Tag Archives: China

Dec. 8: Film Forum Presents Live Virtual Q & A with Hao Wu, Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker of 76 DAYS

On Tuesday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. EST, Film Forum is presenting a live virtual Q & A with Hao Wu, Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker of 76 DAYS. This event is free to the public and will stream live on Film Forum’s YouTube channel. Click here to preorder tickets for 76 DAYS, which premieres December 4 in Film Forum’s Virtual Cinema.

Hao Wu

In 2020, as COVID-19 swept the globe, award-winning documentary filmmaker Hao Wu co-directed a landmark film exploring the outbreak in Wuhan, China. Co-directed by Weixi Chen and Anonymous, Hao Wu’s 76 Days offers glimpses into the entire 76 day lockdown through the eyes of patients and medical workers.

Begun just days after the January 23, 2020 lockdown went into effect in Wuhan, and filmed without Chinese government approval, 76 DAYS is an intimate experience of life (and death) inside 4 Wuhan hospitals in the eye of the storm. The first 10 minutes feel like a Hollywood horror movie: hordes of desperate people storming the hospital, faced by beleaguered medical staff. Chaos, shouting, and tears give way to what becomes the new-normal – as doctors and nurses, clad from head to toe in hazmat suits, exhibit moving comradery with one another and profound compassion for their patients. There’s even humor and pathos as a new baby is born (dubbed “Little Penguin”), a confused elderly patient insists on haunting the hallways looking for a way out, and workers write messages on their outfits, like “Clay Pot Chicken: I miss you.” The Atlantic magazine hails 76 DAYS as “both unwatchable and utterly compelling… unvarnished and raw, a first draft of a history that’s still being written.”

HAO WU (DIRECTOR) Wu’s documentary films have received funding support from The Ford Foundation JustFilms, ITVS, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, NYSCA and international broadcasters. His previous feature documentary, People’s Republic of Desire, about China’s live-streaming phenomenon, won the Grand Jury Award at the 2018 SXSW festival, among many other awards. It has screened at over 40 film festivals worldwide and broadcasted nationally on PBS Independent Lens. The New York Times calls the film “hyper-charged,” while The Los Angeles Times says it’s “invariably surprising and never less than compelling.” His latest short, All in My Family, is a Netflix Original Documentary and launched globally in May 2019. Born and raised in China, Wu now travels between the U.S. and China. From 2008-2011, he was a fellow at New America, a D.C.-based think tank. His writing has appeared on Time.com, Slate.com, Marketplace Radio, Strait Times, China Newsweek, and China Daily. He is a member of the Documentary branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

76 DAYS will be released in over 50 virtual cinemas nationwide (including Film Forum in NY and Laemmle Theaters in LA) beginning Friday, December 4. 

Website

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The CactusThe Language LessonThe Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Q & A with Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Ruby Yang; New Film MY VOICE, MY LIFE screens at #PAAFF15 on Nov. 22 at Asian Arts Initiative

MVML-English-Poster

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Ruby Yang’s newest film, My Voice, My Life, will screen at the Philiadelphia Asian American Film Festival on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015 at  4:30 PM  at the Asian Arts Initiative: 1219 Vine Street, Philadelphia 19107
General Admission: $8
Students (with student ID), Children and Seniors Admission: $6
Seats are limited.
BUY NOW

My Voice, My Life follows an unlikely group of misfit students from four Hong Kong middle and high schools cast in a musical theater performance. From low self-esteem to blindness, each student confronts unique personal challenges in the process of developing his or her character.

This moving and insightful film chronicles the trials and tribulations of this group of underprivileged students as they go through six months of vigorous training to produce a musical. A life-affirming journey of self-discovery and growth, the stories of these young people will challenge every parent, teacher and policymaker to reflect on our way of nurturing the young.

Brought together to sing, dance and act, the students question their own abilities and balk at the spotlight. Teachers and administrators question whether this ragtag band will be able to work together, much less put on a successful musical. But Nick Ho, director of the production, holds onto hope that his tough love approach will unite the students and bring out their inner performers.

MVML_COBY_WONG_MAKEUP.jpg

The L plus H Creations Foundation presents My Voice, My Life in association with the Lee Hysan Foundation. The film is 91 minutes in Cantonese with English subtitles.

Filmmaker Ruby Yang.
Filmmaker Ruby Yang

Ruby took time out of her busy schedule to answers some questions via email from Hong Kong.

Lia: What inspired you to make My Voice, My Life?
Ruby: My first documentary, Citizen Hong Kong, was filmed during the return of Hong Kong (to China) in 1997. I always wanted to do another documentary about the young people in Hong Kong.

