Born in 1998, Trista Weng is an indie documentary filmmaker currently based in Beijing, China. Growing up in Hangzhou, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Beijing Normal University, majoring in Film and Television and minoring in Philosophy. Also, during her college years, she had been to UCLA for summer school and UC Berkeley for a semester-long visiting student program.
Since her junior year of college, Trista has shifted from “academic” fiction filmmaking to independent documentary filmmaking. Having spent one and a half years filming homeless people living in a McDonald's near her campus, she completed her first feature-length documentary, Vagrants and I, in May 2021, which won her Audience Select Award at her department’s graduation exhibition. Additionally, since 2021, she has worked as an assistant for Su Qing, an established indie documentary filmmaker, a musician, and a restaurant owner. Her job concerns script-writing, photographing and editing for his ongoing feature documentaries.
Confronting critical political change in her homeland, mainland China, Trista yet chose to “keep a distance” from the subjects concerning her national identity and gender. Instead, influenced by her studies of Philosophy (Ethics primarily), she seeks to explore human’s shared experiences in the occasionality of being, as well as the separation and connection between different individuals. Meanwhile, interested in the emerging digital media, she aims to extend her art practice to multi-media arts at Duke’s MFA|EDA program, and quest into the future of cinematic storytelling.