Big Heart Small Film is a partnership between Alibaba Pictures Group Limited and the Pasadena Community Foundation. Aspiring filmmakers have been paired with Pasadena area non-profit organizations to create short films featuring their critical work and to raise awareness of the vibrant philanthropic efforts in the Pasadena community. 


Rui Cui

Non-Profit: Union Station Homeless Services

Birthplace: Beijing, China

School: University of Southern California

Favorite Film: Life is Beautiful (La Vita è Bella)

"[I want] to reach more audience internally. To encourage and inspire. To find new ways to present truth and express feelings."

Qingge Gao

Non-Profit: PALS

Birthplace: Qingdao, China

School: The Ohio State University Columbus (Film studies, Theatre); Loyola Marymount University (Directing)

Favorite Film: Mustang, Harry Potter, Gone with the Wind, Hacksaw Ridge

"I want to go beyond myself when I make every single film, however, when I throw myself heartily into my film, I do not care what I would get in the end. Making film for me is a kind of enjoyment."

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Muqing Li

Non-Profit: Senior Care Network

Birthplace: Nanjing, China

School: New York Film Academy

Favorite Film: The Departed, American Beauty 

"I hope someday I would find a new way to interpret experimental elements, to give new meaning to film."

Angela Liu

Non-Profit: Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy

Birthplace: Hei Long Jiang, China

School: New York Film Academy, Los Angeles

Favorite Film: Before Sunrise trilogy

"I want to help people or the planet by making films. I want to make a difference."


Jiayuan Liu

Non-Profit: Flintridge Center

Birthplace: Guangzhou, China

School: University of Southern California

Favorite Film: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

"I want to find a way to connect, to question, and to explore the world. And filmmaking is sophisticated tool for it."

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Xueru Tang

Non-Profit: Five Acres

Birthplace: Chengdu, China

School: New York Film Academy

Favorite Film: Brokeback Mountain

"I hope to be a filmmaker that can use film to help people."


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Dmitry Kharchuk

Non-Profit: Five Acres

Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

School: New York Film Academy

Favorite Film: Pulp Fiction

"Every film has its own identity. I prefer to start with the story, to understand the message behind the film and also the feeling that this film should give its viewer."


Siyu (Taro) Wei

Non-Profit: Professional Child Development Associates

Birthplace: Shenzhen, China

School: University of Southern California

Favorite Film: La La Land

"I always believe in the power of storytelling. Since it always encourages me to face my obstacles, I am sure that good content and the touching stories could also help others."


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Eva Ye

Non-profit: Ability First

School: University of Southern California

Favorite film: The Pianist

"I remember the feeling of being left speechless with tears running down my face in the theatre alone as a 13-year-old girl, and I want to create that same feeling for other people."


Xinxuan (Demi) Zhong

Non-profit: Pasadena Playhouse

School: Art Center College of Design

Favorite film: Black Book

"Filmmaking is like a dream, I create a fictional world but I don't want to wake up."