In 2013, L Plus H Creations Foundation (a social enterprise that improves the lives of underprivileged youth through art) asked me to make a documentary about their inaugural musical. I saw their first rehearsal and noticed a young man named Tsz Nok. He’s one of four visually impaired students being selected to take part. I was very moved by his singing and later found out that he lost his sight one year ago. I thought it would be a good story about inclusion as well as witnessing the transformative power of arts to build confidence for these marginalized youth.

mvml-bg-1600_FINALPERF.jpg

Lia: What motivates you as an artist and as a filmmaker?
Ruby: Good human stories.

I think all my films are about identity, marginalized groups and social changes affecting people’s lives. If you look at the children being affected by HIV/AIDS or the farmer who studies environmental law to save his village, you see a common thread emerging – the human spirit and it’s about humanity.

Lia: After living in the U.S. for such a long time, what has it been like to be back in Hong Kong?
Ruby: Hong Kong has become quite political in the last couple of years – high pressure and intense. There is a lot of tension between mainland Chinese and Hong Kong born Chinese.

People are media savvy. At the same time they are also bombarded with negative news. My husband and I moved to Beijing in 2004, lived in China for eight years before moving to Hong Kong. It took me a while to adjust to the freedoms in Hong Kong.

Lia: What has it been like working in China? Have there been restrictions or challenges?
Ruby: In Hong Kong, as long as one gets the permission from the person or place to shoot you just shoot – but in China that’s not the case. Even with the person’s permission, you might not be able to continue shooting because you might be touching on a sensitive topic, which can be stopped at any time.

Lia: Which of the subjects in My Voice, My Life do you relate to most?
Ruby: I related to all of them in different ways. They are rebellious, having short attention span, unable to communicate with their parents, lacking self-confidence, feeling excluded … I think we all share that kind of experience.

MVML_GROUP_SING.jpg

Lia: What was it like for you as a young Chinese American female filmmaker early in your career?
Ruby: It was tough. There weren’t many opportunities for Asian Americans in film business. As a foreign born, it was even harder. It was crucial that during the early 80s, CAAM (formerly NAATA), New York Asian CineVision and Visual Communications in L.A. helped champion the voices of Asian Americans in the mainstream media. As Asian Americans, we have traveled a long journey; the struggle is still on going.

Lia: Did you have mentors when you were first honing your craft?
Ruby: Yes, I am blessed with many mentors in my career. That is so important. Now I am mentoring young documentary filmmakers in Hong Kong and China.

Lia: How did winning an Oscar in the Documentary Short category for The Blood of Yingzhou District in 2006 change your life, your career and your outlook on life?
Ruby: As a documentary filmmaker, you always want to be low-key and be professionally invisible. Winning an Oscar proves to be a problem in China. I am no longer invisible.

Lia: How was My Voice, My Life received in Hong Kong?
Ruby: It made about 6 million Hong Kong dollars (about $700,000 U.S.), which makes it one of the few top-grossing documentaries in Hong Kong. There were over 500 screenings booked by high schools and organizations since the release of the film in October 2014. Many local celebrities have endorsed the film, which brought the attention to the issues discussed in the film to the general audience.

Lia: What have been the top three projects that you have worked on and why?
Ruby: The Warriors of Qiugang documents a group of Chinese villagers that organized to put an end to the poisoning of their land and water. Public participation is beginning to take shape in China but Chinese citizens are facing huge battles ahead.

The Blood of Yingzhou District: HIV/AIDS issue was a taboo subject in China when we started our AIDS public awareness work there in 2004. A lot has changed for the better 10 years after.

Citizen Hong Kong, which explored identity issues of Hong Kong born Chinese. Now (Hong Kong’s) political future is very much on the minds of many Hong Kongers.

Lia: Is there a reason that you gravitate toward documentary filmmaking versus narrative filmmaking?
Ruby: I like documentaries because they bring me to different real-life situations. What’s better than just experiencing life and talking to people about their lives?

Lia: What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?
Ruby: Be curious, patient and draw inspiration from life.

