5 Things To Know About Filmmaker Accented Cinema AKA Yang Zhang

It’s really hard to find quality content on YouTube these days that are worth the time and attention. Thankfully, for anyone who has come across channel ‘Accented Cinema’, they are well aware it’s one of a kind.

Full of insightful video essays on the breakdown of Asian cinemas like Ip Man and Over The Moon, it’s a binge-worthy content house for cinephiles and enthusiasts alike.

Yang Zhang, the founder of Accented Cinema doesn’t compromise in the in-depth analysis and thoughts. From praising the visuals and themes of Hong Kong cinema of Stephen Chow to making legit criticism on Disney’s recent live-action remake of Mulan, he is among the best out there. Some might say, he is on par with other YouTubers like ‘Every Frame A Painting’, and Misteramazing. So, let’s look at some lesser know details on Yang Zhang AKA Accented Cinema.


Meaning Of Accented Cinema

Someone who first comes across the name Accented Cinema surely must have wondered what the name means. Is it because Yang has an accent since he’s not originally from Canada?

Well, turns out that the term ‘accented cinema’ has a valid and rooted definition since it is a term coined by film scholar Hamid Naficy.  He defines accented cinema as ‘the type of movies made exiled,  or postcolonial ethnic identity filmmakers working and living in a country other than their country of origin.

Interestingly, Yang’s YouTube channel lives up to this name since most of the analysis and essays cover films from Asia. Apart from well-known classics that have come out of the Asian market, he also dives deeper into the underlooked movies, their roots, and history.

And from time to time, the creator also breaks stereotypes that westerners have about foreign films through essays like Stop Calling Foreign Films “Weird”. But that doesn’t mean he just applauds the cinemas that come from his roots. Yang gives valid criticism on the declining quality of recent Chinese projects and what he feels that the future should look like. The filmmaker’s analysis is rooted in his own experience of growing up in China with Hong Kong filmgoing experience, rather than some western scholars’ lame criticism. Maybe this is why viewers all over truly resonate with the point he makes about several movies and even the criticism.


Yang zhang’s Early Life, Education

Although Yang from Accented Cinema grew up in China, he moved to Canada where he completed high studies and studied filmmaking.

In 2012, he joined Dawson College located in Westmount to get an Associate’s Degree in Cinema Video Communication. And by 2016, Yang graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Production.

Right after graduating, he began to work on several filmmaking projects as an assistant cameraman. Some short films Yang worked on include Peach Gum (2017), Contemporary Women Filmmakers: The State Of Things (2018), and Keep Calm And Make Art (2016). The latter one was his directorial and writing debut.

The Chinese filmmaker possesses tons of skills in production ranging from sound editing, cinematography, to even lighting.


Accented Cinema Income Sources, Patreon

Since the video essays of Accented cinema consist of copyrighted clips from many movies, it is impossible to generate Google ad revenue from it.

So, Yang instead earns through sponsorship affiliation on his video essays. Big brands like Skillshare and Aurora software company have sponsored his videos which is extremely helpful for creators like him.

When fans used his promo code to avail the services mentioned in his videos, it helps Accented Cinema monetarily.

Also, he is supported by more than 300 fans on Patreon, a membership platform that helps content creators to earn through their work.

Accented Cinema received its Silver Play Button in 2021
Accented Cinema received its Silver Play Button in 2021

Any individual who subscribes for up to $5 gains access to Accented Cinema’s exclusive review of a Hollywood movie and their name in credits of his video essays.

Talking about his current job aside from YouTube, Yang is working as a self-employed videographer and resides in Montreal, Canada.


Yang Is Originally From Guangdong & Bilingual

During Accented Cinema’s Reddit Q&A in 2020, Yang disclosed that his place of birth is Guangdong Province, China.

Although he and other members of his family reside in China, his grandparents still live in Guandong.

My grandparents are still living in my hometown. And with their age, it’s not possible for them to go anywhere anyway. So I still visit them from time to time.

Also, he shared the thing he most misses about his hometown is the food. There were also questions about whether he wanted to direct movies in China, and in response, he really wants to work there in the future if the opportunity arises.

A picture taken by Yang during his trip to China
A picture taken by Yang during his trip to China

He still travels to China from time to time and brings back home DVDs of Chinese films that are hard to rent on the internet. Interestingly, Yang also can speak both his native language Cantonese, and Mandarin. Aside from English ( which he learned only during his second year of college), he is able to understand French pretty well.


Accented Cinema Helped Him Quit Wedding Videography

During struggling years of filmmaking, Yang also resorted to doing wedding shoots to make a living. But as expected from a passionate filmmaker, his heart was into making movies and tell his own story. Although he did make short movies from time to time, it wasn’t a full-time job. Thankfully, after founding Accented Cinema in 2019, he was able to monetize the platform and focus on his filmmaking career full-time.

The audience base of Accented Cinema
The audience base of Accented Cinema

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Atif Abidi
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