#4: Meet NIAN LIU

12 10 2009

Film: “LI TONG”

NIAN LIU, writer, director & producer

When an eight-year-old girl, Li Tong, loses her bus pass one day after school, she begins a journey that will take her across the sprawling city of Beijing, and through a series of encounters with the colorful characters that call it home.

Screening: Sunday Oct. 25th, 2:15pm, Feature Program

Li Tong Poster Still 3

1. Tell us a little about yourself and where you have lived, highlighting any major cultural identities that define, influence or challenge you in your life.

I was born and raised in China. After graduation from a university in Beijing, I went to to study in Copenhagen, Denmark. And upon completion of my study there, I went to Ohio University to study filmmaking. After receiving my degree there, for a few years I worked and lived in New York. Now I’ve relocated back to Beijing.

All the places I lived in have had tremendous influence on me. I really love New York, it has a very supportive cultural environment, but Beijing feels more like home now.

2. How did you come to be a filmmaker, and where/how did you learn the “craft” of filmmaking?

I became a filmmaker after I quit my TV job in New York, but I learned the “craft” of filmmaking by watching lots of films, and also by going to film school.

3. What prompted the idea for your film and how did it evolve?

I wanted to do a film about Beijing and the colorful local characters, and the story of the little girl getting lost in the city fit into our budget plan very nicely.

4. What is your single favorite line from your film?

It’s hard to pick a favorite line. But my favorite moment was when the two children encounter the black man on crutches.

5. What movies would you say have transformed or changed the way you see the world?

The Apu Trilogy.



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