“The People’s Republic of Desire” Takes A Deep Dive into Systemic Inequality in China and the Virtual World that Binds It

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SAN FRANCISCO – ITVS, a leading incubator of documentary films, will continue its partnership with independent filmmakers who shed light on social issues. ITVS has contracted for production with more than 40 films this year, among them “People's Republic of Desire”, by filmmaker Hao Wu. The film delves into China’s income inequality and the rise of online showrooms, which can offer performers celebrity, and its viewers, entertainment.

“People’s Republic of Desire” was funded through ITVS’ Series and Special Projects discretionary funding initiative. The fund is designed to support and mentor independent documentary filmmakers who bring quality, underrepresented and consequential stories to the public. In 25 years of film production, ITVS has historically reserved a portion of production licensing funds, allowing the flexibility to quickly fund a timely and socially relevant film.

“People's Republic of Desire is an unusual exploration of the interplay between digital realities and the physical world in China. It’s a story about the human cost of extreme economic disparity between rich and poor, a phenomenon that exists around the world,” said Sally Jo Fifer, president and CEO of ITVS. “ITVS helps filmmakers tell stories we may never otherwise hear, and sometimes we can see our own truth more clearly through the lens of other cultures.”

“It is an honor to collaborate with ITVS. The team has been incredibly supportive throughout this journey,” said director Hao Wu“We took a hard look at the longstanding divisions within Chinese society, exacerbated by the growing degree of income inequality. Online showrooms are ultimately a product of such divisions but also act as source of unification and, thus are worthy of deep exploration.”

This is Wu’s first partnership with ITVS. He is a fellow at New America Foundation, and has devoted his filmmaking career to offering looks into Chinese cultural identity. His previous productions include "Beijing or Bust " and “The Road to Fame”, both released to critical acclaim.

Posted on September 9, 2016