Interview: Oscar Shortlisted Filmmaker Alison Klayman on Stumbling Onto Ai Weiwei

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This story originally appeared on Asia Blog partner site ChinaFile, a new online magazine from Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations.

Debut filmmaker Alison Klayman has been on a global tour with her documentary — Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry — a film about one of China's most provocative artists and activists, which this week, was named one of 15 films put on a short list to be considered for a nomination to compete for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Although it has not been publicly screened in China, Never Sorry has attracted large audiences around the world and, like Ai Weiwei, has provoked discussion of the challenges of freedom of expression in China everywhere it goes.

For a filmmaker who, by her own admission, stumbled onto her subject, it has been quite a beginning. “The Sundance Film Festival in January of 2012 was really the first time I’ve ever been to a film festival,” Klayman says. “That was a great way to start."

About the Author

Profile picture for user Jonathan Landreth

Jonathan Landreth is Content Strategist for the Asia Society Policy Institute. Previously, he was Managing Editor of ChinaFile. He reported from Beijing from 2004-2012 for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Hollywood Reporter, among other publications.