A Hunter Integrated Media Arts alum has won a coveted International Documentary Association award.
Yehui Zhao ’23 won the award for May the Soil Be Everywhere, a film about Zhao’s ancestral village in the mountains of China’s Loess Plateau.
Zhao’s film was one of three selected out of 56 nominees to receive $75,000 in production and post-production grants from IDA’s Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund — a substantial sum in the documentary world. The fund, which has disbursed $1,285,000 since 2011, supports feature-length films reflecting the values of Depression-era documentarian Pare Lorentz.
“Yehui Zhao epitomizes the talented documentarians in our program, making art from life with insightful storytelling, strong visuals, and patient direction,” said Professor Kelly Anderson, chair of Hunter’s Film and Media Department. “We congratulate Yehui on this award and are sure there will be many more!”
May the Soil Be Everywhere depicts the life of Zhao’s peasant family, which survived wars, revolution, and famine in the remote village, only to scatter with China’s rapid industrialization. An immigrant to America, Zhao finds her art in stories of migration and heritage.
Zhao’s films have been featured at UnionDocs, DOC NYC, Prismatic Ground, Microscope Gallery, Asian American International Film Festival, Spain Moving Images Festival, Timeless Awards, Festival of Animated Objects, and other programs.
Hunter’s MFA Program in Integrated Media Arts educates multi-disciplinary, socially engaged media makers in diverse skills. Working with faculty from film, emerging media, and journalism backgrounds, students learn to conceptualize, create, and distribute innovative, politically and socially engaged works using contemporary media technologies.