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HIFF is honored to nominate this film for the Festival's new emerging filmmaker award, the KAU KA HŌKŪ AWARD.
In a digital universe where live streamers earn as much as $200K a month, can virtual relationships replace real-life human connection? PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE tells the stories of two such online stars who've risen from isolation to fame and fortune in China. The film takes us on a vérité journey through their live streaming showrooms, which have become virtual gathering places for hundreds of millions - from the super rich who lavish performers with digital gifts, to poor migrant workers who worship them.
As part of the Film For Thought program the first screening of this film will be followed by a special extended discussion led by Baoyan Cheng, Associate Professor, Comparative/International Education, College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa.