Skip to content

   

Discussion: Turning the Lens on China

Documentary filmmakers Yung Chang, Ellen Perry (Great Wall Across the Yangtze), David Redmon (Mardi Gras: Made in China) and independent film producer Karin Chien talk about the challenges and rewards of filming in the ever-changing landscape of contemporary China.

Up the Yangtze: Yung ChangYung Chang, the director of Up the Yangtze, is a Canadian filmmaker based in Montreal. He has a degree in film production from Montreal's Concordia University and has studied the Meisner acting technique at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. His first documentary film, "Earth to Mouth," produced by the National Film Board of Canada, won praise for its meditation on food production and migrant labor and won awards at the International Film and Video Festival in Columbus, Ohio, and at Montreal's Recontres Internationales du Documentaire.

Up the Yangtze: Karin ChienKarin Chien is an independent film producer based in New York City. Ms. Chien has produced six feature films, including Robot Stories (2002), The Motel (2005) and Undoing (2006). Her films have won more than 50 film festival awards, have premiered at Sundance, have been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and have received international distribution. She is currently in production on the Chinatown Film Project, an inaugural exhibition featuring original work by Wayne Wang and Miguel Arteta for New York's Museum of Chinese in America. She is also launching dGenerate Films, a new venture to bring independent Chinese films to the United States, and a new program with the Center for Asian American Media to mentor up-and-coming Asian American talent.

Up the Yangtze: Ellen PerryEllen Perry is the director of The Fall of Fujimori (POV 2006) which premiered at Sundance in 2005 and began its theatrical release in 2006 at Film Forum in New York. It won awards in North America and Europe, was nominated by the Writers Guild for Best Documentary Screenplay and was an official selection at more than 40 film festivals worldwide. Perry's first feature documentary, Great Wall Across the Yangtze, aired nationally on PBS in 2000. The critically acclaimed film tells the story of the Three Gorges Dam under construction in China. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film was four years in the making and was secretly shot without government permission.

Up the Yangtze: David Redmon David Redmon is a trained visual sociologist as well as a documentary filmmaker. His films include Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005), Kamp Katrina (2007) and Intimidad (2008). Mardi Gras: Made in China was nominated for the Grand Jury award at the Sundance Film Festival. Redmon’s films have received more than 25 awards in various festivals around the world. He recently launched a production and distribution company with Ashley Sabin called Carnivalesque Films.





Talk About This

Share This

[I wanted to make] a movie about tourists on this Yangtze cruise boat — a kind of 'Gosford Park' idea that shows the social hierarchy, the lives above and below the decks. I realized that the people working on the boat were all from the Yangtze area and that many of their families were affected by the dam.”

— Yung Chang, Filmmaker

Upcoming Films