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Finding Yingying: Film Screening & Fireside Chat
What is the experience of being Chinese in America today - especially for young students - in the current geopolitical moment? How can the arts chronicle and humanize these experiences, and mentorship offer solace?
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Yingying Zhang, like so many Chinese students before her, came to the U.S. in search of a bigger life.
The 26-year-old daughter of a factory driver from southern China, Yingying moved to the Midwest for her graduate studies, dreaming of becoming a professor and providing financially for her parents back in China.
Within just weeks of her arriving at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017, Yingying disappears from campus. Yingying is never to be found alive again.
In the documentary Finding Yingying, Chicago-based filmmaker Jiayin “Jenny” Shi follows Yingying’s parents and boyfriend as they arrive in America to search for her. Along the way, the film reveals Yingying’s aching story of hope and mobility, and the tragedy that cuts it short. Jenny – who, as did Peng, attended the same university as Yingying in Beijing – reflects as well on her own story as a Chinese student in the U.S.
On December 1, 2020, from 7:00-9:30pm Eastern, the Serica Initiative will host a Finding Yingying virtual film screening and fireside chat. The documentary has been selected, among others, for the SXSW 2020 Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, and DOC NYC 2020.
What is the experience of being Chinese in America today – especially for young students – in the current geopolitical moment? How can the arts chronicle and humanize these experiences, and mentorship offer solace?
After the screening, join us for a lively fireside discussion with Jiayan “Jenny” Shi, Finding Yingying‘s director, producer, and cinematographer; Diane Quon, Finding Yingying‘s producer; Peng Zhao, CEO of Citadel Securities; and Amy Chua, John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Yale Law School.
They will discuss the making of Finding Yingying; share their respective personal journeys as Chinese students coming to study in America, as a professor who helps champion Asian and female students, and as a producer working to increase Asian-American representation in the arts.
is the John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Professor Chua graduated from Harvard College in 1984 and Harvard Law School in 1987. While at Harvard Law School, Professor Chua was the first Asian-American executive editor of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, Professor Chua practiced for four years with the Wall Street firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, where she worked on international transactions throughout Asia and Latin America. She joined the Yale Law School faculty in 2001. Professor Chua is also the author of World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, as well as her 2011 memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a runaway international bestseller translated into over 30 languages. In 2011, she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
is an Academy Award-nominated producer who worked as a marketing executive for 17 years at NBC and at Paramount Pictures, and is the producer of Finding Yingying. Diane has produced multiple Kartemquin documentaries, including the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated, Peabody and Sundance award-winning film, Minding the Gap directed by Bing Liu; For the Left Hand, along with Chicago Tribune arts critic Howard Reich, and co-directed by Leslie Simmer and Gordon Quinn; and The Dilemma of Desire with Peabody Award-winning director Maria Finitzo. In addition, Diane is developing a fiction film based on the New York Times best-selling book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. She is a 2019 IFP Cannes Producer Fellow and a 2019 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow.