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Project of the Day: ‘Duke Riley Goes to China’

Project of the Day: 'Duke Riley Goes to China'

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

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Tweetable Logline: Rebel artist Duke Riley embarks on an epic journey to China to reenact a legendary race among 12 animals that determined the Chinese zodiac.

Elevator Pitch: 5,000 years ago in China, the Jade Emperor held a boat race amongst twelve animals that determined the order of time. This became the Chinese zodiac. The rat won – but cheated. 5,000 years later, Duke Riley is among 15 artists selected as “cultural ambassadors” by the US State Department and is assigned to China. His mission is to create an art project that engages local community. In the spirit of fairness, Duke proposes a rematch of the legendary race. Complete with live animals, local school children and embroiderers, Duke’s art engages a most unusual form of diplomacy.

Production Team: 

Director/Producer – Kim A. Snyder (“Welcome to Shelbyville” “One Bridge to the Next” “Crossing Midnight”)
Executive Producer – Kim Brizzolara
1st DP – Naiti Gamez (“Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart” “Lucky”)
2nd DP – Sun Shaoguang (“China Heavyweight” “Last Train Home”)
Editor – Langdon Price (“Salinger”)

About the film: In 2012, I departed with Duke to document his journey to China on a Quixote-esque quest. Surprisingly, the State Department chose Duke to serve as cultural ambassador (in 2007, Duke was mistaken as a terrorist when he submerged a revolutionary war-style submarine on the East River as part of his art project “After the Battle of Brooklyn”). Despite Duke’s wild process, his art offers deep food for thought: unlikely methods of diplomacy; the nature of performance art; changing perceptions in small town China; and the subtle message that this might be a time in China when “fairness” allows change.

Current Status: We are in post-production and raising funds to complete the film.

For more information and to support this project: Kickstarter Page 

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