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// Films // Hooligan Sparrow

Hooligan Sparrow

Nanfu Wang / China - United States / 2016 / 84 ' / Mandarin - English / S.T. English


Nanfu Wang, Jean Tsien, Michael Shade & Lauren Saffa
Nanfu Wang & Mark Monroe
Nanfu Wang
Nanfu Wang
Ron Bochar
Allan Zaleski
Philip Stockton
Nathan Halpern
Chris Ruggiero
Nanfu Wang & Michael Shade
A Little Horse Crossing the River
AC Films
Diamond Docs
Yijun He
Graphics: Garry Waller
Creative Producer: Peter Lucas
Executive Producers: Andy Cohen, Alison Klayman

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Awards & Festivals

Winner, Les Blank Award, Ashland Independent Film Festival 2016
Winner, Silver Heart Award, Dallas International Film Festival 2016
Human Rights Watch International Film Festival 2016
Winner, Truer Than Fiction Award, Independent Spirit Awards 2017
Special Mention - Tim Hetherington Award, Sheffield International Documentary Festival 2016
Winner, Bronze Horse - Best documentary, Stockholm Film Festival 2016
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2016

Upcoming Screenings

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previously screened

In Production

A powerful indictment of patriarchy & corruption, this doc follows activist Ye Haiyan’s crusade for justice against sexually abusive Chinese government officials.


The danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment. Sparrow, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media.

Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets. Eventually, through smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of her journey with the extraordinary revolutionary Sparrow, her fellow activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights.


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