Director Andy Yi Li  New Film, ‘Auntie Wu’, Pay Tribute to the Unsung Heroes of Children’s Lives, Their Nannies

(A still from the 2017 short film “Auntie Wu” by Andy Yi Li)

(The photograph, captured by Andy Yi Li in 2017, features Auntie Wu at 68 years of age.)

(The photograph, captured by Andy Yi Li in 2017, features Auntie Wu at 68 years of age.)

Director Andy Yi Li

Director Andy Yi Li

Begin shooting in 2025, the Los Angeles-based Chinese director brings special project to tell the true story of her nanny and stories often left in the shadows.

This film seeks to embody the vulnerability and longing felt when far from home, providing comfort to those we hold dear. It’s a tale of enduring bonds and unwavering love..”

— Director and producer Andy Li Yi.

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, January 31, 2024 / — Director Andy Yi Li recently shared the news with the local media about her upcoming film Auntie Wu (working title). The film pays tribute to her nanny, who has worked for her family for over two decades and has played a significant role in the director’s journey. As a director, Li is driven to bring to light the tales often overlooked, to breathe life into the quiet stories woven into the complex yet profoundly beautiful fabric of daily life. Set in China in the 1990s, early 2000s, and 2020s in the US, the film is a longer version of the short film idea that Li did in 2017, which eventually led to her acceptance into the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Southern California. The director announced the confirmed crew member on the film as of now, Luna Zhang who will serve as the producer on the film, and the film will be lensing by cinematographer Philips Shum.

Luna Zhang is a seasoned film producer with a rich background in production management, film financing and packaging deals. She is currently poised to play a crucial financial support in Arclight Films’ eagerly anticipated Shark Thriller, “Deep Water.” Luna Zhang, whose productions often spotlight women’s empowerment and diverse representation, was first drawn to Andy Li’s compelling storytelling with “After Sunset, Dawn Arrives,” discovered at the CAA (Creative Artists Agency) Moebius showcase. She regards Andy’s upcoming project “Auntie Wu” as a continuation of this powerful narrative thread, praising his dedication to crafting stories that celebrate female resilience and echo her own passion for elevating marginalized voices.

Philips Shum, a distinguished USC School of Cinematic Arts graduate, has been shaping the field of cinematography since 2011, known for his collaborations with top music artists such as Big Sean, 21 Savage, Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples, and television series “The Crew League” for cable network Revolt TV. His commitment to Asian and Asian-American narratives shines through in projects like “Ella” and “B-Side: For Taylor.” Philips has a high regard for Andy Li’s unique vision and storytelling audacity, evident in the acclaimed “After Sunset, Dawn Arrives.” He sees Andy’s upcoming “Auntie Wu” as a vital addition to the canon of Asian storytelling, showcasing Andy’s remarkable talent for crafting deeply engaging narratives.
The film centers around the relationship between a nanny aka Auntie Wu and a girl, Tao Tao, who now live continents apart, but their strong bond and love for each other transcend distance. Despite facing numerous challenges, including Auntie Wu’s health issues, Tao Tao bravely confronts the emotional and physical suffering that comes her way, determined to overcome them. It delves into the depths of human emotions, portraying the pain that words fail to convey and an inner experience that defies description.

The film will mark Li’s official entry into the realm of feature length filmmaking, leading an entire crew and cast, as she will also serve as the film’s co-producer. In the pre-production phase now, Li has shared that the writing for the film is in the final stages, and they will soon commence the next phase of the project, which involves locating a suitable and cost-effective location in Los Angeles that aligns with the desired backdrop of the 90s and 2000s era. The team is faced with a formidable challenge in accurately portraying the China of the past, and they are actively seeking an effective method to overcome it.

Li is passionate about sharing this story with the world, in telling her story through “Auntie Wu,” Li is committed to capturing the essence of a life that, while outwardly simple, was rich with complexity and meaning. It’s a narrative that honors the silent dignity and the subtle yet significant contributions of those like Auntie Wu, who live and love in the quiet peripheries of the world.”

Director and producer Andy Li Yi has accumulated extensive experience in filmmaking and has achieved international recognition through her portfolio of short films, documentaries, and commercials. The Chinese, now residing in Los Angeles, California, completed her inaugural project at 16. The critics praised her debut short film, Grapes, for its strong storytelling skills and content-driven approach. Since then, she has created an impressive 12 shorts, demonstrating her talent for storytelling and captivating audiences.

Her short film Wei Lai (Li was the producer) received total of 21 wins and 18 nominations. received the recognition of Best Comedy Series at the 42nd College Television Awards. Now streaming on Omeleto YouTube Channel, where garnered 277,000views and 9800 likes. After Sunset, Dawn Arrives (Li directed and co-produced) received an impressive 21 wins and 18 nominations, including the highly sought-after Best Narrative award at the Athens International Film + Video Festival. In addition, the film was qualified to compete for the 2024 Oscars for Best Live Action Short Film, which speaks to Li’s talent in crafting compelling and worthy content.

About Auntie Wu
Auntie Wu is an upcoming feature length film by Andy Li Yi, who both directs, co-produces, and writes the film. The film will be produced by A Strawberry Pictures with plans to collaborate additional top film production companies. The project will begin filming next year and tells the real-life story of Li and her nanny aka Auntie Wu who is currently suffering from stage-4 liver cancer. The film beautifully portrays the profound connection between the two women, showcasing the essence of love that transcends boundaries. The film’s shooting will take place over 8-9 months, with a budget of a million dollars. It will also mark Li’s debut in in full-length feature films. Objective is to captivate a global audience through both a theatrical and streaming release.

Contact Information For Andy Li Yi


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