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SFSU Students Make Heartfelt Documentary “Lan Yan” in Shanghai

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

            Documentaries often provide a glimpse into a unique or compelling lifestyle – in this case, the community of the Lan Yan apartments in Shanghai, China. In what may seem to outsiders as inadequate, cramped and poor living, residents of Lan Yan have made a tight-knit community that they cherish. This short documentary encapsulates an entire world in all of fourteen minutes without shoving facts down your throat. It gracefully shows a diversity of footage all within one set of apartments while giving the audience an idea of what it would be like to live there. And while you may think you wouldn’t prefer it, by the end of the documentary you’ll be thinking twice about your own lifestyle. It’s amazing what connections can be made with your own life and the lives of those so many miles away in what seems to be such a vastly different culture from your own. But is it? Do we all cherish the same things when it really comes down it?

            See for yourself! Watch this beautifully crafted documentary, Lan Yan, online –


            This short documentary was created through the San Francisco State University Cinema Department’s Shanghai study abroad program. Filmmaker Danielle Schmidt did an interview with me for the SFSU Film Finals website where you can learn more about the behind the scenes process and what it was like making a documentary in Shanghai — http://sffilmfinals.com/interviews/. Lan Yan screened at Film Finals in 2014! If you’re interested in seeing more innovative films by SFSU students, attend this year’s Film Finals on Tuesday May 19th – it’s free! Reserve your ticket — http://sffilmfinals.com/attend

            Lan Yan has seen an incredible amount of success in the film industry since its creation. It has screened at big name festivals from the CAAMFest in San Francisco to the Chopshots Documentary Film Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia to the Cannes Short Film Corner in France, among many others! To follow updates for Lan Yan, like their Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/lanyandocumentary

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Alyssa Bright

San Francisco

Hey, I'm Alyssa!I have an extensive background in creative writing and film and television, having began my studies at Orange County School of the Arts for high school.I've written for HerCampus San Francisco, Content Cavalry, and GreekRank.com.I also have exceptional experience in Public Relations and Marketing which I often apply to my writing assignments.If you're interested in knowing more about my filmmaking, this is my website:alyssabrightfilms.wix.com/reel