Born in mainland China, raised in Hong Kong and Washington 

Yan, a filmmaker born in mainland China, is now based in New York City. She was raised in Hong Kong and Washington. She went to HKIS in Hong Kong. She graduated with an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and an MFA from the Tisch Graduate Film Program. 

She was a journalist before filmmaking 

Before her directorial career, she was a Wall Street Journal reporter working in New York, Hong Kong and Beijing. She was also one of the youngest writers in the paper’s history to land multiple stories on the front page. 

She used to work with auteurs like Jia Zhangke 

Her directorial debut Dead Pigs was executive produced by China’s renowned independent film icon Jia Zhangke. It was shot with a bilingual crew with money from Alibaba Pictures – a film company under Alibaba Group, which owns the South China Morning Post – and Media Asia. 

 Cathy Yan is the first Hong Kong-raised Asian woman to direct big-budget DC film as she takes on ‘Harley Quinn’

Her feature film debut ‘Dead Pigs’ is set in Shanghai and premiered at Sundance 

The Chinese-American director made her feature film debut Dead Pigs in the World Cinema Dramatic competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January. The film, which is a dark comedy about the conflicting social norms in contemporary China, won the special jury award for ensemble acting. 


More on the new Harley Quinn film 

Based on the Birds of Prey comics storyline, the new project, an untitled all-female superhero movie, will feature the standout character from Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn, along with a slew of female characters from the DC universe.

Alibaba Group is the owner of the South China Morning Post

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