Under One Roof Movie

In the foothills of the Himalayas, two families must navigate China’s rapidly changing economy.
Nancy Wu
Los Angeles, California
United States
1 Team Member

Upcoming speaking engagement: 

Come and support Ricky and Nancy at the "Connect China via Films" Panel. RSVP here

7:30- 9:00 pm Sep 19, 2012
USC Leavey Library Auditurium 

Update, 9/6: We're past the halfway mark!

As of this morning, we're officially at $5,545! 

Three weeks have gone by, and we've gotten incredible support from you! The response to our campaign has been overwhelmingly positive--If you haven't already, please visit our Facebook Page for updates, photographs, and videos of Lake Lugu! Thank you for getting us this far, we're looking forward to seeing all of you at the finish line!

Update, 8/30: We're at $4205! And we've gotten a little press along the way...

Two weeks in and you've shown up strong! We're almost at the halfway mark, and you've helped us get here!

Oh, and we got featured on prominent Chinese portal Sina News! (for non-Chinese readers, you can use that little lifesaver known as Google translate!)

Update, 8/22: We've Reached the Quarter Mark!

A BIG thank you to contributor Chinamustard, who helped take us above the $2500 mark today! We're into week two, and right on track! Help us to build momentum going forward by pledging today!

And remember, Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for photo-updates (and a really good chance to win amazing prizes our team is giving out this coming week!)


Official Teaser

Want to show us some love? Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our mailing list, found at the bottom of the page. 


UNDER ONE ROOF is a full-length documentary that chronicles the lives of two very different Chinese families, who due to economic reasons, find themselves living under the same roof.

An enterprising Han Chinese couple has come to one of the last outposts of China's frontierland, Lake Lugu. They're here in order to make a business out of struggling lakeside inn belonging to not just any family--but a family of Moso, an indigenous people belonging to China's last matriarchal society.

In order to be successful, compromises will be made, cultures will clash, and patience will wear thin. Will the families adapt, and set apart their differences in order to survive another year, or will the business collapse, extinguishing the best hopes of both families?


The Film

This is a story about families and individuals, locals and immigrants, who are attempting to keep up with the rapid transformation of their homes and way of life. The drama that plays out along the shores of Lake Lugu is a microcosm of a rapidly changing China. We hope to capture this unique moment in time, culture and society.

The Moso

Our documentary features the Moso (or Mosuo) people, an indigenous ethnic minority and China's last matriarchal society. The Moso live high up in the foothills of the Himalayas in Southwestern China, located next to one of China's last unspoiled alpine lakes, Lake Lugu.

The Moso and their way of life have more or less stayed the same--until now. In the past twenty years, word of their unique social practices and colorful traditions has spread. Tourism has brought welcomed money and new technology to the region, but the Moso’s native land is now being slowly developed, village by village, to receive the full force of Chinese and international tourism--with unknown consequences.

We believe that their brave adaptation in the midst of rapid modernization is a story worth telling. 

The Impact 

The film hopes to go beyond just the Moso's matrilineal identity, instead looking at their experience navigating the complicated headwaters of modernization. Meanwhile, we also examine the nuances of their relationship with the influx of Han Chinese who have immigrated to Lake Lugu and now call it home.

Through this film, we hope to increase awareness of: 

  • Cultural preservation of one of the world’s last remaining matrilineal societies
  • Environmental protection of Lake Lugu
  • Responsible tourism

The Status

Update: We've made it the preliminary round of the National Geographic Society's Young Explorer's Grant, and are awaiting their reply in September!

In Feb. 2012, we traveled to Yunnan for field research, staying in the villages of Lake Lugu for over a month conducting interviews and location scouting.
What you see in the trailer above was shot over the month-long period. 

But we need your help. The initial $10,000 pledged will be able to take Ricky and a small, dedicated team back to Lake Lugu to complete the filming of this movie. 

What Will These Funds Go Toward?

Your (tax-deductible) contribution will send Ricky and a small crew back to Lake Lugu to capture this pivotal time in the history of the Moso and modern China.

Our initial $10,000 budget will make it possible to shoot on location, while we actively seek additional funding from other foundations and other private funding sources for post-production and distribution of the final film.

Get Involved

  • Spread the word: Tweet, Facebook and tell your friends!
  • Feedback:  Let us know what you think about the Moso and China -- we appreciate your insight!
  • Equipment donations: Cameras, tripods, granola bars...

Want to show your support? Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and Join Our Mailing List! Thanks for checking us out!

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Find This Campaign On
raised by 74 people in 1 month
65% funded
0 time left
Verified Nonprofit
$10,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on September 22, 2012
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Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Access to Behind-the-scenes!

    We're passionate about our project, and any amount will get us closer to getting this film off the ground! With your $5 contribution, you'll get exclusive access to exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of our time in Yunnan!

    0 claimed
  • $15USD
    Website Thank You

    A big thank you on our website, because we appreciate your support!

    7 claimed
  • $25USD
    Limited Edition Postcards

    Remember, our rewards compound! You get a Website Thank You + One of a kind postcards from professional still images our crew has taken from the breathtaking views at Lake Lugu!

    14 claimed
  • $55USD
    "Under One Roof" DVD

    The best darn deal-- you won't break your bank and you know you've contributed meaningfully to our cause! You get: a Website Thank You + Limited Edition Postcards from Lake Lugu + a DVD with bonus behind-the-scenes footage!

    20 claimed
  • $100USD
    Handmade Souvenir

    Everything compounds! If you have $100 to spare, you get everything listed above + A loom-woven scarf handcrafted by local Moso artisans within the village! And of course, a significant part of the proceeds from this perk will be helping local Moso artisans in promoting sustainable businesses!

    13 claimed
  • $150USD
    Movie Thank You Credit

    In case you forgot, you get everything above, which up to now includes: a Website Thank You, Limited Edition Postcards, a DVD, and a handcrafted artisan scarf + A special thank you on the scrolling credits of "Under One Roof"! We appreciate your support!

    4 claimed
  • $200USD
    "Under One Roof" Screening

    Everything above + Tickets for you and a guest to the Los Angeles screening of "Under One Roof"! As a reminder, you will be responsible for transportation to and from the location of the screening!

    8 claimed
  • $500USD
    Signed Limited Edition Print

    Everything above + a professional high quality signed Director's Edition print of Lake Lugu as a BIG thank you for your support!

    2 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    VIP Meet and Greet

    Everything above + Join us directly after the LA screening of "Under One Roof" for our official VIP After Party where you will be able to chat up the producers as well as the director of the film!

    0 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    Associate Producer

    Everything Above (Website Thank You + Post Cards + DVD + Handmade Souvenir + 4 Tickets to Screening + Signed Director's Limited Edition Print + VIP Party) and Associate Producer credit for "Under One Roof"!

    0 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    Executive Producer

    Everything above + Executive Producer credit for "Under One Roof" + The opportunity to visit Director Ricky Qi on-location in Yunnan and experience the Moso culture firsthand! Flight, lodging and transportation details will be further discussed in private!

    0 claimed
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