Maria Tran is an Australian-Vietnamese award-winning film director, actor, martial artist, activist & cultural practitioner working across film, performance, and action choreography. With a background in Psychology, filmmaking and working across culturally diverse communities she went on to make international action blockbusters such as "Fist of the Dragon" & "Death Mist" in China and "Tracer" in Vietnam.
In 2016, Tran worked on Jackie Chan's "Bleeding Steel" movie filmed in Sydney before heading on Warner Bros shark movie "MEG' as a stunt performer in New Zealand. She has produced films commissioned by the ABC including Hong Kong police homage "Tiger Cops," JTV's "Downtown Rumble." Maria Tran was nominated and won the Breakout Female Action Star (Feature Film Category) at the 2016 Action on Film International Festival for her role as "Zhen" in Roger Corman's Fist of the Dragon. She is the founder/ managing director for Phoenix Eye Films, a culturally diverse and female-led art and film company based in Western Sydney.
Maria Tran is often described as ground-breaking and trailblazing as a cultural practitioner, she travels between industries, while also maintaining her creative arts practice, to forge a new path for the next generation of creatives from culturally diverse backgrounds. She is often at the frontline of discussions and lobbying in the creative arts sector for CALD communities and developing grassroots initiatives to cultivate the next generation.
Her international film credits as multiple roles (Actor/ Fight Assistant Director) include Hollywood Roger Corman's "Fist of the Dragon" (Nanhai, China) & "Death Mist" (Jiangmen, China) and action blockbuster "Tracer" (Vietnam). She was awarded 2013 Breakout Female Performer at the International Action on Film Festival (Los Angeles) and 2016 Female Action Performer of the Year as director/ producer on female-led action comedy 'Hit Girls.'
In 2015, she was the Screen NSW attachment to Jackie Chan's movie "Bleeding Steel" and went on a road trip to Canberra to film Jackie for her "Quest for Jackie Chan!". In 2018, Maria became the recipient of the Create NSW Western Sydney Arts Fellowship award and established the female-led & culturally diverse Phoenix Eye film company.
In 2021, Australian Documentary Foundation & Shark Island Institute awarded her a grant to make a short documentary, "My Mother, The Action Star." It premiered with Vox Docs and Sydney Morning Herald and was awarded Winner: Best Documentary at the WIFT V-FEST Australia Film Festival.
Maria represented NSW in the 2016 Ones to Watch Program which led to her participation in Screen Forever (Melbourne), state finalist for the 2011 Metroscreen Film Pitching Competition, Winner of Produce Perfect Pitch Program and received a grant to develop "Fury of the Far East."
She was casted in "Fat Pizza: Back In Business" S1 & S2, was a Fight Director/ Performer for Bell Shakespeare's "Macbeth" (showcased at Sydney Opera House & Melbourne Playhouse), worked as an Action Fight Director for Bangladeshi film "Ayotti" and Indigenous horror film "Terror Zone".
She occasionally guests lecture and has done so for Australian National University "Creative Industries, Youth Culture and Identity Politics in Southeast Asia", University of Hong Kong for Dr Gina Marchetti on "Hong Through the Global Lens," featuring Maria's diasporic works that speak out against the stereotyping of Asian women in films. This included Maria's documentary work on "Femme Fatales: Seen and Unheard".
She is currently in post-production for her Asian-centric, Cabramatta based, action thriller feature film "Echo 8" & developing multicultural TV series "Fury of the Far East."
She is also in preparation for her Australia Council funded theatre solo production "Action Star," premiering in October at OzAsia Festival in South Australia. In between lockdowns, she co-facilitates at Acting For Mindfulness, a training program tailored for artists from Asian backgrounds and descent who are navigating the acting & performative industries.