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Chen originally studied at Henan Opera School but was forced to move away from Kaifeng to look for work. He found a job with a performing arts troupe attached to Henan Province's Central Oil Field which allowed him to use the acting, singing dancing and martial arts skills he had learned at the Opera School.At the Oil Field, he sang folk songs and performed modern and ethnic dances which led to an opportunity to take a six month course at the Central University of Nationalities (Zhongyang Minzu Daxue). He returned to the Oil Field to work in a drama team but was pushed to apply to Beijing Film Academy. Chen Daming came to Beijing for an audition, and was accepted after three auditions.Chen did a four year bachelor program at the Film Academy, and then stayed on as an assistant to a professor for two years. During this time he played the lead role in a short film called "Peering from the Moon", a co-production of the Film Academy and the NYU Film School. "Peering from the Moon" was screened at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival.Daming went to the USA for the first time to attend the festival where he met Joel and Ethan Coen, Richard Linklater, and various Hollywood producers who encouraged him to stay in the US and act. At the Sundance festival, he decided two things: to stay in the US, and to write and direct his own films.After a year studying at the University of California Davis, Chen drove his 1971 VW bus to LA, to look for work acting. This was before Jackie Chan and Chow Yunfat made an impression on US audiences and producers. Although Chen speaks fluent English, at the time, his foreign accent made it difficult for him to find work.His break was the lead role in an Italian production called Genghis Khan that featured Charlton Heston. Chen describes the time he spent shooting the movie in Russia and Kyrgizstan as "one of the best experiences in my life." Genghis Khan never made it to the big screen; the producer ran into difficulties and the film was eventually re-edited into an 8 hour mini-series. But the experience Chen gained pushed into him the ranks of employable actors.In the next few years he acted in a TV series, played a Yakuza mob boss in Beverly Hills Ninja, and starred in Foreign Moon, a multi-lingual drama about 3 Chinese immigrants living in London. Foreign Moon won a Golden Horse award in Taiwan. In 1997, he returned to Beijing to play a role in the Sino-American co-production Restless. During production, Daming decided to move back to China and has been living in Beijing since then.Although he still takes the occasional acting job; he recently played the quirky Professor Ho Chung in Michelle Yeoh's new film, "Silverhawk," and is on the small screen as evil lawyer Kang Zhaoming in the popular Chinese serial drama "Farewell Vancouver". Chen's main drive is to write and direct feature films. Manhole is the first of what is expected to be a long string of intelligent and compelling films from this young director.

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