Nanfu Wang is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York City. Her feature debut Hooligan Sparrow was shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Award for best documentary feature. Since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the film has screened at festivals in over 25 countries including Hot Docs, Sheffield, Full Frame, and Human Rights Watch Film Fest. It opened theatrically across North America and was later released on POV, Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes. It has won over twenty awards internationally including the Best Debut Film at the Cinema Eye Honors and the Truer than Fiction Award at the Independent Spirit Awards. Wang was honored by the International Documentary Association with the 2016 Emerging Filmmaker Award.
Originally from a remote village in China, Wang overcame poverty and lack of access to formal secondary education and went on to earn graduate degrees in communications and documentary film from universities in China and the United States. Wang holds master’s degrees from Shanghai University, Ohio University, and New York University respectively.
Lori Cheatle is the founder of Hard Working Movies, an independent production company in Brooklyn, NY that produces films that are bold, creative and entertaining, with an emphasis on feature length documentaries. Working with a range of talented directors, Lori has produced over 20 award-winning films that have screened at all the top international film festivals, in theaters and on TV around the world. Some films she’s produced include KIKI, directed by Sara Jordeno, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and has received numerous awards, including the Berlin Teddy Award, the Full Frame Human Rights Award, the Outfest Emerging Artist Award and an Independent Spirit Award nomination. KIKI will be released by IFC Films/Sundance Selects in the US and Picturehouse in the UK in early 2017; Seven Songs for A Long Life , directed by Amy Hardie (SXSW 2016, POV) nominated for a Scottish BAFTA Award, CAPTIVATED The Trials of Pamela Smart, (Dir. Jeremiah Zagar) for HBO and Sky Atlantic; three films by Doug Block including the audience favorite 112 Weddings, The Kids Grow Up and the critically acclaimed 51 Birch Street (HBO, ZDF/Arte) which was on several Best of 2006 lists, including The New York Times 10 Best Films of the Year; This Land Is Your Land, which was selected for the Whitney Biennial, The Edge of Dreaming and many others.
Michael Shade is an independent documentary filmmaker. He currently works at Vice Media as a video editor. Shade collaborated with Nanfu Wang on Hooligan Sparrow as a co-producer and additional camera and editor. He used to work as a multimedia specialist at New York University. Prior to that he worked as a freelance video editor for MSNBC and HBO. His work has appeared on Al Jazeera Empire, MSNBC, HBO and The New York Daily News.
Peter Lucas teaches at the New School and NYU. As a filmmaker, he works as a director, creative producer, and producer on shorts and feature-length documentaries. In 2012, he won the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for his film The Amazon Star, a visual travelogue of the Amazon River, currently in post-production. Lucas collaborated with Nanfu Wang on Hooligan Sparrow as a creative producer.