Anastasia Lin Beauty Queen
VAFF 2018 laurels
Dallas Video Festival logo
Queens World Film Festival logo
DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregan logo

Anastasia is not Your Average Beauty Queen

While many young women who enter a beauty pageant choose a cause to support as a means to win the crown, Anastasia Lin saw the Miss World beauty pageant differently. She was already passionate about a cause. Through her work as an actress, Anastasia had learned stories from survivors of human rights atrocities in China, her native country—stories that shook her. Anastasia wanted to do more, to be a voice for those suffering there. The Miss World beauty pageant seemed like the ticket to advance her cause.

Anastasia gathered her courage and entered the competition in 2013. Her first attempt ended in failure, but with determination Anastasia entered again in 2015—this time winning the title of Miss World Canada 2015. She was celebrated in Canada as well as in her birthplace of China. The celebration quickly took a turn, however, when Chinese authorities realized what the beauty queen’s message to fans was.

“It’s like a new journey, I just felt this huge responsibility… this huge weight that was dropped on my shoulders.”

Religious Freedom and the Abolition of Organ Harvesting

Anastasia Lin learned more about the persecution of Falun Gong while researching and interviewing persecution survivors for her acting roles, and wanted to speak out about it. Talking directly with women who'd been through unimaginable torture while maintaining dignity and hope, she felt a responsibility to speak out more fervently.

In this process, Anastasia learned that Falun Gong practitioners were not only being imprisoned and tortured in China, but there was growing evidence they were being killed en-masse to supply the lucrative organ transplantation business operated by the communist regime. Her platform was to bring attention to this little-known atrocity. Anastasia was tackling a more contentious issue than her fellow beauty queens, but she had no idea the controversy that would unfold as a result of her position.

Background about Falun Gong and Being Invited for Tea.

In the late 1990s, tens of millions of Chinese citizens practiced Falun Gong—a peaceful meditation practice of the Buddhist school rooted in the principles of truth, compassion, and tolerance. Initially, the government supported it as a way to improve health, but Falun Gong’s popularity and independence from state controls came to be viewed as a threat by the ruling communist party, particularly then-president Jiang Zemin. So in 1999, the party declared its intent to “eradicate” Falun Gong, and launched a sustained and systematic persecution that has since permeated every level of society.

In China today, despite many economic advances, the society remains tightly controlled by the communist regime. They will stop at nothing to shut down anything that is perceived to be a threat to its authority. One method of intimidation is for the secret police to "invite you to tea" and suggest you stop any action it doesn’t like. Soon after winning Miss World Canada, Ana’s father is invited for tea. He is told to silence his daughter or else.

“My father told me the Ministry of National Security came to him, telling him that if I keep talking, they’ll tear our family apart like during the Cultural Revolution.”

Persona Non Grata

Anastasia is declared a "persona non grata" by China, the highest form of diplomatic punishment, which bars a person from entering a country. As the Miss World 2015 competition finals are moved from Australia to Sanya, China, the beauty queen faces a difficult decision—does she continue to speak, putting her family and her own life at risk or does she fall silent, giving up her cause of speaking out about human rights atrocities in China?

Badass Beauty Queen trailer

Watch Badass Beauty Queen to see what Anastasia Lin chooses.

“It is not easy to make this choice or even to keep making this choice, but is so worth it. It is the only way to live and the right way to live, and we should encourage it in one another.”

Inspire others to stay true to their conscience

Bringing ‘Badass Beauty Queen’ to your school or community can ignite meaningful conversation around human rights and empower young people to stand up for what they believe in. We’d love to hear from you if you are interested in hosting a screening!

Host A Screening
Screening Request Form

Upcoming & Past Screenings

Metro Cinema Logo
Metro Cinema Asian Canadian Film Series

Edmonton, AB

Metro Cinema

May 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

More info

RFF logo
RFF 2018 - Real Film Festival (Australian Premier)

Newcastle, Australia

Tower Cinemas

October 28, 2018 @ 2:00 pm

More info

VAFF 2018 laruels
VAFF 2018 - Vancouver Asian Film Festival

Vancouver, BC

Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas

November 3, 2018 @ 3:00 pm

More info

Kenyon College logo
Kenyon College

Gambier, Ohio

Community Foundation Theatre in the Gund Gallery

October 27, 2018 @ 3:00 pm

More info

Chagrin Documentary Film Festival  logo
CDFF 2018 - Chagrin Documentary Film Festival

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Township Hall

October 3, 2018 @ 3:30 pm

More info

Western Illinois University logo
Western Illinois University Women’s Center

Macomb, Illinois

Multicultural Center

November 13, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

More info

Vanderbilt University logo
Vanderbilt University - Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

Nashville, Tennessee

Buttrick 101

November 14, 2018 @ 6:30 pm

More info

NRK logo
NRK - Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation

Norway Broadcast

More info

Regina International Film Festival laurel
RIFFA 2018 - Regina International Film Festival

Regina, Saskatchewan

Cineplex Odeon South Auditorium 3

August 18, 2018 @ 11:25 am

More info

Asian American International Film Festival laurel
AAIFF 2018 - 41st Asian American International Film Festival

New York City, New York

Village East Cinema

July 28, 2018 @ 4:45 pm

More info

Madonna Catholic Secondary School logo
Madonna Catholic Secondary School

Toronto, Ontario

May 7th, 2018

University of Washington logo
University of Washington Asian Student Commission co-hosted with the Jackson School Student Association

