Filmmaker Stephen Maing to visit Hunter, screen documentary on Chinese journalists
Filmmaker Stephen Maing will visit Hunter College in May to screen and discuss High Tech, Low Life, his documentary about the rise and struggles of two Chinese "citizen journalists."
"High Tech, Low Life follows the journey of two of China's first citizen reporters as they travel the country - chronicling underreported news and social issues stories. Armed with laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras, they develop skills as independent one-man news stations while learning to navigate China's evolving censorship regulations and avoiding the risk of political persecution.
The film follows 57-year-old "Tiger Temple," who earns the title of China's first citizen reporter after he impulsively documents an unfolding murder, and 27 year-old "Zola" who recognizes the opportunity to increase his fame and future prospects by reporting on sensitive news throughout China.
This observational documentary looks at the motivations and practice of these two unique roving reporters striving to understand the rapidly changing country they live in and their role in it. From the perspective of vastly different generations, Zola and Tiger Temple must both reconcile an evolving sense of individualism, social responsibility, and personal sacrifice. The juxtaposition of Zola's coming-of-age journey from produce vendor to internet celebrity and Tiger Temple's commitment to understanding China's tumultuous past provides an alternate portrait of China and of news-gathering in the 21st century.
Maing is a filmmaker based in New York. He co-produced and edited the documentary 'Lioness' and directed the short film 'Little Hearts.' He is a Fellow of the Sundance Documentary Institute and Independent Feature Project Labs programs, and a grant recipient of the MacArthur Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Independent Television Service. Maing has worked as a director, shooter and editor on various projects and teaches summer classes in documentary film production at the Massachusettes College of Art in Boston."