Asian Women in Cinema I

Editor’s Notes: Speaking of women working in cinema, whom would you think of? Agnes Varda? Sofia Coppola? Chances are they probably come from the Western Hemisphere. Inspired by our Elements of Cinema screening of Autumn Moon (1992) by Hong Kong director Clara Law this month, we want to draw your attention to some Asian women in cinema. We have put together 18 names from 10 countries, mostly in East Asia and Southeast Asia. We are painfully aware of our own limitations, so if there are names you think we should know, please feel free to join the conversation and leave the names in the comments below.

Text by Juan Ramirez

Sylvia Chang
(b. 1953)

Dropping out of high school to become a radio DJ might have been the first step out of bounds taken by Sylvia Chang, but it would not be the last. At 63, the Taiwanese artist has added director, writer, actress, philanthropist, singer, producer and even stuntwoman to her impressive and ever-growing list of accomplishments. With over one hundred acting credits, Chang began work as a film actor before making her directorial debut on Once Upon a Time (1981), after the original director was killed in a car accident. Since then, she has enjoyed a decades-spanning, multifaceted career in film.

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