New York filmmaker Maya E. Rudolph believes Beijing's rock scene is unique. Caroline Berg in New York finds out why she was inspired to make a movie about it.
In 2006, New York native Maya E. Rudolph went to Beijing and found Chinese rock 'n' roll. In 2012, she returned to make a film about it.
Now, Rudolph's short, Iceberg, is in post-production. The 25-year-old aims to get her project on the independent film festival circuit and, from there, gain enough financial support to finally produce a full-length version of her story.
"This is a world that is very important to me," says Rudolph, a writer and filmmaker. "To me, (Chinese rock 'n' roll) represents this kind of spirit that is very rare to come across in New York."
In support of her cause, Rudolph last fall submitted her project to Kickstarter, an increasingly popular platform that allows producers of creative projects to tap the online crowd for funding. According to Kickstarter's website, 44 percent of projects have reached their funding goals, since the platform was launched in April 2009.
"I think Kickstarter is one of the most important things that has happened for emerging artists and innovators of any kind in a really long time," Rudoph says.
By contrast, she says, artists in China are trying to fund projects through collectives. Younger filmmakers join together and are willing to take on a variety of production roles to make up for the "shaky" infrastructure of independent film in China.
"People are trying to figure out how to do things super cheap and with a lot of integrity in an environment where those things are not at all valued," Rudolph says. "I think there are really vital lessons to be taken from both communities and the more good ideas the better. It doesn't matter where they're coming from."
Through her work in New York with dGenerate Films, an organization devoted to distributing contemporary independent films from the Chinese mainland, Rudolph often comes into contact with pioneering Chinese directors.