Ruby Yang is a noted Chinese American filmmaker whose work in documentary and dramatic film has earned her an Academy Award, two Academy Award nominations and numerous other international awards, including an Emmy, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award and the Global Health Council Media Award.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on November 21st. She is profiled in Examiner.com, FebOne1960.com BlogJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Other Articles:
Hide and Seek starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits screens at the 2015 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF15) in Women’s Shorts Program at Asian Arts Initiative on Nov. 21
World Premiere of PALI ROAD at 2015 Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) on Nov. 16 & 21st
AsAmNews.com: Actor Tzi Ma Rides ‘Hell On Wheels’ to New Heights
Q and A with Jason Tobin, star of Dax Phelan’s JASMINE
Q & A with Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Ruby Yang; New Film MY VOICE, MY LIFE screens at #PAAFF15 on Nov. 22 at Asian Arts Initiative
Ed Moy’s Animated Short UP IN THE CLOUDS has East Coast premiere screening at PAAFF15 on Nov. 20
Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival Announces 8th Annual Festival Lineup
Gotta Dance Star André De Shields receives 2015 Award for Excellence in the Arts from The Theatre School at DePaul University
AsAmNews.com: Partying with George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung, Michael K. Lee and the cast of ‘Allegiance’ on opening night
George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung, Michael K. Lee and more at the first preview of Broadway’s Allegiance; opens Nov. 8
GOTTA DANCE stars André De Shields, Stefanie Powers, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillias White step out for ON YOUR FEET!
Tiger Morse by Mark Shaw: Jet Set Style Quest, 1962, on view at The Liz O’Brien Gallery through Dec. 18
Joel de la Fuente, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rufus Sewell, DJ Qualls and More at ‘The Man in The High Castle’ New York Series Premiere
Darren Criss, Jenna Ushkowitz, Ann Harada, Kristin Chenoweth, Karen Ziemba, Jon Cryer and More celebrate Great Writers at Dramatists Guild Fund’s 2015 Gala
Greg Watanabe makes Broadway Debut as Mike Masaoka in ‘Allegiance’ 
AsAmNews.com: Q & A with Arthur Dong, Award-winning Filmmaker and Author, Gay Icon, Distinguished Professor of Film
Film Lab Screening of ‪#‎72HrSO‬ Films at Time Warner Theater & Panel Discussion of Mass Media Constructions of Beauty 
AsAmNews.com: Creating an Asian American presence on Wikipedia, one WikiAPA Edit-a-thon at a time 
AsAmNews.com: The King and I’s Special Performance Benefits The Actors Fund 
Playbill.com: Hugs, Laughs and Photobombs By Tony Winners! Go Backstage at the Special Actors Fund Performance of The King and I
Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Phylicia Rashad, Andre De Shields & More Original Cast Members from THE WIZ Reunite in Central Park! 
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Cast Reunion featured in BLACK BELT MAGAZINE August/September 2015
Drumhead Magazine: Living Colour Drummer Will Calhoun, Photos by Lia Chang 
AsAmNews.com: AAPI Heritage Month: My Grandmother’s Detention on Angel Island 
Crafting a Career

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachangphotography.com

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachangphotography.com.

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Ruby Yang’s My Voice, My Life set for US Screening Tour in LA, SF and New York, Nov. 1 – 8

MVML-English-Poster

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Ruby Yang’s newest film, My Voice, My Life, follows an unlikely group of misfit students from four Hong Kong middle and high schools cast in a musical theater performance. From low self-esteem to blindness, each student confronts unique personal challenges in the process of developing his or her character.

This moving and insightful film chronicles the trials and tribulations of this group of underprivileged students as they go through six months of vigorous training to produce a musical. A life-affirming journey of self-discovery and growth, the stories of these young people will challenge every parent, teacher and policymaker to reflect on our way of nurturing the young.

Brought together to sing, dance and act, the students question their own abilities and balk at the spotlight. Teachers and administrators question whether this ragtag band will be able to work together, much less put on a successful musical. But Nick Ho, director of the production, holds onto hope that his tough love approach will unite the students and bring out their inner performers.

MVML_COBY_WONG_MAKEUP.jpg

The L plus H Creations Foundation presents My Voice, My Life in association with the Lee Hysan Foundation. 

My Voice, My Life, heads back to US theaters for three weeks beginning October 31 exclusively at the Laemmle Pasadena Playhouse 7. Free admission. Go to http://www.myvoicemylifemovie.com for your tickets now.
This event is supported by Create Hong Kong

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My Voice, My Life, – US Tour starts Nov. 1.

Director Ruby Yang will be joined by one of the subjects of the film, Jason Chow for Q/A in the following special screenings:

LOS ANGELES
Nov. 1, 2015, 3:00 PM – Asian World Film Festival
Nov. 3, 2015, 7:30 PM – Museum of Tolerance

SAN FRANCISCO
Nov. 4, 2015, 7:30 PM – Landmark Embarcadero Cinema

NEW YORK
Nov. 8, 2015, 2:00 PM – Tribeca Screening Room

(Director Yang will not be present at the NY screening, but her Oscar® winning producing partner Thomas Lennon will be joined by Jason Chow for Q/A)

Email mvmlhk@gmail.com to RSVP.

The film is 91 minutes in Cantonese with English subtitles.

PHILADELPHIA- Philiadelphia Asian American Film Festival
Nov. 22, 2015, 4:30 PM – Asian Arts Initiative: 1219 Vine Street, Philadelphia 19107
General Admission: $8
Students (with student ID), Children and Seniors Admission: $6
Seats are limited.
BUY NOW

Filmmaker Ruby Yang.
Filmmaker Ruby Yang

Ruby took time out of her busy schedule to answers some questions via email from Hong Kong.

