Pinyin: Dú Zì Děng Dài) (2005)
- Bus 44 (Chinese: 车四十四; Pinyin: Che Si Shi Si) (2001)
- 2018: New York Film Awards - Best Picture (Wished)
- 2018: Los Angeles Film Awards - Best Fantasy Film (Wished)
- 2018: Los Angeles Film Awards - Best Director Award (Wished)
- 2018: NYC Indie Film Awards - Best Director Award (Wished)
- 2017: London Independent Film Awards - Best Editing Award (Wished)
- 2017: Chinese American Film Festival - Golden Angel Film Award (Wished)
- 2013: Chinese American Film Festival - Best US-China Co-Production Film Award (Inseparable)
- 2005: Golden Rooster Award - Best Picture Nomination (Waiting Alone)
- 2005: Beijing Film Festival - Best First Feature Award (Waiting Alone)
- 2001: Venice Film Festival - Special Jury Award (Bus 44)
- 2002: Sundance Film Festival - Jury Honorable Mention (Bus 44)
- 2002: Cannes Film Festival - Directors' Fortnight (Bus 44)
- 2002: Florida Film Festival - Grand Jury Award (Bus 44)