By Melissa Ruggieri
Atlantan Jerry Allen Davis has much to celebrate after the BronzeLens Film Festival last weekend since his entry, “The Shanghai Hotel,” was crowned best overall film and best feature film.
Davis co-produced, directed and wrote the film about Yin Yin, a young woman who buys her way into the U.S. from communist China hoping for a better life for herself and her family. Instead of a job in the technology industry – as she was led to believe before leaving China – Yin Yin is sold into the sex slave trade.
Also among the producers of “Shanghai” is Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino. This summer, Marino told the Miami Herald that while he has no personal ties to the human trafficking issue, he has two adopted daughters from China, which made the story resonate more.
“They are beautiful little girls, and I am not sure it relates at all to the movie, but at the same time there is a special feeling there,” he told the newspaper.
Other winners at BronzeLens include “Kinyarwanda,” for best international film. The movie, which focuses on the 1994 Rwandan genocide, has now won five film festival honors, including at AFI Fest in Los Angeles, Skip City in Japan and Sundance in Park City, Utah.
Atlanta’s Horne Brothers won best documentary for “Start of Dreams,” chronicling life of Atlanta-based director Kenny Leon. Carmen Rodgers’ “It’s Me” claimed the best music video prize.
This was the second year for BronzeLens, which aims to showcase Atlanta as “a center for film and production for people of color.”