Seattle, Washington

Smith Hall

May 10th, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

More info

Haifa Cinema House logo
Haifa Cinema House

Haifa, Israel

Haifa Cinema House

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 8:45 pm

More info

Women's Film Festival San Diego logo
Women's Film Festival San Diego

San Diego, California

THE LOT (2620 Truxtun Rd)

Saturday, April 14, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

More info

Carnegie Mellon University Logo
Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Giant Eagle Auditorium

April 6, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

More info

University of California Santa Barbara logo UCSB
UCSB Human Rights Board

Isla Vista, California

UCSB Graduate Student Lounge

Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

More info

St Margaret’s School Logo
St. Margaret’s School

Victoria, British Columbia

Private Screening

DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon logo
DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon

Eugene, Oregon

Broadway Metro (43 W. Broadway)

Friday, April 20 @ 11:00am

More info

University of Virginia Logo
Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center

Charlottesville, Virginia

Open Grounds at University of Virginia

Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

More info

New York University Logo
New York University Asian Pacific American Coalition

New York, New York

New York Kimmel Center for University Life

Monday, March 19 @ 8:00 pm

More info

University of California Merced Logo
Merced Community Engagement Center

Merced, California

UC Merced

Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

More info

Queens World Film Festival Laurel
Queens World Film Festival

Astoria, New York

Kaufman Astoria Studios Zukor Theatre

Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

More info

Montclair State University logo
Office of Equity and Diversity, Montclair State University

Montclair, New Jersey

Montclair University Student Center

Saturday, March 21, 2018 @ 3:00 pm

More info

Cardozo University Logo
Cardozo Students for Human Rights co-hosted by Cardozo Women’s Leadership Initiative

New York, New York

Cardozo School of Law

Thursday, March 8, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

More info

Junior League of Toronto logo
The Junior League of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

YWCA (87 Elm Street)

Thursday, March 8, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

More info & tickets

Acadia University Logo
Acadia Students’ Union

Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Acadia Students’ Union

Thursday, March 8, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

More info

University of Notre Dame logo
University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana

Coleman-Morse Lounge

Thursday, March 8, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

More info

Harvard University Logo
Harvard Asian American Women’s Association co-hosted by the Chinese Students Association

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Fong Auditorium

Sunday, March 4, 2018 @ 3:00 pm

More info

Purdue University Logo
Asian American & Asian Resource and Cultural Center

West Lafayette, Indiana

Monday, February 19, 2018

More info

College Villa Maria Logo
Collège Villa Maria

Montreal, Quebec

Private Screening

Dairy Arts Center logo
Dairy Arts Center

Boulder, Colorado

Six screenings February 7 - 10, 2018

More info

TelAviv Cinema House logo
Tel Aviv Cinematheque

Israel Theatrical Premiere

Tel Aviv Cinema House

Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

More info & tickets

Dallas VideoFest logo
Dallas Videofest 30

World Premiere Co-hosted with The Asian Film Festival of Dallas

Studio Movie Grill

Friday, October 6, 2017 @ 9:15 PM

More info & tickets

Posters and Key Art

BBQ Key Art Horizontal
Horizontal Poster
BBQ Key Art Vertical
Vertical Poster
BBQ Key Art Horizontal
BBQ Key Art Vertical
Twitter Optimized Images


Washington Post Op-ed
Behind the Scenes - Stephan Caras
Behind the Scene - Stephan Caras Back
Behind the Scene - Stephan Caras Group
India Panel
National Press Club

Selected Press about Anastasia Lin

Social Media Posts

Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin

IT'S HERE 💥 ✊ 💄 Beauty, brains, and a thirst for change. Watch the trailer for Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin now. "I can speak and people will hear. And that goes for everyone." - Anastasia Lin. From Lofty Sky Entertainment, directed by Theresa Kowall-Shipp.

Posted by Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Flashback to when Anastasia was stuck in Hong Kong enroute to China for the Miss World Finals. She found out she was granted 'persona-non-grata' by the Chinese Regime. Here is an extended clip of the press conference. #HumanRightsDefenders

Posted by Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin on Thursday, February 14, 2019

We are all Davids facing our own Goliaths. Another never-before-seen video extra from the film of Anastasia speaking to scholar David Leong in Hong Kong. "There are many Davids around the globe who are facing up to the same Goliath. And this David called, "Hong Kong" has shown the other Davids of the world, that to give up your right to call a spade a spade, to forgo your dignity, and to yield to this Goliath's unreasonable demands—is not the only option open to Davids."

Posted by Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin on Thursday, February 14, 2019

Never before seen video extra from Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin! This interview didn't make it into the film, but Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China and professor of law emerita, City University of New York School of Law has a powerful to share about human rights and human dignity: "When you talk about human rights, it's about at its heart—human dignity. Where it's the right to believe, whether it's the right to have his holiness as Dalai Lama's picture, or whether it's Falun Gong so they could practice, or whether it's I'm a lawyer I would like to represent my client, or women who don't want to be beaten at home or in public or abused in public. This is about human dignity and this is what's under assault in China now. It's Human Dignity"

Posted by Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Meet the dress makers of Anastasia Lin (and see the different dresses she tried on before the Miss World competition). Never-before-seen interview with designers and owners of renowned Canadian couture fashion house Stephan Caras on why they chose to help the beauty queen in her time of need. #beauty #humanrights #dotherightthing

Posted by Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin on Thursday, February 21, 2019

If you want to stand up for human rights. Be prepared to sacrifice. Never before seen video with a former Chinese professor from Peking University. #humanrights

Posted by Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin on Friday, February 22, 2019

For all press inquiries and high resolution images, please contact Judith at or +1 416-901-9459 ext 104