Zhang Yimou was born in 1950 in the Chinese provincial capital city Xian (Shaanxi province). After completing his school education he joined a project to live and work with farmers between the years 1968 and 1971. Thereafter he worked as a laborer at the 8th textile factory in Xian. He then commenced his studies at the Film Academy in Beijing. Mr. Yimou has worked since 1982 as an actor, cameraman, and in particular, as director at the Guangxi Film Studios.

Excerpts from his long list of awards:

RED SORGHUM: "Hundred Flowers" Prize for Best Film in China. "Golden Bear" Prize at the 38th International Film Festival of Berlin. Prize for Best Film, Best Director, Originality and Artistic Achievements at the 5th International Film Festival of Sydney, Australia.

JU DOU: Special Prize at the 43rd Cannes International Film Festival. Golden Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival. Nomination for the 63rd American Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Foreign Film.

RAISE THE RED LANTERN: "Silver Lion" Prize and Grand Prize of the World Film Critics Association at the 44th Venice International Film Festival in Italy. Nomination for the 64th American Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Foreign Film. British Oscar Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

LIVING: Prize for the best foreign film by the American Film Critics Society. British Oscar Award for Best Foreign Film. Nomination for the American "Golden Globe" Award for Best Non-English Film. Grand Prize of the Jury, the Prize for Best Actor (Ge You) and the Prize of Humanitarianism at the 47th Cannes International Film Festival in France.

SHANGHAI TRIAD: Oscar Nomination for Best Camera (Lu Le). Prize for Best Non-English Film of the All American Film Critics Association. No.1 of the Top Ten Films of the World in 1995 chosen by the Film Magazine of New York.

Turandot was Zhang Yimou's first venture into the world of opera. His production of the work at the Teatro Comunale in Florence in 1997 (also with Zubin Mehta) caused a sensation. This production formed the basis for the unique Turandot in Beijing, though sets, costumes and staging were adapted for the outdoor performances at the Forbidden City.

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Zhang Yimou
Shanghai Triad
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