One of the most important and influential filmmakers in China, and a core member of China’s “Fifth Generation” directors, Zhang Yimou started his career as a cinematographer and later became a director in 1987.
Zhang Yimou was the first Chinese filmmaker to receive Motion Picture Academy recognition, having been nominated for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award for “Ju Dou” in 1990, “Raise the Red Lantern” in 1992 and “Hero” in 2003. He has earned numerous top honors, including the Silver Lion at the 44th Venice International Film Festival for “Raise the Red Lantern” (1991), the Golden Lion at the 45th Venice International Film Festival for “The Story of Qiu Ju” (1992), the Grand Jury Prize at the 47th Cannes International Film Festival for “To Live” (1994), the Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice International Film Festival for “Not One Less” (1999), the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for “The Road Home” (1999) and the Alfred Bauer Prize for “Hero” (2003). Zhang Yimou’s box office hit “House of Flying Daggers” was the recipient of multiple international awards as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Foreign Film.
Recent years have seen Zhang Yimou mastering new realms of creativity, directing Placido Domingo in the world premiere of composer Tan Dun’s original opera “The First Emperor” at at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in December 2006, and acting as chief director of the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies of the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing, 2008.
Films presented at Cannes