Zhang Yimou

Film Director

Zhang Yimou is a Chinese film director, producer, writer and actor, and former cinematographer. He is counted amongst the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, having made his directorial debut in 1987 with Red Sorghum.

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1951 Birth Born on November 14, 1951.


1978 26 Years Old In 1978, he went to Beijing Film Academy and majored in photography. … Read More


1982 - 1985 3 More Events
1987 35 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He is counted amongst the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, having made his directorial debut in 1987 with Red Sorghum. … Read More
1988 36 Years Old Red Sorghum was met with critical acclaim, bringing Zhang to the forefront of the world's art directors, and winning him a Golden Bear for Best Picture at the 38th Berlin International Film Festival in 1988. … Read More
1989 37 Years Old In 1989, he was a member of the jury at the 16th Moscow International Film Festival. … Read More


1992 40 Years Old 1 More Event
Zhang's next directorial work, The Story of Qiu Ju, in 1992, once again starring Gong Li in the lead role.
1995 43 Years Old Shanghai Triad followed in 1995, featuring Gong Li in her seventh film under Zhang's direction. … Read More
1999 47 Years Old 1 More Event
As in The Story of Qiu Ju, Zhang returned to the neorealist habit of employing non-professional actors and location shooting for Not One Less in 1999 which won him his second Golden Lion prize in Venice.


2002 50 Years Old Zhang's next major project was the ambitious wuxia drama Hero, released in China in 2002. … Read More
2003 51 Years Old Hero was one of the few foreign-language films to debut at number 1 at the U.S. box office, and was one of the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2003 Academy Awards.
2004 52 Years Old Zhang followed up the huge success of Hero with another martial arts epic, House of Flying Daggers, in 2004. … Read More
2005 53 Years Old Released in China in 2005, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles was a return to the more low-key drama that characterized much of Zhang's middle period pieces. … Read More
2008 56 Years Old 1 More Event
Zhang's recent films, and his involvement with the 2008 Olympic ceremonies, have not been without controversy. … Read More
2010 58 Years Old On May 24, 2010, Zhang was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Yale University, and was described as "a genius with camera and choreography."
2011 59 Years Old 1 More Event
Zhang's 2011 The Flowers of War was his most expensive film to date, budgeting for $90.2 million, until his 2016 The Great Wall surpassed it by $135–160 million … Read More


2013 61 Years Old On November 29, 2013, under pressure from the public and criticism on the Internet, Zhang's studio released a statement that acknowledged Chen Ting and their three children.
2014 62 Years Old 1 More Event
On January 9, 2014, the Lake District Family Planning Bureau, in accord with China's one-child policy, said Zhang was required to pay an unplanned birth and social maintenance fee totaling RMB 7.48 million (roughly US $1.2 million).
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