Jia Li and Yiwei Chen
Join the Council on East Asian Studies, and filmmmakers Jia Li and Yiwei Chen for two short documentary film screenings and a conversation.
To Knock or Call (2023) Synopsis:
“A thoughtful person performs a job that many people don’t think very much of.
Zhang Sai, an essential worker during the early days of the pandemic in Wuhan, reflects on work, resilience, and devotion.”
Noodle School (2018) Synopsis:
“At the Gansu Dingle Noodle School in Lanzhou, China, many have traveled to learn the art of making hand-pulled noodles. Ten students from different walks of life try to master the craft with hopes of changing their fortunes.”
Jia Li is a documentary cinematographer, director, and editor based in NYC. Her background in studio art, journalism, and interaction science has led to a wide-ranging documentary pursuit spanning art, global geopolitical tides, and telling the complex stories of migration and identity. A close collaborator of documentary directors and journalists, she brings a sensitive, intimate lens to stories of women, people of color, and spaces where cultures overlap. She has contributed to independent features such as One Child Nation, Hidden Letters, and Leftover Women. She is the Director of Photography for the HBO show Take Out with Lisa Ling, the Quartz show “Because China”, and also shoots for long-format shows on CBS, Hulu originals, ABC, Vice, and others. Her work for TOPIC studios and Retroreport has won Edward R. Murrow, Ellies, and Webby awards. Jia is a founding member of cross-cultural documentary collective HiLo.
With 8 years of experience in the documentary field and a passion for storytelling, Yiwei Chen has worked as a director and editor, dividing her time between China and the US. Drawing upon her awareness of pressing social issues, her works cover Asia and contemporary voices across the world. Having engaged with a wide variety of subjects where culture overlaps, her expertise lies in crafting character-driven narratives often enriched by journalistic insights.