MFA student Yingtong Li’s short film, Feng Zheng (The Silent Whistle), was one of five films to win the Gotham Awards 4th Annual Focus Features & JetBlue Short Film Showcase .
The showcase’s intent is “designed to discover and empower a diverse group of emerging filmmakers and foster multi-platform distribution of their work.”
Winners receive a $10,000 grant and have their films shown for 12 months on JetBlue’s seatback entertainment systems. Winning filmmakers will also receive ongoing mentorship and workshopping opportunities from The Gotham and “Every House” Soho House worldwide membership.
In May 2022, the film was chosen to premiere at the 75th Annual Cannes Film Festival, marking what may be the first time an Emerson MFA student film has been selected for that festival.
“I grew up in a small seaside city in southern China. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with all kinds of stories from my parents, stories about the sea, about people and life in a small town. I got inspiration from those stories and develop it into a script, that’s how Feng Zheng came to be,” Li told Emerson Today in May.