As an Open Society Fellow, Chinese filmmaker Jian Yi founded the IFChina Original Studio, an innovative community art center in Ji’an, Jiangxi, China. IFChina offers film, oral history, and photography workshops for local residents and produces short and feature-length films and oral history stories that document life in small towns and rural communities. It also supports projects on photography, theater, and other art forms that enable participants to record and capture the stories of their own lives.
Jian Yi and his colleagues also manage a community mural project, Happy Rooms, that brings artists and local residents to rural schools to work with children left behind by parents who have migrated to coastal areas in search of work. In addition, IFChina launched a community charity, Rice Connection, that allows wealthy residents to share resources with poor families in Jiangxi.
Jian Yi directed the critically acclaimed films Super, Girls! and Bamboo Shoots, and co-directed the groundbreaking China Village Documentary Project, in which ordinary villagers from across China used video cameras to record the changing rural dynamics in their home villages. Yi’s documentaries and feature films have won several international awards and are shown worldwide.