Hooligan Sparrow

PBS Premiere: Oct. 17, 2016Check the broadcast schedule »

Filmmaker Bio

Nanfu WangNanfu Wang, Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor

Nanfu Wang is an independent filmmaker based in New York City. Her feature debut, Hooligan Sparrow, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016.

She was born in a remote farming village in Jiangxi Province, China. After losing her father at the age of 12, she was forced to forgo formal education and take whatever work she could to support her family. Unable to afford high school, she studied at a vocational school until she secured work as a teacher at a primary school at the age of 16. She taught herself English in her spare time.

After several years, Wang was admitted to a university's continuing education program, where she studied English literature. At the age of 22, she was awarded a full fellowship to attend a graduate program in English language and literature at Shanghai University. After realizing that she wanted to tell the stories of people who came from backgrounds like hers, Wang decided to pursue graduate film studies, first in the journalism school at Ohio University and later in New York University's documentary program. Wang holds master's degrees from New York University, Ohio University and Shanghai University.

Since completing her studies, Wang has produced short films that have been distributed on many platforms and translated into several languages. Her work often features the stories of marginalized or mistreated people. She is a recipient of grants from the Sundance Documentary Fund and Bertha BRITDOC Journalism Fund and is a Sundance and IFP supported filmmaker.