United States, Hong Kong, 2019, 124′
Weaving together footage filmed and broadcasted by little-known Chinese live-streaming anchors, who struggle with real-life face-to-face social interaction because of their identity, disability and social-economic status, this cinematic collage explores how individuals satisfy their cravings for human connection through virtual togetherness, and how these virtual relationships challenge standard definitions of companionship.
Documentary filmmaker and producer. She co-founded Burn The Film with Zhengfan Yang, and they’ve been collaborating as dynamic duo since 2012. Her directorial debut Out of Focus (2014) premiered at Cinéma du Réel (France); her second film Another Year (2016) received the Best Film Award at Visions du Réel (Switzerland), Grand Prize at RIDM Montreal Int’l Documentary Festival, Critic’s Award at Olhar de Cinema (Brazil), and was honored as “Top 10 Films of the Year” in 2016 by24 Images magazine (Canada). Her third film Present.Perfect (2019) premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and received the Tiger Award. Zhu has also served as producer for Yang’s films including Distant (2013, Locarno), Where Are You Going (2016, IFFR) and Down There (2018, short, Venice).