RUBY YANG, Director

Ruby Yang is a noted Chinese American filmmaker whose work in documentary and dramatic film has earned her an Academy Award, two Academy nominations, and numerous other international awards, including an Emmy, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award, and the Global Health Council Media Award. She lives and works in Beijing.

Along with producer Thomas Lennon, Yang founded the Chang Ai Media Project in 2003.  Since then, the organization’s documentaries and public service announcements promoting AIDS awareness have been seen more than 900 million times. Chang Ai’s trilogy of short documentary films about modern China, all directed by Yang, include The Blood of Yingzhou District, which won an Oscar in 2007, The Warriors of Qiugang, which received an Academy nomination for best documentary short in 2011, and Tongzhi in Love, which was short-listed in the same category in 2008.

Prior to her work in Beijing, Yang directed the 1997 production Citizen Hong Kong, which the Chicago Reader called “unflinching in its honesty, vivid in its kaleidoscopic imagery”.  Citizen Hong Kong was aired on PBS during Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, as were two of Yang’s other films: China 21 (2001), and A Moment in Time (2009). All three productions went on to be shown in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and across Europe.

Yang has also edited several feature films, including Joan Chen’s debut feature Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl. The movie tells a story “that feels nearly mythic in its themes of betrayal, devotion, and power,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Poetic in its images, devastating in its emotional impact,” the film premiered at the Berlin Festival in 1998 and went on to win seven Golden Horses, Taiwan’s equivalent of the Academy Award. As well as Editor, Yang also served as the film’s Associate Producer. Yang went on to edit Chen’s first Hollywood feature, Autumn in New York, starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder.

As Series Editor for Bill Moyers’ Becoming American - the Chinese Experience (PBS, March 2003), Yang supervised editing for the entire series, which received four Emmy nominations. She spent more than a year working closely with Moyers, producing what the New York Times called “a model documentary that gets almost everything right”.

Yang has received grants from the California Council for the Humanities, the Center for Asian American Media, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Creative Work Fund, the Independent Television Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Soros Documentary Fund. She was also awarded a Kaiser Media Fellowship to develop her work on HIV/AIDS.  

Born in Hong Kong, Yang moved to San Francisco in 1977. She graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a BFA in painting and an MFA in filmmaking. She relocated to Beijing in 2004.