Sumiko Haneda, born in 1926, has made more than 90 documentary films. From 1953 worked as an assistant director and wrote scripts for industrial films, then directed her first film Women's College in the Village ("Mura no fujin gakkyu") in 1957. In 1977, she produced independently the highly acclaimed documentary The Cherry Tree with Gray Blossoms ("Usuzumi no sakura"). She left Iwanami in 1981 in favor of independent filmmaking. Her works include Ode to Mt. Hayachine ("Hayachine no fu," 1982), and Akiko—Portrait of a Dancer ("Akiko—Aru dansa no shozo," 1985). She is especially acclaimed for her work on the problems of old age such as seen in How to Care for the Senile ("Chihosei rojin no sekai," 1986), and the 6-part series Kabuki Actor Nizaemon ("Kabuki-yakusha Kataoka Nizaemon," 1994), an intimate portrait of the late Nizaemon, one of the greatest Kabuki actors of our time in the last years of his life. In 1996 she made Welfare as Chosen by Our Town's Citizens ("Jumin no sentaku shita machi no fukushi"), and has just completed work on its sequel, Questions Yet Remain ("Mondai wa kore kara desu"). She has won numerous awards including the Education Minister's Award for Ode to Mt. Hayachine; she was the first female director to receive the award. Akiko—a Portrait of a Dancer was shown on the opening day of the Kanebo International Women's Film Week at the First Tokyo International Film Festival. The film Into the Picture Scroll—The Tale of Yamanaka Tokiwa won first place in the Japan Film Pen Club Award non-theatrical category and has been invited to more than 10 film festivals including the Berlin International Film Festival.
Shohini Ghosh is Associate Professor, Video and Television Production at the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, (Central University) New Delhi. As Visiting Associate Professor (1990-1996) at the Department of Communication, Cornell University, USA, she has taught courses on Gender, Media and Representation and Video for Development and Social Intervention. She has conducted training workshops on gender and the media for different organizations in India and Bangladesh including UNICEF, Dhaka. Ghosh worked as director/producer of educational films for the University Grants Commission (UGC) countrywide classroom, and as an independent documentary filmmaker. She is co-founder member of Mediastorm Collective, India's first all women documentary production collective which received The Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Work among Women Media Professionals in 1992.
A major part of Ghosh's current work involves theoretical interventions in public debates around issues of sexuality, speech and censorship. Ghosh writes extensively on popular culture and the media for both academic journals and the popular press. As Globalization-McArthur Fellow at the University of Chicago (April-June 2001) Ghosh worked on a series of essays on the nineties mediascape in India. Recently Ghosh directed Tales of the Nightfairies (74 min/2002) a film about the sexworkers struggle for rights in Calcutta. The film won the Best Film award at Jeevika 2003—the National Livelihood Documentary Competition.
Tai-li Hu is a pioneer of Ethnographic films in Taiwan. She is currently a research fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica in Taiwan; a concurrent professor at National Chin-Hua University, and the president of Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival. After graduating from the History Department of the National Taiwan University, she entered the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, and obtained her Ph.D. degree in anthropology. Since 1984, she has directed and produced seven ethnographic films (The Return of Gods and Ancestors, Songs of Pasta'ay, Voices of Orchid Island, Passing Through My Mother-in-law's Village, Sounds of Love and Sorrow, Encountering Jean Rouch, Stone Dream) and published six books (My Mother-in-law's Village: Rural Industrialization and Change in Taiwan, Daugther-in-law Entering the Door, Sex and Death, Burning Melancholy, Paiwan Flutes, Cultural Performances and Taiwan Aborigines). Her films won Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival "The Best Documentary Film Award", Chicago International Film Festival "Silver Plaque Award", Houston International Film Festival "Gold Special Jury Award", and Taiwan International Documentary Festival "Jury's Special Mention Award", selected for Joris Ivens Competition at International Documentary FilmFestival Amsterdam, International Competition at Marseille International Documentary; Margret Mead Film and Video Festival etc. "Passing Through My Mother-in-law's Village" is the first documentary film screened at the commercial theater in Taiwan with great success.
Lalit Vachani is director of the New Delhi based Wide Eye Film. He studied at St. Stephen's College, Delhi University and at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He was visiting lecturer at the Mass Communication Research Centre, Delhi from 1990-92 and 1996-98 and visiting scholar at the Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University in 1999. His previous documentary films have been on the star-system and the social worlds within the Bollywood film industry (The Academy, 1995; The Starmaker, 1997) and on the indoctrination, ideology and the politics of Hindutva propagated by the Hindu fundamentalist organization, the RSS (The Boy in the Branch, 1993; The Men in the Tree, 2002). His recent work, `Natak Jari Hai' (The Play Goes On; 2005) is about JANAM, the New Delhi based socialist street theatre group.
Some of the venues and film festivals where his work has been shown are:
- The Oberhausen Short Film Festival in Germany
- IDFA Amsterdam
- One World Prague
- FID Marseille
- The Queens Museum of Art in New York
- Kino Arsenal in Berlin and the World Social Forum in Mumbai
Zhaxi Nima is a poet, filmmaker, activist, environmentalist, and social movement organizer. He is a sharp thinker whose perceptive lens captures both the real and imagined, perhaps most importantly of the quickly disappearing land of Shangrila in Tibet/Yunnan. Zhaxi Nima has been involved in Yunnan and Tibet documentary projects for the last six years.
Ray Jiing is Dean and Professor of the Graduate Institute of the Studies of Image and Sound of Documentary, Tainan National College of Arts, Taiwan. He served as the head of National Taipei Film Archive for 8 years in the 1990s and was instrumental in preserving Taiwanese dialect films as well as conducting much archival research, and film restoration and preservation, including the restoration of the earliest films prints from the Japanese colonization period (1920s onwards). He has taught at various institutions and has been involved in many innovative and fundamental community based documentary projects and movements across the Taiwan Strait. He received his PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles, and MFA and BFA from the University of Texas at Austin.