Midland's Got Talent

: Fiction
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Pre-Production


A Chinese young man puts together a Chinese New Year Talent Show in a small Midwestern town in the US in order to get his girlfriend back.


Midlands Got Talent is about a Chinese young man who comes to the US and puts together a Chinese New Year Talent Show in order to get his girlfriend back. His pursuit of love takes him on a journey of not only discovering himself in the new land, but also awakening the dreams and passions of many Chinese immigrants in the small Midwestern town.


I wrote the first draft of "Midland's Got Talent" In summer 2010, after Id come back from my first vacation back in China in 5 years. The trip somehow made me reminisce my life in the US since 1999, and think about all the Chinese people I had encountered over the years. I was struck by the irony that although America was a symbol of dream and freedom to most of us, those who did immigrate often gave up their passions and chose a life of stability. This is ultimately a story about how a young immigrant, who refuses to compromise his priorities, comes to terms with the reality of living in America and, finally, finds his own way of taking charge of his new life. Its a story thats held dear within me as well as every new immigrant in America, regardless of race or nationality. Its a story that, albeit comical and entertaining, confronts the stereotypes and reflects on an unseen aspect of the immigrant life. Its a story that gives us hope, and reminds us that no matter where we live, the true happiness lies within ourselves.


Z. Eric Yang - Writer/Director

 Z. Eric Yang was born in Shanghai, China. He attended the College of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts at Florida State University. His MFA thesis film, The State of Sunshine, earned him a Director’s Guild of America’s Best Asian Student Filmmaker Award and a Student Academy Award. In 2009 he wrote and directed another short film The Darkroom, which has since screened at numerous film festivals across the country. Most recently, he received an Annenberg Feature Film Fellow Grant from the Sundance Institute for his feature screenplay Midland’s Got Talent.
Yang’s unique upbringing and life experiences have given him the extraordinary ability and compassion to find humanity and dignity in people from all walks of life, and elevate their stories to an emotional level. He brings to the table a poignant and funny look into both the American and Chinese cultures that Hollywood has yet to tap into on a serious level.

Patrick Cunningham - Producer

 Patrick Cunningham has been an entertainment consultant and producer for the past 15 years. As a producer he's worked closely with Mathew Perry, Will Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, Juliett Lewis, Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, and many others. Films that he's worked on have grossed over a billion dollars in revenue, as well as awards in over a dozen different countries. In China his last two projects topped the box office (DuLaLa with Xu Jing Lei and Gasp) and created a template for how to cooperate with Chinese filmmakers.
Patrick’s film, Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene not only competed in Sundance but won for Best Directing. Additionally, he has competed at The Cannes Film Festival. Cunningham has produced over 30 songs with platinum selling artists, all with a diverse artistic background. His passion for collaborating with international artists is evidenced by the constantly groundbreaking works they continue to create together. As a consultant he was responsible for the ground-breaking two hundred and fifty million dollar purchase of Live Entertainment (Artisan Ent. later). He remains a Sundance Festival Consultant and has been based at Paramount Pictures for the past 10 years.

Steven Adams - Producer

As VFX Executive Producer, Steven’s projects include Kenneth Branagh’s Thor for Marvel Studios, James Cameron's Avatar, Green Lantern, Green Hornet, Monte Carlo, Machine Gun Preacher, The Darkest Hour, Stephen Somers's Odd Thomas, Knowing, Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, and Ang Lee's Life of Pi. Steven also produced A Huey P. Newton Story directed by Academy Award nominee Spike Lee.
Adams recently Executive produced Dead Souls, distributed by Universal this fall with a later broadcast on NBC/Universal's Chiller Network, now in 40 million US homes. Adams is co-producing the web series DRONE with Executive Producer Justin Lin (Fast and Furious). As President of FilmPro Finance Events and Conferences, Adams worked with film finance based clients including the Atlas Film & TV Finance Summit, Film Production Capital and various film commissions. Steven is a member of the Producers Guild of America.

Phillip James Sieb - Producer

 In less than half a decade Phillip has gone from aspiring filmmaker to producer of over twenty-five projects, including three seasons of the hit indie drama series Quarter Life, as well as documentaries like I Am the Bullet, Story Spinners, and Lost Wax/Found History. A graduate of the Film and Video program at Grand Valley State University, Phillip went on to become the Station Manager at Caledonia Cable, a television station just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he created and produced three original recurring series for the channel, in addition to a wide variety of sports, news, and local event programming. He has also produced video segments for the City of Grand Rapids.
A natural born storyteller himself, having written numerous screenplays that have been produced or are in currently in production, Phillip possesses the unique abilities to understand the fusion between art and practicality, which is highly necessary in this ever-shifting independent media landscape. He is a co-founder of Flatfish Pictures International.

Erik Sords - Producer/Actor

 Erik Sords is an actor-producer out of Cleveland, Ohio. Sords started acting at University School and continued his training at Syracuse University in New York. Sords has acted off-Broadway and in many indie films. Additionally, he has worked in the international distribution and sale of feature films and has garnered a reputation for being one of the most up to date individuals on changes within the Chinese cinematic market and Sino-co-production strategy. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has formed close relationships with production and distribution companies in Beijing. He has also formed close ties with government officials within the Chinese Bureaucracy of Television Radio and Film. In Hollywood he represents one of the largest privately owned Beijing production companies, Hai Run Pictures. Sords is the founder of Flatfish Pictures International.


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