Private Project

Crossroads of Journalism Dreams

What happens when Chinese students with a Chinese journalism background encounter contrasting journalistic ideals, ethics and principles when they arrive in New York? When it comes to these two discrete forms of journalism, Chinese versus American, how will they choose their career after graduation? Going back to China working under censorship and staying in America trying to get work visa, both are not easy for them. This documentary shows their choices and follows two years after their graduation. It tells the story of five young people, who experienced bitterness and happiness when facing the future.

  • Xiaoran Liu
  • Xiaoran Liu
  • Xiaoran Liu
    Camera Person
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 24 minutes 27 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    China, United States
  • Language:
    Chinese, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, XDCAM
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • The 5th China Academy Awards of Documentary Film
    The best new director nomination
Director Biography - Xiaoran Liu

Xiaoran Liu is a Chinese multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Beijing and New York City, graduated from Tsinghua University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. In New York City, she made her documentary “The Noodle Guy” and “Crossroads of Journalism Dreams”. She is a producer for business show “Outthinkers”, a freelancer for PBS, Narratively, a director for CCTV, Phoenix TV, Travel TV, etc, a speaker at TEDx.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

There are less than ten Chinese students every year accepted by Columbia Journalism School. As one of them, I tell the story about five of us in the 84-min documentary. With a Chinese journalism educational background, we went to New York to study American journalism. Besides adapting to new life, we had to deal with the big differences between the two journalism genres. I felt disappointed and depressed. At that time, we began to doubt the choice of learning journalism in America and think about quitting school.

Upon graduation, we were at an intersection with double choices as well as double confusion. Staying in America, work visa, culture and language are all insurmountable obstacles; Back to China, we will face a totally different work environment with censorship. Will Chinese mainstream media accept us? To stay or to go?

I continued my filming after graduation for two years. Each one of us chooses a different path. Some people go back to China; some stay in NYC. Some continue working as a reporter; some decide to leave journalism forever. With new challenges and more digging into journalism, it shows how we deal with reality and make our choices.