About / Mission

Crows & Sparrows is an international working group, screening series, and platform for artistic exchange between media artists working in North America and East / Southeast Asia. The program maintains strong ties to Boston and Beijing and has a particular interest in supporting artistic dialogue between these two places through regular curation and visiting filmmaker programs.


Crows & Sparrows was founded in Boston in 2014 by Genevieve Carmel, Benny Shaffer, and Xin Zhou. Yangqiao Lu joined the team in 2016, and Boston screenings are currently organized by Genevieve Carmel and Yangqiao Lu.

Crows & Sparrows has presented film programs in Boston at the Harvard Film Archive, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Brattle Theatre, the Coolidge Corner Theatre, the AgX Film Collective, and in partnership with the Balagan Film Series, The DocYard, and the Independent Film Festival Boston. In 2016, Crows & Sparrows presented its first film programs in China at OCAT Shanghai and the China Independent Animation Film Forum in Beijing.


Genevieve Carmel has a degree in Social Anthropology from Harvard College and was the recipient of a Harvard­-China Fellowship in 2010. She lived in Beijing from 2010­-2013, where she worked as a translator, festival coordinator, and film programmer, and developed an interest in supporting media artists through international exchange and exhibition opportunities. Initiatives she has worked for include the Li Xianting Film Fund, Indie Workshop, NORDOX, and the Flaherty Seminar in China. She is now based in Boston where she works as Program Officer for the LEF Foundation Moving Image Fund, and is also a member of the AgX Film Collective and the Non­-Fiction Cartel. gen@crowsandsparrows.com


YQL_headshot_photo BW

Yangqiao Lu holds a Master’s degree in Cinema and Audiovisual Studies from Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle and a Master’s degree in Arts Administration from the Ohio State University. She writes about cinema and the art of moving image in general. Her writings can be found on Artforum.com.cn, The Brooklyn Rail, La Furia Umana, and LEAP magazine.




Benny Shaffer Headshot_Web

Benny Shaffer is a PhD student in Anthropology at Harvard University, where he produces film, video, and audio works in the Sensory Ethnography Lab. His research focuses on independent cinema, contemporary art, and popular performance troupes in China. He was formerly editor at LEAP: the International Art Magazine of Contemporary China, and currently curates the Emergent Visions film series, which showcases new and innovative works of digital cinema from China.



Xin Zhou Headshot_WebXin Zhou is a curator and writer based in New York and China. He has curated programs and exhibitions at Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Spectacle Theater (Brooklyn), UnionDocs (Brooklyn), and The Wooster Group (NYC) and his writing has appeared in Artforum.com.cn, The Brooklyn Rail, and Film Comment Blog. He also has worked with several film festivals and arts institutions in a variety of capacities, including the China Independent Film Festival (Nanjing), the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (New York) and Wu Wenguang Studio (Beijing).