About this submission

Based on my own experience with my parents as small-business owners, Kowtow encapsulates the enduring issue of a systematic corruption in China. Corruption has permeated the fabric of everyday life under the Chinese “dual-track economy” with its parallel markets and state-driven activities. In order to seek for opportunities or even maintain a livelihood, individuals in China often have to give in those with more power, resort to illicit transactions, and thus adapt to the corrupted system. I tell this story to explore the traumatic impact of this sophisticated and rampaging network of corruption.

Raina Yang
Raina Yang (she/her) is a Chinese writer and director based in New York City. She graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelor's degrees in Film and Cognitive Science. Formerly a nonfiction writer and a journalist, she has published in various magazines and newspapers, such as The Catapult. Raina has made three short films highlighting Asian stories, voices, and perspectives; this can also be seen in her short documentary work. Her latest short film Sink was supported by the Panavision New Filmmaker Program. She is a recipient of the 2023 NYC Women’s Fund as well as the 2023-24 AAUW International Fellowship. Raina regularly conducts research and interviews in different communities. As a filmmaker she seeks to explore the fluidity of social definitions and to make an impact on the real world through her creative works. Raina was a TV writing fellow in the Thousand Miles Project. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Film Directing/Screenwriting program at Columbia University.

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