Jia Zhangke, cinematographer and director, ambassador of Croisments Festival 2017

Jia Zhangke, cinematographer and director, ambassador of Croisments Festival 2017

Jia Zhangke was born in 1970 in Fenyang, Shanxi Province. A graduate of Beijing Academy of Film, his first feature film, The Pickpocket, released in 1998, won the Golden Balloon at the Festival of the Three Continents in Nantes. His subsequent films were all successes. In 2006, Still Life was awarded the Golden Lion at the 63rd Venice Film Festival, and in 2013, Jia won Best Screenplay and Best Foreign Language Film for A Touch of Sin at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2015, his film Mountains May Depart sold 300,000 tickets at the box office in France, becoming one of the most successful recent Chinese films in the overseas market.

In 2009, Jia received was awarded officer of the ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2015, he won the Golden Carrosse at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes. Jia was chairman of the short film jury and the Cinéfondation of the 60th Cannes Film Festival in 2007 and a member of the jury of the official competition of the 67th Cannes Film Festival in 2014. 


Faguowenhua : Can you tell us about your relationship with France and French culture?

Jia Zhangke : I was strongly influenced by French cinema during my studies at the Beijing Film Academy. At the time, I often went to see French films at the cultural centre of the French embassy. The New Wave profoundly influenced me. In 1997, I made my first film, The Pickpocket. The first agency to distribute this film internationally was French. From then on, that is to say, from the beginning of my career, my life was to be closely linked to the French film industry. In 2000, my film Platform was supported by the National Center of Cinematography and the Moving Image (CNC). In recent years, I have collaborated with French companies such as Arte and MK2. My collaboration with MK2 is not limited to the production and distribution of films. We work together on the development of cinema halls as well as on virtual reality projects. Moreover, some excellent French film professionals worked on my latest film, Mountains May Depart. All my films have been distributed in France and have received positive feedback from French critics. These voices from France have always helped and encouraged me. My work as director is inseparable from France.

Faguowenhua Why did you agree to become an ambassador of the Croisements festival?

Jia Zhangke : The artistic and audiovisual programme of the Croisements festival offers the Chinese public a rich and diverse artistic landscape. So it is with pleasure that I take part in the festival and contribute to fruitful exchanges between French and Chinese cinema. All cultures need exchange for inspiration and Croisements is a magnificent chance for mutual enrichment of both French and Chinese cultures.

Faguowenhua : This year, the Panorama of French Cinema pays tribute to the great French actress Isabelle Huppert, who has just received a Golden Globe. What do you think of her work?

Jia Zhangke : Isabelle Huppert is an actress who I really like. I am a great fan : I’ve seen nearly all her films ! I would love to have the chance to work with French actresses like Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche. 

The three "coups de cœur" of Jia Zhangke

14th Panorama of French cinema 
Kids, Maï Lucas  
Piano recital of Vanessa Wagner

They support Croisements festival

Cui Jian, composer and singer, ambassador of Croisements Festival
Wang Yabin, dancer and choreogapher, ambassador of Croisements festival
Sui Jianguo, sculptor, ambassador of Croisements festival
Lu Ming, cartoonist and illustrator, ambassador of Croisements festival






Follow us on Wechat

Scan this QR code to get the best news and events from across China sent to your WeChat every week

Cinema Program of the Institut français in Beijing



Useful links