Born in Nanjing, China, Ziwei Yao is a Singaporean filmmaker graduated from the City College of New York MFA Film programme. Prior to graduation, Ziwei went into the minefields at the Chinese - Vietnamese border to shoot a documentary. Later that year, Ziwei was selected to receive the BAFTA New York Scholarship of 2016.
Being mostly an outsider in various environments, Ziwei will like to focus on how Chinese diaspora live under different communities around the world; from China, Singapore, to the United States.
His first feature film shot in New York City is undergoing post production and will be due in the early 2020. In the meantime, Ziwei will be studying at the Beijing Film Academy MFA Film Screenwriting programme starting 2019 Autumn.
Prior to studying at the City College, he attended the Li Xianting Film School; an independent short film programme in China. The film fund along with its festival has gone underground due to local censorship. That guerrilla-style experience has shaped Ziwei’s film-making style from the start.