Wednesday, May 9th, 7pm Hunter North 502
Film maker Steve Maing will screen his new documentary “High Tech, Low Life”, a film that will be premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival
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 they develop skills as independent one-man news stations while learning to navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations and avoiding the risk of political persecution.
The film follows 57 year-old “Tiger Temple,” who earns the title of China’s first citizen reporter after he impulsively documents an unfolding murder and 27 year-old “Zola” who recognizes the opportunity to increase his fame and future prospects by reporting on sensitive news throughout China.
This observational documentary looks at the motivations and practice of these two unique roving reporters striving to understand the rapidly changing country they live in and their role in it. From the perspective of vastly different generations, Zola and Tiger Temple must both reconcile an evolving sense of individualism, social responsibility and personal sacrifice. The juxtaposition of Zola’s coming-of-age journey from produce vendor to internet celebrity, and Tiger Temple’s commitment to understanding China’s tumultuous past provides an alternate portrait of China and of news-gathering in the 21st century.
Stephen Maing is a filmmaker based in New York. He co-produced and edited the documentary Lioness and directed the short film Little Hearts. He is a Fellow of the Sundance Documentary Institutue and Independent Feature Project Labs programs, and a grant recipient of the MacArthur Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Independent Television Service.
Steve has worked as a director, shooter and editor on various projects and teaches summer classes in documentary film production at the Massachusettes College of Art in Boston.
Support for the Emerging Media Lecture Series was provided by the Hunter College Arts Across the Curriculum Pilot Initiative, created through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.