High Tech, Low Life
Oliver Thompson Theatre, City University London
Directors: Stephen Maing
Producers: Stephen Maing and Trina Rodriguez
Language: Mandarin with English subtitles
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 these formerly average citizens develop skills as independent one- man news stations while learning to navigate China’s new social media landscape and evolving censorship regulations. All while avoiding the risk of political persecution.
Strangers to each other, Zola and Tiger Temple share a common desire to offer those within and outside of China a rare glimpse at censored stories - and to stay out of trouble.
China’s rapid economic and technological developments have created a vast new social space for a restless blogosphere to step up and fill information gaps left by the state-run media. In this space, citizen reporters can become online heroes and celebrities but they must also learn to walk the risky line between social commentary and perceived political dissidence.
Stephen Maing - Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Editor
Stephen Maing is a New York based filmmaker. High Tech, Low Life received the 2013 Grierson Award for Best Newcomer Documentary, Best Documentary awards at the Independent Film Festival of Boston and the Little Rock Film Festival, and Best Cinematography at the Woods Hole Film Festival.
The film will be followed by a Q&A discussing with Shirong Chen, former BBC China editor.