Litmus Films


Robert Stern

Robert founded Litmus Films in 2000.  During the 90’s Robert was a TV news producer & reporter for US network news in the Far East (CNN Beijing Bureau Producer & Reporter 1998-1999, CNBC Asia Shanghai Bureau Chief 1995-1998, ABC News Tokyo Bureau associate producer 1991-1995).

  He has directed and produced (and sometimes filmed and edited) more than 50 broadcast documentaries and news features, many produced in Japanese for Japanese public broadcaster NHK.


Robert is a China specialist, and his work in this area ranges from hosting game shows to troubleshooting TV coverage of the inaugural Shanghai F1 Grand Prix and conducting social documentary seminars at Chinese TV stations for the BBC World Service Trust.

Robert speaks, reads and presents in Mandarin Chinese and Japanese, is comfortable in French & Spanish, and has dabbled in Norwegian, Italian, Bahasa, Russian and Thai.  Before entering journalism, he travelled the world as a textile trader for Japanese trading giant Itochu. 

Neither of Robert's major honours - a First in Chinese from Edinburgh University and representing Great Britain at the 1992 World Ultimate Frisbee Championships - are traditionally recognised as industry-relevant.  

He is a UK and Australian citizen.

Aileen Chen

Aileen is the Litmus Films development specialist, marketing expert, financial controller and company secretary.  Her path-less-travelled background (born in L.A., raised in Taiwan, high school in Texas, university in Norway & UK) is in tune with Litmus' international ethos. 

Aileen's first career as a marketing professional included promoting winter tourism in Arctic Norway, Scandinavian hotels in Japan and Norwegian seafood in China. Having also conducted Chinese cultural workshops, taught Chinese at adult education colleges and been a British primary school teacher for five years, she has direct experience of a broad range of educational and multicultural issues.

Aileen's other work includes being commissioned to write lyrics in the style of 1930s Shanghai jazz for a Jonny Hardstaff-directed short film.

  In addition to English and Mandarin, Aileen speaks fluent Norwegian, with a northern accent.