Zhang Yimou biography
Date of Birth: November 14, 1950
Born in China, Zhang Yimou studied cinematography at the Bejing Film Academy. He became a leading member of China's Fifth Generation Filmmakers, the first group to graduate following the turbulent Cultural Revolution. He began his career as an actor, winning the Best Actor Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival for his film debut in Old Well (1986) and starring in his directorial debut, Red Sorghum (1987), which won the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival.
Yimou became the first Chinese filmmaker to receive Motion Picture Academy recognition, with Academy Award nominations in the Foreign Film category for Ju Dou in 1990 and for Raise the Red Lantern in 1991. He has won awards and honors around the world, including the Silver Lion and the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival in consecutive years for Raise the Red Lantern (1991) and The Story of Qui Ju (1992); the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for To Love (1994) and another Golden Lion for Not One Less (1999) as well as a Silver Bear from the Berlin International Film Festival for The Road Home (1999).
Zhang expanded his horizons in 1997 when he directed the Puccini opera Turando in Florence, Italy with acclaimed conductor Zubin Mehta, then restaging it in 1998 in Beijing's Forbidden City.
More recently, he directed Jet Li in Hero (2004), which was nominated in 2003 for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars and the Golden Globe awards. Filmed in the Mandarin language in China, the movie has played around the world.
For his work in House of Flying Daggers (2004), Yimou received much critical acclaim, winning Best Director from the Boston Society of Film Critics. In 2005 he won a Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award from the Art Directors Guild.
Zhang Yimou Filmography