Back to Films

Mistress Dispeller

Synopsis

In China, rampant adultery has given rise to a new industry devoted to helping couples stay married in the face of infidelity. Wang Zhenxi is part of this growing profession, a “mistress dispeller” who is hired to maintain the bounds of marriage — and break up affairs — by any means necessary. MISTRESS DISPELLER follows a real, unfolding case of infidelity as Teacher Wang attempts to bring a couple back from the edge of crisis, offering strikingly intimate access to private lives usually hidden behind closed doors. Their story shifts our sympathies between husband, wife, and mistress to explore the ways emotion, pragmatism, and cultural norms collide to shape romantic relationships in contemporary China.

The Filmmakers

Elizabeth Lo Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Co-Editor

Elizabeth is a filmmaker interested in finding new aesthetic ways of exploring the boundaries between species, class, and unequal states of personhood. Her work has been showcased internationally by Sundance, IDFA, SXSW, Tribeca, MoMA, AFI Fest, True/False, New York Times Op-Docs, Field of Vision, and PBS’ POV, among others. Elizabeth has been featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40," and Cannes Lions’ “New Directors Showcase.” She is a recipient of Locarno, New York Film Festival, Yaddo, and MacDowell artist fellowships, and was selected for the Concordia Studio Fellowship and Gotham/HBO Documentary Development Initiative. Her debut feature, STRAY, won Best International Feature at Hot Docs and received nominations from the Independent Spirit Awards, Critics Choice Documentary Awards, and Cinema Eye Honors after premiering at Tribeca in 2020. A New York Times “Critic’s Pick,” STRAY was released theatrically by Magnolia Pictures and is now streaming on Hulu. Her short films — including HOTEL 22, BISONHEAD, and MOTHER’S DAY — have been acquired by colleges and libraries worldwide. She was born and raised in Hong Kong and holds a BFA from NYU Tisch and an MFA from Stanford University.

Emma D. Miller Producer

Emma is a Gotham Award–nominated filmmaker interested in forging new ways of seeing, connecting, and knowing through film. She produced Iliana Sosa's SXSW award-winning WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND (ARRAY Releasing/Netflix), a New York Times "Critic's Pick," and recently directed the short documentary THE SCHOOL OF CANINE MASSAGE (SXSW 2024). As development executive for nonfiction at Concordia Studio, she worked on Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning films that premiered at Sundance, Tribeca, and Telluride, including TIME (Amazon Studios), BOYS STATE (Apple TV+/A24), and PROCESSION (Netflix). She was a casting associate for Showtime's COUPLES THERAPY series; associate producer of the Academy Award-nominated short documentary KNIFE SKILLS (The New Yorker); associate producer of the Oscar-shortlisted, Sundance award-winning feature UNREST (Independent Lens/Netflix); and co-producer of an upcoming feature for National Geographic Documentaries. Emma was named one of DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40” and is a Sundance Producing Lab Fellow and JFI Filmmaker in Residence. She is currently directing her feature debut, FATHER FIGURES.

Maggie Li Producer

Maggie is a Shanghai-based producer, simultaneous interpreter, and magazine editor. She co-produced Jessica Kingdon’s 2022 Oscar-nominated documentary ASCENSION 登楼叹, which won Best Documentary at Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by MTV Documentary Films. In addition, Maggie has worked as a producer for media companies including the BBC, PBS, Reuters, National Geographic, CNBC, Discovery Network Asia, VPRO, Business Week, and CICC, and produced commercial work for clients including Deloitte, Bain&Co, Colliers, J.P. Morgan, Bunzl, SKII, and Dior. She is currently co-producing Jessica Kingdon’s feature documentary UNTITLED ANIMAL PROJECT, Violet Feng’s DATING COACH documentary series, and Ian Bell’s archival documentary WTO/99.

Charlotte Munch Bengtsen Editor

 

Charlotte was a dancer and photographer before studying for a masters in film editing at NFTS, UK. She has edited multiple award-winning feature documentaries, including Joshua Oppenheimer’s THE ACT OF KILLING, Christy Garland’s THE BASTARD SINGS THE SWEETEST SONG, Ada Søby’s AMERICAN LOSERS, Boris Bertram’s WAR PHOTOGRAPHER, Lasse Lau’s THE RAVEN & THE SEAGULL and Michael Dweck & Gregory Kershaw’s 2021 Oscar-shortlisted THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS (Sundance, Cannes), for which she received a Critics Choice Award nomination for best editing. Charlotte’s latest credits are Robin Petre’s FROM THE WILD SEA, Ai Weiwei’s ROHINGYA, and Shaunak Sen’s ALL THAT BREATHES. ALL THAT BREATHES, the first film to win Best Documentary at both Sundance and Cannes, won a Gotham Award for Best Documentary, and received multiple nominations from the Cinema Eye Honors, IDA Awards, Critic's Choice Association Documentary Awards, and Peabody Awards, as well as an Academy Award nomination.