Episode 126

Published on:

20th Mar 2020

Finding Yingying with Jiayan Shi

When it comes to being affected by the coronavirus, we doc filmmakers, of course, are no exception. Whether we work in tv broadcasting, run video productions, or are freelancers, we are all feeling the impact of the massive shutdowns happening due to Covid-19.

So in today's episode I'd like to offer up some ways in which we might all stay positive and stay focused on our documentary projects and on a bigger scale, our documentary lives, which have already been significantly affected by recent events so much.

Jiayan 'Jenny' Shi, is a first time doc filmmaker who has been directly affected by these recent events, as her first documentary film, the extraordinary, Finding Yingying was set to premiere at this year's SXSW, only to lose its premiere once that festival closed its doors due to Covid-19.

This candid conversation about coronavirus and her time spent filming the tragic events of Finding Yingying is a conversation that I'll remember for quite some time. I think that you will to.


Topics Discussed

  • ways in which we all can stay focused on our documentary lives
  • how a first-time doc filmmaker came upon the tragic story that would change a family's lives as well as her own life
  • the cultural differences involved in filming in two completely different cultures
  • the delicate balance between a grieving family subjects and the doc filmmaker
  • how the closing of SXSW is changing the whole distribution and film festival plan for her film


Additional Resources



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Sponsors & Thank Yous

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Thank you to music licensing platform, Music Vine for contributing the wonderful music that we’ve used in this week’s episode.

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° Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artists’ music by going to Free Music Archive today!



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About the Podcast

The Documentary Life
Documentary filmmaker & host, Chris G. Parkhurst, inspires & informs you on how to best live and lead your own doc life.
Have a passion for making documentary films? Want to learn how to best lead a documentary life? Join award-winning commercial and documentary filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst, and special industry guests as they candidly share their filmmaking stories, insights, and experiences, for all to learn how to best lead and live their own documentary dream lives.

About your host

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Christopher Parkhurst