Changhui (Sophie) Shi Wants to Produce Films That Empower Women
Changhui (Sophie) Shi, a graduate of the highly esteemed MFA Producers Program of UCLA, continues to excel in her production career. As her career moves forward, Shi hopes to aid in the creation of impactful, representative films that tell inspiring stories. An area that Shi is particularly interested in emphasizing is women empowerment.
Movies are a significant source of inspiration for many and stand as a powerful tool to alter society’s perceptions (namely of minorities.) Regarding women specifically, in a lot of films, they may be viewed as weak, unimportant characters solely recognized for their appearance or sex appeal.
Increasing the films representing strong, independent women is imperative to changing the negative perceptions of women that many unfortunately hold. Shi reminisces upon the time when she saw positive representation of women in film and how it sparked her passion for film. She describes it as “[her] very first memory of the power of films.”
As a thirteen-year-old girl, on a school day in the theater, Shi was mesmerized by the film Warm Spring. This film tells the story of a young orphan who consistently responds to the hate she receives with kindness. Shi, and the hundreds of other teenagers in the theater, marveled at the story.
She remembers, “The full house was laughing and crying. When the film ended, all of my schoolmates left the theater with red eyes.” It was after this movie that Shi realized the impact that films could have on people. Her entire view on love changed completely due to a 90-minute film.
After this experience, Shi realized her destiny to pursue a career in film. Shi notes, “Ever since then, I have had this dream of telling strong girls’ stories through film.” Through her extensive education in film production as well as her experience in producing films, Shi recognizes the importance of films with deep and significant meanings.
Many of the films that she has been involved with producing retain strong meaning and are cognisant of accurately representing characters and stories through film. Shi has been involved in the production of many short films, such as Crazy Girl, Daisy is Gone, and Kingdom of Strangers.
As she pursues her career further, she will aid in the production of more inspiring and uplifting films. Shi is also continuously expanding her knowledge on all subjects, namely to do with film. She has taken up reading to educate herself on a variety of subjects that will undoubtedly inspire future films and help her become more familiar with the industry.
She explains of her anticipated readings: “My other reading list is about feminism because I want to be a well-versed feminist. I think those readings can cultivate my unique perspective in the kind of stories I want to tell.” As Shi moves forward in her career, she emphasizes her mission: “I want to tell strong girls’ stories through film to inspire the next generation.”