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Mandarin Duck Films was founded by Xinyan Yu, an award-winning video journalist and filmmaker based in Washington DC.  The boutique production company is named after a beautiful and feisty bird that became the most surprising celebrity of New York City's Central Park. It was one of the first stories Xinyan shot after moving from Beijing to New York City in 2018.  

Born and raised in Wuhan, China, Xinyan started her journalism career in 2012 working as a producer for BBC News in Beijing covering the Asia Pacific region. In 2018, she launched the North America video team for Hong Kong’s flagship newspaper South China Morning Post in New York, and later joined the BBC's Washington DC bureau as a senior video journalist in 2020. She's covered a wide range of breaking news events, from the Rohingya refugee crisis to the US 2020 Presidential Election.


Now working as an independent filmmaker, Xinyan has directed and produced for major international broadcasters including the BBC, NHK, PBS NOVA, etc. She is a New America National Fellow, a Firelight Media Doc Lab fellow, a Brown Girls Doc Mafia Sustainable Artist fellow and an alumnus of the Yaddo Residency. 


Xinyan's passion for storytelling stems from her experience growing up in a community of steel factory workers and living through dramatic socioeconomic and geopolitical changes in China. Working closely with a network of multicultural and multilingual filmmakers around the world, especially in China and the United States, Xinyan focuses on telling urgent, nuanced and impactful character-driven stories that connect and move people.

project development

Let us develop your story ideas for short films, documentaries, news features, docuseries and corporate videos into actionable plans.

field production

Staff your production team with top notch talents from our global network of producers, journalists, directors, DPs and editors.


We specialize in tackling language differences, cultural complexities and difficult access to make personal, intimate and powerful stories happen. 





Sony FX6



Sony A7iii


Sigma 24-70mm F2.8

Sony 70-200mm F2.8

Tamron 17-28mm F2.8

Rokinon Cine Lens 20mm T1.9

Rokinon Cine Lens 35mm T1.5

Rokinon Cine Lens 50mm T1.5

Rokinon Cine Lens 85 mm T1.5


Parabolic softbox 35inches

Lantern softbox

GVM G-100W spotlight

GVM panel lights


Sennheiser MKE600

Sony ECM-77B Lavalier Mic

Sennheiser G4 radio mic

Boom pole

Zoom H6 recorder


GoPro 10

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