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Hao Wu on Making “People’s Republic of Desire”

Season 1

Episode 37

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Interviewed by Hans Tung and Zara Zhang.

We interviewed Hao Wu, a Chinese American film director, producer and writer to discuss his recent work “People’s Republic of Desire”, a documentary about the live streaming industry in China.

Originally trained as a molecular biologist, Hao worked in tech before becoming a full-time filmmaker. He held various management positions at technology companies including Excite@Home, Yahoo China and Alibaba. From 2008-2011, he was the China Country Manager for TripAdvisor. As his career progressed, so did his passion in more artistic and creative endeavors. In 2012 he decided to pursue documentary filmmaking full time. His latest work, which is the subject of this episode, is a documentary called “People’s Republic of Desire”, a journey into the live streaming industry in China, where Hao follows a few top streamers on YY to document their lives behind the screen. The film has won the Grand Jury Award at the 2018 South By South West, among many other awards, and has screened at over 40 film festivals worldwide. The New York Times calls the film “hypercharged,” while The Los Angeles Times says it’s “invariably surprising and never less than compelling.” If you haven’t watched the film, we highly recommend doing so. It is available on Vimeo, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play; just visit desire.film for the links. Hao has produced two other documentaries, The Road to Fame, and Nowhere to Call Home.

Hao holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Science and Technology of China, a master’s degree in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University, and an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

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