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Finding Yingying: Film Screening & Fireside Chat

December 1 , 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm EST

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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 producerPeng 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.

About The Speakers
Amy Chua
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.

Jenny Shi
is a Chicago-based documentary filmmaker. Her debut documentary Finding Yingying won the Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival. Jenny has also worked on several projects, including the Academy Award-winning documentary American Factory. Jenny is a graduate of Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices In Docs program, a fellow of the Inaugural Women at Sundance Adobe Fellowship, and a DOC NYC “40 Under 40” filmmaker.


Diane Quon
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.


Peng Zhao
is CEO of Citadel Securities
, a leading global market maker active in all major asset classes. Citadel LLC comprises of Citadel Securities and its hedge fund Citadel, which had $32 billion in assets under management last year. One of the early architects of Citadel Securities, Peng joined the firm directly out of graduate school, and became CEO in 2017. Peng earned his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Peking University. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and was a Fortune Magazine “40 Under 40” honoree.


This is a free online event.
Register Here


December 1
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm