Celebrating Our Youth Voices on China Video Program

(We apologize profusely for the last minute date change, but a speaker had a schedule conflict)

As we kickoff the 2018 season for our $30K video contest,  please join us for a fun dim sum reception and

a tasting of Yunnan dishes from WildChina CEO/author Mei Zhang’s new book about her Dali food adventures.

Don’t miss some great fireside chats, YVOC contest tips and more!

We look forward to seeing many of our supporters, educators, and students in our community.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

5:45 pm  – 8:00 pm

Google Community Space
188 The Embarcadero, San Francisco
Please enter on Steuart Street | map

  5:45 pm   Reception  
  6:15 pm   Program & Fireside Chats


RSVP / Buy Tickets Here
Advance Tickets Only – RSVP by Tuesday noon, Jan 9, 2018  

Complimentary Tickets for 1990 Institute Members, Board Members and their Guests
Complimentary Tickets for Educators, Students and their Guests


Test drive Google’s Daydream View VR Headsets

Enjoy Google Photo Booth

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      Mei Zhang is a native of Yunnan province in southwest China and the Founder of WildChina, a trendsetting travel company based in Beijing. Mei holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company until she found her true passion in sustainable travel.

      Together with former WildChina CEO Albert Ng, Mei has built WildChina into one of the 
      world’s BEST Adventure Travel Companies, according to National Geographic. Mei’s expertise has also led her to win a number of personal awards and accolades, including Travel and Leisure “A-List of Top Travel Advisors” and Conde Nast Traveler “Top Travel Specialist”.

      WildChina now has offices in China and the U.S., and its business model is presented as a 
      case study to all first-year students at Harvard Business School. Passionate about unlocking authentic travel experiences for the Chinese traveler, in 2011, Mei began another endeavor – Beshan Travel, introducing a chic travel lifestyle to sophisticated Chinese. In 2015, she took another leap of faith and launched Newugo.com, a platform that acts as the ‘Airbnb’ for authentic travel experiences.

      In 2016, Penguin published Mei’s first book, Travels through Dali Wth a Leg of Ham. The 
      book is a beautifully illustrated chronicle of her return to her roots and serves as a form of cultural cultivation for the region’s ancient traditions.

      Mei lives in Berkeley, California with her husband John Pomfret and three children and maintains the 
      social media identity @zhangmei.

      James Quyen Chan (Producer, Director, Camera), founder of Good Medicine Picture Company,  is a San Francisco-based filmmaker who has collaborated on Emmy- and Grammy-winning projects. His film mentorship/training began alongside two-time Academy-Award winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK, THE CELLULOID CLOSET, PARAGRAPH 175). Producing credits with Epstein & Friedman include History Channel’s 10 DAYS THAT UNEXPECTEDLY CHANGED AMERICA (Emmy Award; 2006 Outstanding Non-Fiction Series), HOWL (Sundance 2010 Opening Night; National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award).
      Recent producing work include award-winning films about– a child IT protégé :PUCK AND THE RIDDLE OF CODES; father & son reconciliation ISTINMA (Best Short, 2014 American Indian Film Festival); U.S. immigration law impacts on bi-national same-sex couples ENTRY DENIED (Jury Award, Best Short, 2012 Provincetown); love & equality RIGHT DOWN THE LINE music video (Bonnie Raitt, Grammy 2013).
      Prior to filmmaking, James worked as a SAG/AFTRA Union Talent Agent. His refugee and working class background, love for nature shows, memories of his mother’s cooking shape his sensibilities in all of his stories.His award-winning directorial debut FOREVER, CHINATOWN (May 2017 national broadcast, WGBH/World Channel) has been selected for the American Film Showcase, the premier diplomacy program bringing screenings and workshops to audiences in more than 40 countries
      . A partnership between the U.S. State Department and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, James will serve as film envoy for the 2017-2018 AFS Program.

      Joan Chen is one of the most widely recognized and respected Asian stars in the international film industry. She began her movie career at age of 14 in Shanghai. Her performance in the films Youth and Little Flower catapulted her to fame in China. For her breakthrough performance in the title role of Little Flower, Chen garnered the Best Actress Award in China in 1980 when she was 19 and resulted in the Chinese press dubbing her “The Elizabeth Taylor of China” for having achieved top stardom while still a teenager.
      In 1981, Joan left China for the United States to study film at California State University, Northridge, where she graduated with honors. In the US, Joan has appeared in over forty film and television roles. The most notable were Bernardo Bertolucci’s Oscar-winning The Last Emperor (1987), David Lynch’s Twin Peaks series (1990), and Oliver Stone’s Heaven and Earth (1993). At the same time, Joan continued to make films for Asian audiences. Her memorable performance in the Chinese language film Red Rose and White Rose won her Best Actress in the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards and the Hong Kong Critics Awards in 1994. In 1997,  Joan made her directorial debut with the critically acclaimed Xiu Xiu, The Sent-down Girl, a story of the loss of innocence of a young girl during the cultural revolution in China. The film was released in May 1999 and has received numerous awards internationally.   She went on to direct Autumn in New York starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder.

      Recently, she played Empress Chabi in Netflix’s Marco Polo series. Joan is a 1990 Institute Board Member and maintains a food blog, HungryEmpress.com. She is currently directing a new film in China base on Gang Wang’s best-selling book “English.”   (see reviews on the book:  Washington Post  and Bruce Humes)

About Youth Voices on China

Youth Voices on China is the 1990 Institute’s annual video contest that engages students age 13-25 up to think more deeply about U.S.‐China relations.  Together with celebrated actress/filmmaker Joan Chen and our prestigious panel of judges & coaches, we hope to inspire students to deepen their cross-cultural understanding while honing their video literacy.  Sponsoring teachers will also win prizes alongside the national winners.

For 2018, our fourth annual contest, our theme, “CHINA: COLLECTED STORIES,” is inspired by NPR’s StoryCorps and Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York.  YVOC entrants are asked to a interview mainland Chinese resident(s) or similar and capture compelling personal stories of their interviewees’ lives in a rapidly growing China.  Submission deadlines are January 31st and February 28, 2018.  For more details, please visit youthvoices.1990institute.org 


Thank you to our event collaborators & partners: