Close this search box.

Yi Chen


Documentary Filmmaker, First Vote

Yi Chen is an independent documentary filmmaker and founded C35 Films to focus on social justice storytelling by filmmakers of color to advance new narratives from underrepresented perspectives with high-impact distribution to engage targeted audiences, start conversations, and drive social change. Yi’s films have been screened at the Berlinale European Film Market, IDFA Docs for Sale, Hot Docs Doc Shop, and AFI DOCS. First Vote (2020, PBS Distribution) qualified for the 93rd Academy Awards and won a Telly Award. The film partnered with civic engagement organizations to mobilize Asian American voters in 2020. Dissidents (2024, Java Films) investigates one of the most unusual criminal complaints of recent times – a Chinese dissident artist’s new sculpture in the Mojave Desert was burnt down, and the man who posed as an art collector was alleged for spying and destroying the sculpture on behalf of the Chinese government. Yi’s work has received support from Ford Foundation JustFilms, Open Society Foundations, ITVS, Center for Asian American Media, New York Foundation for the Arts, and DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She was a 2019 Soros Equality Fellow and holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from American University.