|Photo: Carlos Alfonso|
One of the biggest and best things happening right now in the upper East coast is just weeks away from cameras rolling for upcoming martial arts mob comedy, Made In Chinatown. Breakout martial arts star, actor Jose Manuel has joined the cast that has martial arts cinema mainstays Art Camacho and Robert Samuels (H.K.S.A.) pairing up to direct.
The details of Manuel’s role are unknown. He’ll otherwise be among a raft of actors and action talent led by world class Wushu stylist and stuntman Alfred Hsing (Ready Player One, Ip Man 3) debuting a lead acting role. Executive producer Mark Wiley is penning the script that sees Hsing playing Vinny, an underdog Asian American who, with the help of a ragtag group of friends and his Sifu, fights to work his way up the ranks in the Italian mob to win over the girl of his dreams.
Manuel’s career progression began steaming forward by 2012 starring in his native Puerto Rico’s first-ever feature martial arts film, El Testigo (The Witness). His credits also include Jarrod Crooks’ Dispatched (2014) and Indie Guys (2016), and Pema Dhondup’s recently wrapped international martial arts thriller, The Man From Kathmandu. The rising star talent won Bests in both the Short Film Competition and the Blood Sweat And Bones categories at last year’s Urban Action Showcase with online short, Retribution, and his own in-house proof of concept, Uncompromised.
Made In Chinatown also stars Michelle Procida, The Sopranos series vets Tony Sirico, Vincent Pastore and Maureen Van Zandt, Goodfellas and upcoming Brawler co-stars Tony Darrow and Artie Pasquale and celebrated action film notables such as Shaw Bros. legend and Ip Man franchise co-star Lo Meng, Emmy Award-winning action director James Lew (Marvel’s Luke Cage, Big Trouble In Little China, Timecop, The Perfect Weapon) and Hwang Jang Lee (Drunken Master, Magnificent Warriors, No Retreat, No Surrender II: Raging Thunder), as well as Eric Kovaleski and Chuck Zito (The Martial Arts Kid), Shuya Chang (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Snakehead, Revenge of the Green Dragons) and Grandmasters Norman Chin and Wai Hong to name a few.
Tambuli Films is producing with R4 Films’ own Samuels and partner Robert Jefferson.
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Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.