Directed by Oscar-winning documentary director Ruby Yang, produced by L plus H Creations Foundation, in association with the Lee Hysan Foundation, the heart-stirring documentary "My Voice, My Life" is scheduled for a theatrical release on 16 October in Hong Kong to "change the world with attitude as lives evolve with music."
Hong Kong audience may not be very familiar with Ruby Yang for she spent most of her time in Beijing in the past 8 years promoting environmental issues and AIDS awareness. In 2007, her work "The Blood of Yingzhou District", which documented the lives of orphan children in the remote villages of Anhui Province whose parents were all lost to AIDS, had won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. Last year, she decided to return to Hong Kong, her hometown, to create documentary projects that are relatable to Hong Kong citizens. That was where "My Voice, My Life" came from.
"My Voice, My Life" follows from beginning to end the plan of L plus H Creations Foundations inviting a group of high school students from four band-3 schools to participate in a musical which involves education on personal manner as well as performing art. The shooting began in March last year. For 6 months the production crew followed 9 of the participating students to trials and auditions, music camps, rehearsals, trainings, and from on-stage and back-stage the finally performances at Kwai Tsing Theatre, witnessing how they "change the world with attitude" and how their "lives evolve with music".
For Examples: Tze-Nok, who was diagnosed soon to be completely blind, has found his sight much broadened through participating in the musical. Now he feels unprecedentedly courageous to face the forthcoming lifetime of darkness. Ho Yin, who never admit to being wrong and does not get along with his parents, finally opened his heart to his father at the backstage after the performance. Jason, who had been a let-down to his parents and teachers for years, performed so well on stage that his parents feel so proud of him and burst into tears after the show. Jessica, who once dropped out of school and practically had no goal in life, was self-disciplined enough to attend training and train hard from 10 am to 6 pm every single day. She is more demanding to herself now and striving hard to achieve her goals.
"My Voice, My Life" not only records the growth and transformation of the participating students, but also challenges the society to reflect on how parents and teachers are nurturing the next generation nowadays. "In Hong Kong, if you do not get good grades in school, you are practically 'doomed to fail'. I believe there are indeed many other things you can do besides studying. Parents should not label these children; Instead they should give them freedom and room to explore," said the director in an interview with Singpao in April.
Although scheduled for release only in October, a number of screening events have been held and the film has received very positive feedbacks. Many requests for private screenings are received from a number of schools and organizations. Besides, "My Voice, My Life" has gained support from across the industry as EDKO Films, the distributor, showed it to a number of celebrities in which directors Fruit Chan, Johnnie To, artists Andy Lau, Kelly Chen, Sandra Ng, Nick Cheung, Jan Lamb, Sammy Leung, and President Joseph Sung of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, all agreed to show their support by appearing in short promotional clips made for the film. It was reported that Eason Chan and Nicholas Tse also feels inspired and have agreed to make appearance in the promotional clips later.
About Ruby Yang
Ruby Yang Ziye is a noted Chinese-American filmmaker who has directed and edited a number of films and documentaries. Over the years her work has won her an Emmy, an Academy Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, and many more awards and nominations to other internationally acclaimed events. She was invited to join the Academy in 2011. In November 2013, she was appointed by The University of Hong Kong as Hung Leung Hau Ling Distinguished Fellow in Humanities with a term of service until 2016. Ruby Yang is currently residing in Hong Kong and running the "Ruby Yang Workshop" at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at HKU. As part of her fellowship, she will be teaching a course on documentary video production to promote documentary making in Hong Kong.