Qiyu Zhou is a Chinese film director, writer, and producer based in Los Angeles. She believes filmmaking is the most soulful language as it touches the tenderest part of the audience’s heart. Her films are marked by a fascination with redemption and the recurring themes of grief, self-forgiveness, and its aftermath. They never shy away from using explicit story exposition and daring tones to create their worlds. Qiyu is a tough cookie as she takes hard approaches to soul-purifying pieces with great entertaining values.
After graduating from Beijing Film Academy in 2010, Qiyu began her creative life as a photographer, with her work exhibited in Minneapolis and published in magazines. Now she holds two master-degrees of film directing from the prestigious American Film Institute and College of Motion Picture Arts at FSU. Qiyu was awarded as the best female director by Independent Shorts Awards. Her film, “The Koi”, was screened in more than 20 festivals including Oscar Qualified Burbank International Film Festival.
When grandma was at the end of her bout with leukemia, I was barely 5. She held my hands and said, “Look at those hands, they are boy’s hands.” The powerful satisfaction in her eyes was strong and genuine enough to make me believe that I should have been born a boy.
My father was required to move to Zhengzhou for his promotion which seemed like an almost out-of-reach blessing to our small-town family. My relatives tried hard persuading my mom to leave me in the village, so my parents could start fresh in a bigger city and not lose the chance to have a boy in the future due to the one-child policy at the time.
My mind changed that day about what I wanted to be seen as when I grew up-no less than a boy. I’d never wear dresses again and I’d always play the boy’s role during the kids’ games. I didn’t believe in gender. I would prefer to claim that I don’t have one if I could. Writing Miss Boundless was a release and an answer to my coming-of-age struggle of never being seen as “enough”. The protagonist is forced to confront her inner desire of being enough. In the end, as the character reclaims her identity, embraces who she is, I started to feel my voice.