Cathy Yan | Srivideo
Born/Date of Birth: 25 January 1983
Place of Birth: China
Alma mater: Princeton University, New York University
Parents: Andrew Yan
Cathy Yan is a Chinese-born American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Her films include the comedy-drama film Dead Pigs (2018) and Birds of Prey (2020), the eighth installment of the DC Extended Universe.
Early life and education
Yan was born in 1986 in China and raised in Northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C. While the family still lived in China, Yan's father was given a visa to study sociology in the US. Two years later her mother left for America, and Yan remained in China with her grandparents. At age 4 she was reunited with her parents in America. She moved to Hong Kong when she was 14 years old, where she finished high school.
She received her BA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 2008 and graduated with an MBA in general management from New York University Stern School of Business and an MFA in producing from New York University Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film Program in 2016.
Yan worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal in New York, Hong Kong and Beijing before turning to filmmaking.
After writing and directing several short films, Yan made her feature debut with Dead Pigs (2018). The film was inspired by the 2013 Huangpu River dead pigs incident, in which 16,000 dead pigs were found floating down the Huangpu River. Funded by Chinese investors, Yan shot the dark comedy in Shanghai with a bilingual crew then completed the film in New York; "Sixth Generation" filmmaker Jia Zhangke executive produced. Dead Pigs premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won a Special Jury Award for ensemble acting.
In April 2018, Yan was selected to direct the Harley Quinn DC Extended Universe superhero film Birds of Prey, based on the comic of the same name. The film was released on February 7, 2020 to positive reviews. Margot Robbie starred and co-produced and Christina Hodson wrote the script. Yan was the second woman and the first Asian woman to direct a DC film (or any US superhero film).
As of January 2020, Yan is working on the Sour Heart film for A24.
Yan is married; her husband works in the restaurant industry.