HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE (2013) 85 mins.


HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE follows the journey of two of China's first citizen reporters as they travel the country - chronicling under reported news and social issues stories. Armed with laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras they develop skills as independent one-man news stations while learning to navigate China's evolving censorship regulations and avoiding the risk of political persecution.

The film follows 57-year-old "Tiger Temple," who earns the title of China's first citizen reporter after he impulsively documents an unfolding murder and 27-year-old "Zola" who recognizes the opportunity to increase his fame and future prospects by reporting on sensitive news throughout China.

From the perspective of vastly different generations, Zola and Tiger Temple must both reconcile an evolving sense of individualism, social responsibility and personal sacrifice. The juxtaposition of Zola's coming-of-age journey from produce vendor to internet celebrity, and Tiger Temple's commitment to understanding China's tumultuous past provides an alternate portrait of China and of news-gathering in the 21st century.

HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE is a Co-Production of ITVS & American Documentary/P.O.V. in association with The Center for Asian American Media & the Sundance Documentary Institute.

2013 Grierson Documentary Award - London, U.K.
2012 Best Documentary - Little Rock Film Festival
2012 Best Documentary Special Jury Award - Independent Film Festival of Boston
2012 Best Cinematography - Woods Hole Film Festival
2012 Emerging International Filmmaker Award - Open City Docs Fest, London
2012 Independent Spirit Award - EBS Documentary Festival, Seoul

2012 Tribeca Film Festival
2012 Hot Docs
2012 Sheffield Doc/Fest, UK
2012 Independent Film Festival of Boston
2012 Sydney Film Festival
2012 Little Rock Film Festival
2012 EBS Documentary Festival
2012 CPH:DOX Film Festival
2012 Woods Hole Festival
2012 CNEX Documentary Film Festival
2012 West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival
2012 Milwaukee Film Festival
2012 Festival Do Rio
2012 Internazionale Film Series
2012 Naples Film Festival
2012 St. Louis Festival
2012 Lens Politica Media & Arts Film Festival
2012 Hunter College
2012 Massachusettes College of Art & Design

Visit the Official HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE Website
Purchase the new edition DVD with bonus features
Learm more about the PBS Broadcast of HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE
Listen to an interview with NPR's Leonard Lopate