Female Directors: (Nu daoyan)

From The dGenerate Films Collection

Directed by Yang Mingming

43 minutes / Color
English; Mandarin / English subtitles
Release: 2016
Copyright: 2012

Ah-Ming and Yueyue are two out-of-work film school grads living in Beijing who decide to turn the camera on each other and make a film about their lives.

On the surface, FEMALE DIRECTORS is the ultimate documentary for the age of oversharing. Two young women love the camera and record the minutiae of their lives: meals, nasty fights, phone calls. Soon after the camera starts rolling, they discover that both are seeing the same sugar daddy. Recriminations and profane accusations follow. Eventually, the pair, make up, break up with the man they call "short stuff" and go traveling together.

But there is much more to this film. Is it a documentary, mockumentary, or a sly piece of drama? Ah-Ming herself is a fiction-the on-screen persona of Yang Ming Ming, the film's actual director. Deliberately unpolished, FEMALE DIRECTORS highlights rather than obscures the presence of the the camera, as it is dropped on a bed, Ah-Ming and Yueyue jostle over it, or as one or the other implores her counterpart to turn it off.

While it purports to be the true story of two women filming themselves, FEMALE DIRECTORS constantly reminds us of the process that has gone into making it. It is a genre-bending, self-aware piece of experimental filmmaking that bears repeated viewing.

"Brilliant young director Yang is an essential new voice of Chinese cinema." Shelly Kraicer, Curator, Vancouver International Film Festival

"Blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction in a story about two brilliant young art school female graduates using profane vocabulary and talking with supreme confidence about sex, cinema and power."
Art Radar

"A sharp, playful mockumentary... Yang's scrutiny of their disintegrating relationship challenges aspects of male-dominated Chinese society that usually go concealed incredibly funny." Time Out Beijing

"Yang Mingming's debut opens with the image of two friends-recent art school graduates-playfully faking orgasms for the small HD camera they pass back and forth with the intention of making a film. It's a moment of camaraderie, and a mutual admission of how much acting is already a part of their lives. As that artifice breaks down under the weight of jealousy and ambition, what emerges is a claustrophobic portrait of modern Beijing, reflected in the lives of two women who find themselves lost in the stories they tell." ScreenSlate

"A most exhilarating directorial debut, Female Directors joyously treads the alluring boundaries between documentary and fiction."Berenice Reynaud, Film curator, REDCAT Center for the Performing Arts

"Yang and Guo Yue are incredibly charismatic and acerbic, wielding their cutting dialogue like machetes. As a result, the finished package is sly, tight, and surprisingly refreshing, but absolutely not for kids." JB Spins

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