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The Film

The danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were 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, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media.

Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets. Eventually, through smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of her journey with the extraordinary revolutionary Sparrow, her fellow activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights.

The Team

Nanfu Wang

Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor

Peter Lucas

Creative Producer

Andrew Cohen

Executive Producer

Alison Klayman

Executive Producer

Michael Shade

Associate Producer

Mark Monroe


Garry Waller

Graphic Designer

Nathan Halpern


Chris Ruggiero


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Upcoming Screenings

Date City Venue Tickets
Dec. 30 – Jan. 5 (3:55pm daily) New York, NY IFC Center
Jan. 5 Los Angeles, CA Museum of Tolerance
Jan. 9 San Francisco, CA Roxie Theater

Past Screenings

Date City Venue Tickets
Opening Jan 22 Park City, Utah, USA Sundance Film Festival
Opening Mar 4 Geneva, Switzerland International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights
Opening Mar 9 Prague, Czech Republic One World Film Festival
Opening Mar 10 London, UK Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Opening Mar 11 Thessaloniki, Greece Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Opening Mar 19 The Hague, Netherlands Movies That Matter
Opening March 25 Kiev, Ukraine Docudays UA
Opening April 1 Chicago, IL Doc10 Film Festival
Opening April 4 Athens, OH Athens International Film Festival
Opening April 5 Cleveland, OH Cleveland International Film Festival
Opening April 7 Durham, NC Full Frame Documentary Festival
Opening April 14 Nashville, TN Nashville Film Festival
Opening April 14 Dallas, TX Dallas International Film Festival
Opening April 21 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Opening April 27 Madrid, Spain DOCUMENTAMADRID Film Festival
Opening April 28 Toronto, Canada HotDocs Film Festival
Opening May 5 Melbourne, Australia Human Rights Arts & Film Festival
May 7 Seoul, Korea Green Film Festival in Seoul
Opening May 12 Taipei, Taiwan Urban Nomad Film Fest
Opening June 5 Cape Town, South Africa Encounters South African International Documentary Festival
Opening June 6 New York, NY Human Rights Watch Film Festival NYC
Opening June 9 Greenwich, CT Greenwich International Film Festival
Opening June 10 Sheffield, UK Sheffield International Documentary Festival
Opening June 22 Sheffield, UK Nantucket Film Festival
Opening June 22 Washington, D.C. AFI DOCS Film Festival
Opening July 20 Brooklyn, NY IFP Screen Forward
Opening July 22 New York, NY Cinema Village
Opening July 29 Traverse City, MI Traverse City Film Festival

Support Us

Hooligan Sparrow is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization. Contributions on behalf of Hooligan Sparrow are payable to IDA and are tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Send a check made out to IDA with “Hooligan Sparrow” marked clearly on the memo line to:

Attention: Fiscal Sponsorship Donations
3470 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 980
Los Angeles, CA 90010


Festival Booking: Jeffrey Winter -

North America Sales: Ben Braun -

International Sales: Cristine Dewey -

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