Marine Ottogalli, Aël Théry | France, China 2019 | 69 Min. | OmeU

Little woman, what now? More than twenty years ago, Ayi came to Shanghai from a rural area in eastern China. Since she never received an official work permit, she earns her living by illegally running a takeaway food stall. Part of her income goes to the local police as a bribe. However, the new station commander won’t take bribes, and on top of that, her neighborhood will be modernized, and its residents faced with resettlement.

AYI is the portrait of a fighter, one of many who persevere, and despite all the hurdles, do not lose their zest for life and their humanity.

Directors: Marine Ottogalli (she/her), Aël Théry (she/her)
Producer: Milana Christitch (she/her)
DOP: Marine Ottogalli (she/her)
Editor: Pascale Hannoyer (she/her)/ Gautier Gumpper (he/him)
Sound: Zheng Yi (he/him), Jeremie Vernerey (he/him)
Sound Mix: Kinane Moualla (he/him)
Color Grading: Gautier Gumpper
Original Soundtrack: Julie Honoré (she/her)


Screenings and Awards
Premiere: France, Strasbourg, September 2019.
« Expériences du regard » – États généraux du film documentaire – August 2020
« Sélection Grand Est » – Aye Aye VO Festival international du film de Nancy – September 2020
– Prix de la Presse
– Mention spéciale du Jury professionnel
« Premiers Regards » – Grand Bivouac – October 2020
Festival international Jean Rouch – Novembre 2020
– Prix du Premier Film
Festival Docs en Goguette – November 2020
South Film Festival Taiwan – November 2020
– Best documentary award
KODEX – Kings of Doc Expended – December 2020
« Les Remarqués » – FIPADOC – January 2021
« Doc au féminin » – Comptoir du doc – March 2021
Millenium Bruxelles, Belgium – May 2021

Aël Théry: After her studies in Chinese language and in restaurant and catering services, Aël Théry engaged in anthropology and graduated with a master’s degree. She pursues her scholarship with a thesis. Her interest in cuisines techniques’ transfer of knowledge brought her to learn the cook’s work first in Taiwan then in China. During her two-year fieldwork and life in Shanghai, she created urban trails through street food. This is where the movie Ayi originated. This documentary is her first movie.

Marine Ottogalli: After studies in cinematography, Marine developed her documentary gaze through anthropological studies. In 2015, she autoproduced her first documentary, Sveinn-à-Mula, TheIcelander who ran out of Petrol. As a director of photography, she works for various documentary projects, and is part of the struggle for the survival of the independant cinema theatre, La Clef Revival, in Paris. In this movie Ayi, Marine shoots the daily struggles of a woman wondering about her future as a street-food cook.