An accomplished art director, producer and screenwriter from China, Bihong Margaret Sha has traveled extensively through Asia, Europe and the United States and strives to create a platform for international artists around the world through her work as chair of the Hollywood International Women Arts Alliance. Currently, she and her team are organizing an international film festival with a focus on women artists for this coming November alongside the regular artists’ workshops they run. Looking toward the future, she hopes to build up a school within the Hollywood International Women Arts Alliance. She is also the founder and co-chair of the Montgomery International Film Festival and has served as the director, producer and chair of Shafilm since 1995.
Ms. Sha has further utilized her expertise as a judge for several international film festivals, including the North American Chinese Short Film Tour and the China V Film Decade Exhibition, and is chair of the Shanghai-based Golden Phoenix Film Company Ltd. From 1994 to 2004, she was a reporter and host of a talk show as well as the director for the CCTV documentary “One Dream for Generations of Women,” an 11 episode series that focused on and brought attention to human trafficking in China. She was notably the first director and producer in China to tackle to topic of human trafficking in film and television.
Well-regarded for her writing, Ms. Sha was the director and writer for the 2001 film, “Tears in Heaven,” and has published numerous works of poetry and fiction, including the novel “Homelessness,” which was published in 2000. For the past few years, she has been working on a novel about the last hundred years of national history. She maintains professional affiliation with the China Writers Association and the Television Directors Association in an effort to remain up to date with developments in her field.
Driven to make a difference in the lives of others, Ms. Sha has been involved with a number of charitable endeavors as well. She is active with the ONE Foundation, where she provides clothing and food for children who have lost their parents. The organization also helps to provide care to the elderly and financial support to poorer populations. Through her Beijing-based production company, she runs yearly charitable efforts as well to provide school supplies to schools and orphanages in Beijing.
Having always enjoyed art and writing, Ms. Sha was greatly inspired by her father, a literature professor at a local college, and mother, a doctor, to find a career where she could use her skills to impact the lives of others. She first pursued an education at an undergraduate college in Beijing, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1992. Traveling to Germany to continue her studies, she earned a degree in film and theater in 1994 before returning to China to begin her career.
For her excellence, Ms. Sha has been presented with a number of honors and accolades over the course of her career, including the China Radio & TV Award and the Jules Verne International Media Gold Award. Impressively, she is the seven-time recipient of the Golden Award and Silver Award prizes of the Hamburg International Film Festival in Germany. Above these accolades, Ms. Sha considers the highlight of her career to be the impact her work has had on the lives of others and she points to her documentary on human trafficking as a key example of this.
Ms. Sha hopes be remembered for her works, which she has used to deliver love to people around the world. To women looking to make a name for themselves in the field she would advise them of three things. First, respect your gender, but don’t let others try to limit you because of it. Second, be ready for difficulties in the form of both the hard work that is needed to excel and people who will try to block your path. Lastly, follow your heart and passion and don’t let other people decide what you can and cannot do. More information about Ms. Sha and her work can be found at www.margaretsha.com.