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Sherwood Hu, “one of the most exciting and dynamic directors to emerge from China”(Kirt Honycutt, “Hollywood Reporter”). Born and raised in Shanghai surrounded by a creative and artistic family, Sherwood relocated to the US to receive his Masters of Arts degree from New York State University and earned a Ph.D. in directing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also studied at The Public Theater in New York under Joseph Papp, and began his professional career directing theatre, including productions of Rashomon, Constant Prince and The Chairman's Wife.
He created The Legend of Prince Lanling, a lavish stage production which received an Honorable Mention from the Kennedy Arts Center, and which he later adapted into his first feature film. WARRIOR LANLING, an epic ritual film about ancient China. His second feature, LANI LOA, THE PASSAGE was executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola.
Hu went back to China and formed his own company “Hus Entertainment” in 2005, and produced and direct a 40-episode television series PURPLE JADE for China Central Television. He returned to epic costume period film work with PRINCE OF THE HIMALAYAS, his own adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, set in ancient Tibet, and performed entirely in the Tibetan language. The film received Best Film Award from Calabria International Film Festival in Italy along with other awards in several film festivals, including Best Direction in Monaco Film Festival. His new TV series FIGHTING PEKING was aired during the Chinese Spring Festival of 2009 at BTV, and was rated #1 TV show of the nation. Hu made his first Chinese/English language film " Amazingi" in the fall of 2010.
Sherwood continues to pursue his passion for the stage with A.R. Gurney's Sylvia; Jean-Paul Sartre's Dirty Hands; and a modern ballet SHAKESPEARE AND HIS WOMEN. Sherwood adapted PRINCE OF THE HIMALAYAS for the stage in Shanghai and, after a successful run, the play was selected for The 9th Shanghai International Arts Festival. His most recent stage production “Myth of the Third Pole” opened to the sold-out audiences in the Spring of 2009, and was called “an instant classic’ praised by theater experts.
Between his film and theatre projects, Mr. Hu also finds the time to be a guest professor at the Shanghai Drama Academy where he supervises and mentors graduate students. Honored with the title of “Eastern Scholar” a distinguished professor. He is invited by Shanghai TV station “Art and Culture” channel hosting the only Film Critique program “Hu on Silver Screen” since 2009. Now he is the artistic director of 2010 World Expo Shanghai Pavilion, which is one of the most popular pavilions in the Expo.
Hu studied theatre and film in China and the United States of America. He has a master's degree in theater and film production from State University of New York, and a Ph.D. in directing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also studied under Joseph Papp at New York's Public Theater.
Hu began his professional career directing theatre, including Rashomon, Constant Prince, The Chairman's Wife. He also acted in the lead role of Song Liling in several productions of David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly.
Hu created The Legend of Prince Lanling, a lavish stage production set in ancient China; this received an Honorable Mention from the Kennedy Arts Center. He later adapted this into his first feature film, the epic Warrior Lanling, which was launched at the 1995 Telluride Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival and others.
In 1998, Francis Ford Coppola and Wayne Wang were executive producers of his second feature, one of the first co-productions between American and China. Lani Loa - The Passage was a Hawaiian ghost story/cop movie/spiritual love story, shot in Shanghai and Hawaii, and starred Angus Macfadyen, Ray Bumatai and Chris Tashima. Tashima also starred in his next film, On The Roof (2002), a small indie DV ensemble piece filmed in Pasadena, California.
In 2003, Hu returned to China to direct a 40-episode television series, Purple Jade for China Central Television, and a 30-episode TV series "The War of Peking". He returned to epic costume period film work with Prince of the Himalayas (2007), his own adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, set in ancient Tibet, and performed entirely in the Tibetan language. The film was received numerous awards including best picture, best director and best actor in several international film festivals.
Hu also has continued with theatre work, recently directing stage productions of A.R. Gurney's Sylvia, Jean-Paul Sartre's Dirty Hands and a modern ballet, Shakespeare and His Women, for the 8th Shanghai International Arts Festival (2006), and a stage production of Prince of the Himalayas (2007) for the 9th Shanghai International Arts Festival.
Hu is the president and has served as a professor at the Film and Television school at Shanghai Theater Academy where he supervises and mentors graduate students.
- Hu is sometimes credited as Sherwood X. Hu.
- He has a sister who is an actress and a brother who is also a filmmaker.