Talent Guide

Nanfu Wang

  • Discipline:Director
  • Program Year:Grants and Awards 2017


Nanfu Wang is a filmmaker based in New York City. Her feature debut Hooligan Sparrow premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and has won multiple awards, having screened at more than 50 festivals in 20 countries. It opened theatrically across North America in July 2016 and was shown on POV in October 2016.

Originally from a remote village in China, Wang overcame poverty and lack of access to formal secondary education, going on to earn graduate degrees in communications and documentary film from universities in China and the United States. Wang is a filmmaker supported by Sundance Institute, BRITDOC, IFP, IDA and DOK Incubator.

Current Project

Hooligan Sparrow


The danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (aka Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to southern China to seek justice in the case of six elementary school girls allegedly 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 continues to champion girls' and women's rights and arms herself with the power of social media. Filmmaker Wang becomes a target, too, and must deal with destroyed cameras and intimidation.