Visiting Practitioner Fellow (2021-2022)
LESLIE TAI is a Chinese-American filmmaker from San Francisco, CA. Her shorts have premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, MoMA’s Doc Fortnight, IDFA, and Visions du Réel. From 2006-2011, Tai lived and exhibited work as a member of the New Independent Chinese Documentary Movement in Beijing. Her short film THE PRIVATE LIFE OF FENFEN (2013), a multi-layered representation of a Chinese migrant worker’s video diaries, won “Best Film” awards at Kassel Dokfest and Images Festival. GRAVE GOODS (2013), about the objects left behind by her deceased grandmother, and SUPERIOR LIFE CLASSROOM (2012), about the allure of selling Amway products to the immigrant housewives of Silicon Valley, received an “Emerging Filmmaker Award” from San Diego Asian Film Festival.
Her recent work MY AMERICAN SURROGATE (2019), about Chinese elite hiring American surrogates to carry their babies for them, was commissioned by New York Times Op-Docs. Her work has been supported by organizations such as Creative Capital, Field of Vision, Fork Films, SFFILM, California Humanities, Firelight Media, Tribeca Film Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, among others. She has received fellowships and residencies from MacDowell, Yaddo, Bogliasco Foundation, Logan Nonfiction Program, Artist Academy at New York Film Festival, and Berlinale Talents. THE BIRTH TOURISTS is Tai’s feature debut.