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People’s Republic of Desire
People’s Republic of Desire

People’s Republic of Desire, the winner of the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at SXSW, is the untold story of China’s live-streaming economy, and the search for fame, fortune and human connection in a virtual world. The documentary directed by technology executive-turned-filmmaker Hao Wu, will be released in theaters on November 30.

In an increasingly digital universe where live streamers earn as much as $200,000 a month, can virtual relationships replace real-life human connection? People’s Republic of Desire tells the stories of two such online stars who have risen from isolation to fame and fortune on NASDAQ-listed YY, China’s largest live streaming platform.

Live-streaming showrooms have become virtual gathering places for hundreds of millions – from the super rich who lavish these online stars with digital gifts, to poor migrant workers who exhaust meager savings idolizing them. All of these characters are brought together in a series of bizarre online talent competitions, where they discover that happiness in their virtual world may be as elusive as in the real one.

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