SUNY Polytechnic Institute has announced that following a months-long global search for a qualified candidate, Huayu Xu G'00, a film industry veteran with international experience and strong ties to Syracuse, will manage and promote the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries (CNY Film Hub.) Leveraging the industry-leading Upstate New York film tax credit, the Film Hub is a critical part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ongoing economic development and job creation strategy for Central New York.
Xu has an extensive track record of film and television production as well as studio management in the United States and China. His work has been honored or nominated with numerous awards, including Best Cinematography at the 9th Annual Syracuse International Film Festival.
“Every production that utilizes our state-of-the-art film studio is good for our businesses, creates jobs and excitement in our communities, and grows the prestige of Central New York’s burgeoning film industry,” says Senator John DeFrancisco. “Having a dedicated staffer – and one of Huayu Xu’s experience and talent – continues the momentum that has been built thus far. I commend SUNY Polytechnic Institute on its selection and will continue my support and advocacy of this facility in the New York State Senate. I offer my sincere congratulations to Huayu Xu as he joins our exciting partnership and I look forward to working with the many stakeholders in Central New York to ensure the success of the Film Hub.”
“With more productions in the pipeline and a burgeoning film community in Central New York, we are pleased to welcome back one of our own to manage and promote the Film Hub and make Onondaga County and the region a creative destination that drives economic activity and job creation,” says Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. “Huayu Xu’s impressive career, industry connections and hometown knowledge make him an ideal choice to take the Film Hub to next level. Working in tandem with our county film commissioner, we now have the dedicated and well-rounded leadership team that’s needed to make this critical economic development project a resounding success.”
“Governor Cuomo is building a sustainable film industry in Central New York from the ground up, offering a unique and challenging opportunity for the right individual to manage and promote New York’s state-of-the-art production facility,” says SUNY Poly President and CEO Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros. “Huayu Xu’s creative and business expertise coupled with his drive and motivation made him the clear choice and we are honored to welcome him back to New York and to the SUNY Poly team.”
“The film business has been my passion my entire adult life, and I am thrilled to be able to return to Syracuse to continue doing what I love, and working tirelessly to make this film studio a creative and economic success for the region,” says Xu, an alumnus of the master of fine arts (M.F.A.) film program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts' (VPA) Department of Transmedia. “Syracuse is already home to an exceptional film school, an exceptional film festival, and now an exceptional sound stage and production facility. I want to thank Dr. Kaloyeros and the entire SUNY Poly team – I can’t wait to get started!”
Motion pictures utilizing the Film Hub so far include “American Dresser” starring Tom Berenger ("Platoon," "Major League") and Keith David ("Crash," "Something About Mary") and "Pottersville" starring Ron Perlman ("Sons of Anarchy," "Hellboy") and Michael Shannon ("Revolutionary Road," "Boardwalk Empire"). Additional films are finalizing production arrangements and will be announced shortly. Each production generates hundreds of local jobs and injects millions of dollars into the local economy, including hotels, restaurants, caterers and local vendors. Positions filled locally typically include actors, production assistants, stagehands, lighting, set construction, administrative support and student interns. The Film Hub is also the home venue for the annual Syracuse International Film Festival.
“Since earning his M.F.A. at Syracuse University 20 years ago, Huayu has become a successful filmmaker, producing feature films and drama series for Chinese television. I have seen firsthand the respect he garners from his wide sphere of connections, and these relationships will be vital in ensuring the ongoing success of the CNY Movie Hub,” says Owen Shapiro, Shaffer Professor of Film in VPA. “Huayu’s skills go far beyond film production, encompassing all aspects of post-production, including virtual reality filmmaking. He also has great knowledge of the business of filmmaking. With his proven managerial skills and his many connections in China, Los Angeles and New York City, he has the necessary tools to help Central New York move forward in making film production and post-production an economic engine for our region.”
“Film making and daily operations at the CNY Film Hub are about to enter into a new era with the hire of Studio Manager Huayu Xu,” says Syracuse International Film Festival Executive Director Mike Massurin. “Syracuse International Film Festival extends a warm welcome to the new manager. We believe that with his expertise and international connections he will play a key role in helping the CNY Film Hub further grow and become a go-to destination for filmmakers. Since the opening of the CNY Film Hub and the appointment of the Film Commissioner, our region has begun to experience more filmmaking and economic growth. Huayu Xu will build upon this foundation. Syracuse International Film Festival will work closely with him to provide our expertise and connections to help promote our region and the CNY Film Hub as a prime location to make films.”
As studio manager, Xu will be responsible for the marketing and promotion of the Film Hub as well as overseeing the day-to-day operations. He will work closely with the Onondaga County Film Commission, the New York State Film Commission, and Syracuse International Film Festival to recruit diverse productions to the region.
In addition to an M.F.A. from VPA, Xu holds an MBA from Murray State University and a B.A. in stage management from Hofstra. He has taught film and television production at the college level, including at Syracuse University. Most recently, Xu was the managing director of China Radio, Film & Television Programs Exchanging Center, a major Chinese production studio. Xu will begin his new post at the CNY Film Hub on Aug. 1.