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Apr 14, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Memories of Southern China 南方记忆

With Shuyao Chen 陈力格, Rae Hu 胡乐瑞, Shuli Huang 黄树立 & Hangcheng Xu 徐航澄

Doors 7:00p
Program 7:30p

352 Onderdonk Ave
Ridgewood, NY

UnionDocs is delighted to co-present the inaugural screening of the series Nooks & Crannies 犄角旮旯!

Nooks & Crannies 犄角旮旯 is a curated series of screenings and events showcasing diverse works by emerging Chinese filmmakers. We hope to offer local audiences an immersive journey into the myriad perspectives and talents shaping contemporary cinema in China and around the world. By eventizing the in-person, moviegoing experience, “Nooks and Crannies” fosters meaningful connections and dialogue through the shared experience of in-person screenings.

The inaugural screening presents a program titled Memories of Southern China 南方记忆. The program presents short films directed by four emerging filmmakers, all hailing from the city of Wenzhou in southern China. “Memories of Southern China” evokes an air of nostalgia as each film tackles what it means to come of age in South China during different periods from the 1980s & 90s to the present.

In “Winter by the River,” Shuyao shares the experience of an adolescent boy’s exploration of love and sex in the 1980s. In “Gugu,” Rae details the internal turmoil of a young girl as she calculates whether to tell a lie for the first time ever. In “Will You Look at Me,” Shuli reminisces about his return home, from NYC to Wenzhou, where he and his mother engaged in a complicated, intimate, and heart-wrenching conversation. In “Northern Lights,” Hangcheng tells the present-day story of a young hairstylist’s chance encounter with a new client, an aspiring artist.

These short films collectively explore the tensions between the filmmakers’ own generation and that of their parents, and they illustrate the diverse yet interconnected experiences of those who, like the four filmmakers here, left their home for the United States on the tide of globalization. “Memories of Southern China” is an inspiring collection that reconstructs and explores the past, while journeying into the present. In so doing, “Memories of Southern China” opens a window to the future based on what has been learned.


Winter by the River 冬日河
Director: Shuyao Chen 陈力格

14 min, 2022, China/USA, Chinese (Mandarin) w/ English subtitles

A young boy’s fantasy about love towards an older woman is disenchanted when he is faced with the reality of intimacy.

Gugu 奇怪的果
Director: Rae Hu 胡乐瑞

30 mins, 2022, Hong Kong, China, Chinese (Wenzhou Dialect), Chinese (Mandarin) w/English Subtitles

Set in the backdrop of ’90s Wenzhou, a young girl Gugu lies to her parents for the first time. She comes to understand the life and the secrets of her father, who tries to set up an overseas business throughout the day trip with her. At the end of the day, she has to conceal the incidents when facing her mother. Through Gugu’s eyes, this film demonstrates the unique childhood memories of children born in the ever-changing ’90s Wenzhou. Stirring feelings of guilt and nostalgia, the film explores life in China during large-scale economic reform and a childhood with absent parents.

Will You Look At Me 当我望向你的时候
Director: Shuli Huang 黄树立

20 mins, 2022, China, Chinese (Mandarin) w/ English subtitles

As a young Chinese filmmaker returns to his hometown in search of himself, a long-due conversation with his mother dives the two of them into a quest for acceptance and love.

Northern Lights 极光
Director: Hangcheng Xu 徐航澄

15 mins, 2022, China, Chinese (Mandarin) w/ English subtitles

Wei, an assistant hairdresser, meets Miao, an aspiring artist. As Miao takes Wei to see her “northern lights,” Wei changes his attitude toward embracing the unknown.

Program Duration: 79 mins

Watch the conversation between Presenter1, Presenter2 and Presenter 3 on the UnionDocs’ Membership hub.


Shuyao Chen, a.k.a. 陈力格,was born and raised in Wenzhou, a coastal city in southeast China. She moved to New York in 2018 to pursue a MFA degree at NYU graduate film after she completed her study in photojournalism at Penn State. With prior experience in journalism and documentary filmmaking, she has good instincts on subtle emotions in human behaviors which often times serve as the inspiration for her narrative filmmaking work.

Rae Hu 胡乐瑞 is a director from China, based in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Her debut film GUGU tells the story of a young girl who starts lying to her parents for the first time. She has created commercial work for Yong Master Brewery, Handsome Factory Barbershop, Yuet Tung China Work, etc., and is currently working on several feature-length screenplays. She has honed her craft in Asia, Europe, and the U.S., and she speaks four languages fluently.

Shuli Huang 黄树立 is a Chinese writer, director, and cinematographer living in New York. He studied cinematography at the Beijing Film Academy and film directing in the Graduate Film Program at New York University. His short film, Will You Look At Me, premiered at the 61st Semaine de la Critique where it was awarded Queer Palm of Festival de Cannes 2022. Goodbye First Love, his latest short film premiered in competition at the Berlinale Shorts 2024.

Hangcheng Xu 徐航澄 is a Chinese filmmaker based in New York City and China. She received her MFA in Film Production from Columbia University in 2024. She loves capturing people’s experiences in relation to time, places, and cultures.

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Apr 14, 2024
7:30 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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