American director Dennie Gordon has done something so unusual that her 24-year-old son calls her a "crazy dame".
The 50-year-old is the first female director from the United States to make a Chinese-language film. She has teamed up with Zhang Ziyi, star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, to make My Lucky Star, a romantic-comedy set to premiere in China on Sept 17.
Gordon directed episodes of TV comedies 30 Rock and The Office and feature films including What a Girl Wants and Joe Dirt before meeting Song Ge, a producer of Zhang's 2009 film, Sophie's Revenge.
They talked about making a film in China, the fastest-growing film market in the world. Zhang joined the project later.
"My son is also a filmmaker and he said to me, you are one crazy dame," she laughs.
"But I love crazy challenges and everybody wants to know what the Chinese market is really like. There is this huge audience here and at the same time, it is so unpredictable and incredibly powerful."
The film follows Sophie, an audacious Beijing girl, as she travels to Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore, where she becomes involved in a weapons deal and romance with a handsome government agent played by Taiwan singer Leehom Wang.
The script was written in English and translated into Chinese, with two Chinese writers and Gordon and Zhang in cooperation.
Gordon is confident the film will resonate with young Chinese women, her target audience.
"China is in exciting development stage and women are much freer to make their own choices," she says.