Director Bao Tran Discusses His Martial Arts Comedy ‘The Paper Tigers’

The Paper Tigers Kickstarter

‘The Paper Tiger’ is described as a “feel-good” Martial Arts comedy by its highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The plot follows three friends living in Seattle who also happen to be out-of-practice Martial Artists. They are called back to action in a fight for justice, though their opponents are in better shape than they are.
“It was a lot of fun, a lot of hot baths and epson salt and ice bags,” joked director Bao Tran in an interview with Komo News.
“The challenges of having a genuine story with cast full of POC (people of color), I think that was a very difficult thing for a Hollywood studio to wrap their head around, because they don’t have movies with POC leads that point to successes,” Tran opined. “There is a bit of systemic issue going around, and that’s why we kept hitting our heads against the wall and trying to get the movie made.”
Tran explained that he was inspired to film in Seattle as a homage to action star Bruce Lee.
“Seattle, spiritually is always where I wanted to make it, because Bruce Lee landed here, opened a school, went to the UW,” he said. “And the community showed up, we shot all over the city and the ID, and bakeries and restaurants would give us snacks everyday. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Tran used Kickstarter to get the initial funding of the movie. The success of the campaign also helped to bring in private investors to help make the action-comedy. As a result, ‘The Paper Tigers’ will open for a limited theatrical run as well as appearing on digital platforms on May 7th.
The official synopsis says,
“As teenagers, kung fu aficionados Danny (Alain Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan), and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) were inseparable, but drifted apart after graduation due to a mysterious fallout at an overseas tournament. Fast forward 25 years, and each has grown into a washed-up middle-aged man seemingly one kick away from pulling a hamstring—and not at all preoccupied with thoughts of martial arts or childhood best friends. But when their old master is murdered, the trio will reunite after decades of silence, soon learning that avenging their sifu will require conquering old grudges (and a dangerous hitman still armed with ample knee cartilage) if they are to honorably defend his legacy.”
Check out the trailer below:

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Jacob Airey

Jacob Airey is an author, nerd, movie reviewer, and pop culture critic. He started this website in 2012 where he covers a vast variety of topics including film, TV, anime, and faith. He also hosts the YouTube vidcast StudioJake.

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