Lia: What inspired you to make My Voice, My Life?
Ruby: My first documentary, Citizen Hong Kong, was filmed during the return of Hong Kong (to China) in 1997. I always wanted to do another documentary about the young people in Hong Kong.

In 2013, L Plus H Creations Foundation (a social enterprise that improves the lives of underprivileged youth through art) asked me to make a documentary about their inaugural musical. I saw their first rehearsal and noticed a young man named Tsz Nok. He’s one of four visually impaired students being selected to take part. I was very moved by his singing and later found out that he lost his sight one year ago. I thought it would be a good story about inclusion as well as witnessing the transformative power of arts to build confidence for these marginalized youth.

mvml-bg-1600_FINALPERF.jpg

Lia: What motivates you as an artist and as a filmmaker?
Ruby: Good human stories.

I think all my films are about identity, marginalized groups and social changes affecting people’s lives. If you look at the children being affected by HIV/AIDS or the farmer who studies environmental law to save his village, you see a common thread emerging – the human spirit and it’s about humanity.

Lia: After living in the U.S. for such a long time, what has it been like to be back in Hong Kong?
Ruby: Hong Kong has become quite political in the last couple of years – high pressure and intense. There is a lot of tension between mainland Chinese and Hong Kong born Chinese.

People are media savvy. At the same time they are also bombarded with negative news. My husband and I moved to Beijing in 2004, lived in China for eight years before moving to Hong Kong. It took me a while to adjust to the freedoms in Hong Kong.

Lia: What has it been like working in China? Have there been restrictions or challenges?
Ruby: In Hong Kong, as long as one gets the permission from the person or place to shoot you just shoot – but in China that’s not the case. Even with the person’s permission, you might not be able to continue shooting because you might be touching on a sensitive topic, which can be stopped at any time.

Lia: Which of the subjects in My Voice, My Life do you relate to most?
Ruby: I related to all of them in different ways. They are rebellious, having short attention span, unable to communicate with their parents, lacking self-confidence, feeling excluded … I think we all share that kind of experience.

MVML_GROUP_SING.jpg

Lia: What was it like for you as a young Chinese American female filmmaker early in your career?
Ruby: It was tough. There weren’t many opportunities for Asian Americans in film business. As a foreign born, it was even harder. It was crucial that during the early 80s, CAAM (formerly NAATA), New York Asian CineVision and Visual Communications in L.A. helped champion the voices of Asian Americans in the mainstream media. As Asian Americans, we have traveled a long journey; the struggle is still on going.

Lia: Did you have mentors when you were first honing your craft?
Ruby: Yes, I am blessed with many mentors in my career. That is so important. Now I am mentoring young documentary filmmakers in Hong Kong and China.

Lia: How did winning an Oscar in the Documentary Short category for The Blood of Yingzhou District in 2006 change your life, your career and your outlook on life?
Ruby: As a documentary filmmaker, you always want to be low-key and be professionally invisible. Winning an Oscar proves to be a problem in China. I am no longer invisible.

Lia: How was My Voice, My Life received in Hong Kong?
Ruby: It made about 6 million Hong Kong dollars (about $700,000 U.S.), which makes it one of the few top-grossing documentaries in Hong Kong. There were over 500 screenings booked by high schools and organizations since the release of the film in October 2014. Many local celebrities have endorsed the film, which brought the attention to the issues discussed in the film to the general audience.

Lia: What have been the top three projects that you have worked on and why?
Ruby: The Warriors of Qiugang documents a group of Chinese villagers that organized to put an end to the poisoning of their land and water. Public participation is beginning to take shape in China but Chinese citizens are facing huge battles ahead.

The Blood of Yingzhou District: HIV/AIDS issue was a taboo subject in China when we started our AIDS public awareness work there in 2004. A lot has changed for the better 10 years after.

Citizen Hong Kong, which explored identity issues of Hong Kong born Chinese. Now (Hong Kong’s) political future is very much on the minds of many Hong Kongers.

Lia: Is there a reason that you gravitate toward documentary filmmaking versus narrative filmmaking?
Ruby: I like documentaries because they bring me to different real-life situations. What’s better than just experiencing life and talking to people about their lives?

Lia: What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?
Ruby: Be curious, patient and draw inspiration from life.

Ruby Yang is a noted Chinese American filmmaker whose work in documentary and dramatic film has earned her an Academy Award, two Academy Award nominations and numerous other international awards, including an Emmy, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award and the Global Health Council Media Award.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on November 21st. She is profiled in FebOne1960.com Blog, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.