Tropic of Cancer

When a small-town bra factory worker joins his high school friend in a runaway plot, he is confronted with his own queerness.

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Development
Writer/Director: Alex Jiang
Producer: Xinyu Zhao
Director of Photography: Kio Qiu
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When a small-town bra factory worker joins his high school friend in a runaway plot, he is confronted with his own queerness.


Ever since Yang dropped out of high school, his life has been confined to the small, stifling space of a bra factory. His monotonous routine is disrupted when he reunites with Zhou, a former high school classmate and the factory owner’s daughter. Eager to escape an impending arranged marriage, Zhou enlists Yang’s help in stealing defective bras from the factory to fund her runaway plan. Let by Zhou to test out the bras, Yang begins to explore and embrace his own queerness. However, their plot is soon discovered by Zhou’s father. With Zhou grounded and her marriage imminent, Yang is left alone once again. Determined to make one final act of rebellion, he sets the bras ablaze in front of the factory and leaves his old life behind.

Meet the Filmmakers

Alex Jiang – Writer/Director
Born and raised in China, Alex Jiang is a freelancing writer/director/producer. She gained her BFA degree from USC School of Cinematic Arts and is now pursuing her MFA degree in NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Alex’s short films have gone to multiple domestic and international festivals such as Palm Springs International ShortFest, LA Shorts, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Taiwan Queer International Film Festival, etc. She is eager to tell stories that center around the topics of identity, gender, and culture.

Xinyu Zhao – Producer
Xinyu “Ciao” Zhao is an aspiring creative executive currently on the film team at Rideback and a 2024 Project Involve Fellow. Hailing from Shanghai, she moved to LA in 2018 to study Communication and Jewish Studies at USC. Her producing career began at the Chinese video brand DxChannel, where her works have garnered over one million views online. Collaborating with predominantly female and AAPI filmmakers, her narrative shorts earned acclaim at festivals, including Palm Springs International Shortfest and LA Shorts. Having spent her teens reading detective novels and sci-fi novellas, she is dedicated to telling female-centric genre stories with an emotional impact that transcends cultural borders.

Kio Qiu – Director of Photography
“Kio” Qiu Tao is currently pursuing his MFA degree in Grad Film at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, majoring in Art History. As a director of photography, he has shot more than twenty short films from 2019 to 2022, and his works have been shortlisted for several well-known international film festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, Tokyo International Short Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Beijing International Film Festival, Hainan International Film Festival, HiShorts, and others

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