2017 LACFF Jury
Chinese writer, screenwriter, and director. Xue is an Associate Professor in Literature at the Beijing Film Academy, a member of the Chinese Writers Association, and the Vice President of the Beijing Film Association. Xue has written about 20 scripts for film and TV. In 2001, her film Together, was nominated for the Hong Kong Film Awards, Golden Rooster, and the Hundred Flowers Film Festival among other awards. In 2002, her TV series Don’t talk to Strangers became an audience favorite. Since then, her works have won the China Film Award, China Flying Apsaras Award, Golden Falcon Awards and Writers Guild of America Award to name a few. In 2010, her feature film directing debut, Ocean Heaven, won in the best new director category in the Film Channel Media Awards. In 2013 she wrote and directed Finding Mr. Right, which was nominated by the China Film Directors' Guild and the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards for best script. In 2016, the movie Finding Mr. Right 2 garnered her the top box office spot for a female director on a single film.
Film historian, author, scholar, and critic. Zhang’s main scholarly interests include Chinese-language film history in its cultural, aesthetic, political and gendered manifestations, within the broad frameworks of modernity, modernism and cosmopolitanism. She is known for her scholarly works including An Amorous History of the Silver Screen: Shanghai Cinema 1896-1937 and The Urban Generation: Chinese Cinema and Society at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century. In addition to programing the biannual Reel China Documentary Festival, she has also co-organized and guest-curated film programs for the Film Society at the Lincoln Center of Performing Arts, and the Women Make Waves Film Festival in Taipei.
Academy Award winning producer and director, Broadway producer, media advisor, and entertainment financial consultant. Jonathan received a Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, The Screen Actors Guild, The Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and The Television Academy of Arts & Sciences. Sanger is acclaimed for his work as a producer of The Elephant Man, Frances, Without Limits, Vanilla Sky, Suspect Zero and Paraiso Travel. To date, his films have received three Academy Awards, 21 Academy Award nominations, a British Academy of Film Award, and a French Cesar Award. Ever leveraging his industry expertise in new projects, he founded Chanticleer Films and is known for creating The Discovery Program which has produced forty-two short films, including several Academy Award winning and internationally acclaimed shorts.
Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at SUNY Purchase. Zhang received her PhD from the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. She specializes in film sound theory, Chinese-language cinema and opera, cinema and travel/mobility, ruins in cinema, as well as film and urbanism. Zhang, who has experience as a documentary filmmaker herself, is also an established Chinese film critic with a published collection of reviews and essays in Chinese. She has published academic articles on a range of topics including 1930s Chinese cinema and film theory, contemporary Chinese independent documentary, Taiwan New Cinema, socialist road movies, and Chinese opera films. Her works have featured across international publication such as the Film Quarterly, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, Film Art (mainland China) and Film Appreciation (Taiwan), among others.
UCLA Professor and renowned literary translator. Michael Berry earned a doctorate in contemporary Chinese literature and Chinese cinema from Columbia University and is currently a professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. He has made notable achievements in the study of literature, film and popular culture in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and other sinophone communities. He is the author of such celebrated works as Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers, A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film, and Jia Zhang-ke’s Hometown Trilogy. Berry has acted as jury member for a number of top festivals including the Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan, and the Hong Kong Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival. Also a notable translator, he has been trusted with the English translations of many important Chinese contemporary literary works including Remains of Life (2017) by Wu He. He has also written columns for "Beijing News" and the "China Film Directors Association."
Professor at the California Institute of the Arts, Film Critic, Author, and Curator. In the late 1980s Bernice Reynaud developed an interest in Chinese cinema and traveled extensively to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan before becoming an advocate for Chinese Cinema in the West. As a critic her main areas of expertise have been American independent/experimental film; films by women; Chinese cinema; and African cinema. She has been a regular collaborator of Cahiers du cinéma since the mid-1980s, and has published articles in Sight & Sound, Screen (UK), Film Comment, Afterimage, and The Independent (USA), among many others. As a curator she has organized film and video exhibitions for Artists Space, The Collective for Living Cinema, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Festival d'Automne, and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris). She has curated or co-curated programs for world-class festivals including the Montréal World Film Festival ( Canada ), San Sebastian International Film Festival ( Spain ) and the Viennale International Film Festival (Austria/Europe).
Professor of political science at USC specializing in Chinese politics and society. He studied Chinese in Taiwan and Hong Kong and has traveled to mainland China over 50 times in the last 37 years. His courses range from Chinese politics and Chinese film to political change in Asia, East Asian societies, comparative politics, and politics and film in comparative perspective. The author or editor of eight books and many articles, he has written on such topics as the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese legal system, public opinion, youth, gender, human rights, Sino-American relations, and film and the media. Additional ongoing projects include a study of the changing attitudes and behavior of Chinese youth, and a study of Hollywood films in China and the prospects for Chinese films on the international market, particularly in the United States. He is an affiliated research scholar at Beijing Normal University’s Research Institute for Chinese Culture and International Communications and a member of the international advisory board of Shanghai University’s Center for Media Studies and the Humanities Studies Center of Zhongshan University (Taiwan). He has consulted for the United States Information Agency, the Los Angeles Public Defenders Office and a number of private corporations, law firms and U.S. government agencies.
Ms. Chuo started her career in development and acquisitions at The Samuel Goldwyn Company collaborating with internationally renowned directors such as Zhang Yimou. Her other positions held include head of Business Development at DNA Studios, where she developed new media strategies for such companies as Miramax Films, Focus Features, and Elektra Records, Atlantic Records. She also has worked Artisan Entertainment (now Lions Gate) and later moved to Paramount as VP of Worldwide Acquisitions & Co-Productions. More recently, Monica created “On The Menu,” a food competition reality show. She partnered with Mark Burnett and the series premiered on TNT.
Shu Kei or Kenneth Ip is a Hong Kong film director and screenwriter active during the 1980s and 1990s. A graduate of The University of Hong Kong, he is best known for the 1990 film Sunless Days, a documentary exploring the Tiananmen Square massacre and its influence on the people of Hong Kong in the days preceding the 1997 handover of the city to the People's Republic of China. The documentary received an OCIC Award at the 1990 Berlin International Film Festival. Shu Kei is the Dean of Film and Television at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
An award-winning Hollywood producer with deep roots in China, Janet Yang has worked with some of the most formidable directors and actors in the world. She came to prominence through her collaboration with Steven Spielberg on Empire of the Sun (Warner Bros). That led to a long partnership with multiple Academy Award-winner Oliver Stone—where she served as Executive Producer on the iconic and pioneering The Joy Luck Club (Disney), and as a Producer on the Golden Globe-winning The People vs. Larry Flynt (Columbia Pictures), directed by Milos Forman and starring Woody Harrelson and Ed Norton. Yang has been named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood” by The Hollywood Reporter. Yang began her career by running the first distribution company to market Chinese films into North America, including works by celebrated directors such as Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou. She was also instrumental in the reintroduction of American cinema to the Chinese marketplace, successfully representing several studios in brokering the first sale of Hollywood movies to China after a decades-long hiatus.