"The Greatest Gift" Filmmaker Yilei Zhou

"The Greatest Gift" Filmmaker Yilei Zhou

A Story by starpower

One of China's most talented filmmakers in Hollywood Yilei Zhou


I just saw a beautiful film by the Chinese filmmaker Yilei Zhou. The film was The Greatest Gift, and it told the story of a young Chinese woman who is working in America and misses her hometown and especially her parents. After months of living frugally and saving much of her salary, the woman buys some very expensive foreign food to send to her parents as a gift for Chinese New Year.


When she phones her parents to see how they enjoyed the gift, they tell her that they are preparing the food at that moment and the woman gets very angry at them when she finds out they are ruining the food by cooking it the wrong way. She ends up yelling at them over the phone and hanging up on them. A couple of months later she decides to buy more of the same expensive food and take it to China when she visits her parents.


It’s a very good story that most audiences can relate to because of the parental relationships involved. We can’t give away any spoilers but the ending is a bit of a surprise and we were quite pleased with it. Ms. Zhou shows great sensitivity in this film and we see that she is a very sensitive writer and director who is in touch with human relationships, human feelings, human nature and with solid story-telling abilities.


Yilei’s film The Greatest Gift, won best student film in the New York/Los Angeles International Film Festival and was an official selection in the California Women’s Film Festival. Yilei received her MFA in Film from Art Center College of Design in 2016.


This film, however, is not the only one Yilei has done. She is quite prolific and has done numerous other projects including, One Two, which got her into the Art Center College of Design, He and Rock & Roll, Smooth Criminal & Human Nature and What Do You Mean, among others. He And Rock & Roll won countless awards and was the official selection in several prestigious film festivals including, Independent Filmmakers Showcase, California International Shorts Festival, Oceanside International Film Festival and the Savannah Film Festival.


He And Rock & Roll tells the story of a 1970s rock band and the love that grows between two men: the lead singer and the guitarist. This film not only pays tribute to the Rock & Roll legends that she loves, but also reflects the LGBT culture in that era led by those rock stars.  Ironically, there are a couple of things in common between The Greatest Gift and He And Rock & Roll. In The Greatest Gift, Yilei preserves her sensitive style in storytelling and in He and Rock & Roll. although within the raw and chaotic rockers’ world, audiences will still find subtleness in the characters and the story. We can't wait to see what this talented filmmaker comes up with next!



© 2016 starpower

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Added on December 7, 2016
Last Updated on December 7, 2016
Tags: Yilei Zhou



Los Angeles, CA

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