Director and Producer
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.
Along with Producer Thomas Lennon, Yang founded the Chang Ai Media Project in 2003. Garnering more than 900 million views, the organization’s documentaries and public service announcements have been instrumental in promoting awareness of HIV/AIDS in China. 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 Award 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 and vivid in its kaleidoscopic imagery.” Citizen Hong Kong aired on PBS during Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, as did two of Yang’s other films in subsequent years: 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 is also known for her work as an editor. She has cut several feature films, including Joan Chen’s debut feature Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 1998 and went on to win seven Golden Horses, Taiwan’s equivalent of the Academy Award. On the documentary side, she was series editor for Bill Moyers’ Becoming American – the Chinese Experience (2003), which received four Emmy nominations.
Yang returned to live in her native Hong Kong in 2013, joining the University of Hong Kong as Hung Leung Hau Ling Distinguished Fellow in Humanities. She currently leads the new Hong Kong Documentary Initiative, which aims to help develop the region’s documentary industry via grants, master classes, and screenings. Her last feature documentary My Voice, My Life (2014), opened in 13 theaters in Hong Kong and Macau and won the NPT Human Spirit Award at the Nashville Film Festival.
Yang left Hong Kong to move to San Francisco in 1977, and then relocated to Beijing in 2004. She graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a BFA in painting and an MFA in filmmaking. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.