Film-maker (Mainland China)
Film-maker (Mainland China)
Chen Kaige is one of the most influential Chinese directors in film history. He was a leading figure in the Fifth Generation of Chinese cinema, and is the only Chinese film-maker to have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, in 1993 for Farewell My Concubine. He is a a Golden Globe winner, an Oscar nominee and a multiple winner of the Chinese Movie Awards and the Golden Roosters.
Chen’s father was a well-known film director in China. As a young man, Chen studied at high school in Beijing and then went to the frontier of southwestern China’s Yunnan province as a young intellectual during the Cultural Revolution. Later, he joined the People’s Liberation Army.
On returning to Beijing, he was admitted to the department of directing at the Beijing Film Academy, making him one of the first directors trained after the Cultural Revolution.His first film, Yellow Earth, shot in 1984, was a landmark work among the fifth generation of Chinese directors. Set against the backdrop of the Yellow River Valley, the film was a grand epic of the past and future of the Chinese nation and was both a local success and, significantly, an international success after China opened up its films for exhibition overseas.
The ground-breaking film won the Golden Rooster for best film, was named among the top ten Asian films of the century by Asia Week and China Film’s top ten films in the past 90 years.
Chen then became a fixture on the international festival circuit, becoming the first Chinese director in competition at Cannes in 1988 with King Of The Children and then again in 1991 with Life On A String.His sumptuous 1993 epic Farewell My Concubine finally won him the Palme d’Or and remains one of the most beloved Chinese films in the last century. It was the only Chinese film named to the 2010 survey by Time magazine of 100 greatest films ever made.
Chen’s distinguished filmography also includes The Big Parade (1985), Temptress Moon (1996), The Emperor And The Assassin (1999), Together (2002), The Promise (2005), Forever Enthralled (2008), Sacrifice (2010), Caught In The Web (2012), Monk Comes Down The Mountain (2015) and last year’s award-winning Tang Dynasty epic Legend Of The Demon Cat (2017).
Chen was selected as a cultural leader at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and served as ambassador of Chinese culture to UNESCO.
Director (Hong Kong SAR)
Director (Hong Kong SAR)
Mabel Cheung scored success with her first feature film The Illegal Immigrant in 1985, winning the best director prize at the Hong Kong Film Awards and a special jury award at the 30th Asia Pacific Film Festival. Her second feature An Autumn’s Tale (1987) did even better, winning the Hong Kong Film Awards for best picture and best screenplay. Her other films include the well-loved The Soong Sisters (1997) which starred Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh and Vivian Wu in the title roles, City Of Glass (1998), Beijing Rocks (2001) and Traces Of A Dragon (2003).Her most recent film as a director is A Tale Of Three Cities (2016) starring Sean Lau and Tang Wei which was nominated for six Hong Kong Film Awards.
She is also a highly accomplished producer of popular films including Painted Faces (1998), Now You See Love, Now You Don’t (1992) and The Moon Warriors (1993). In 2010 she produced Echoes Of The Rainbow which won the Crystal Bear in the Generation section of the Berlin Film Festival and four Hong Kong Film Awards.
In 2005, she directed Song Of Light And Shadows, a stage musical commemorating the centenary of Chinese cinema which won the Gold Prize for best performance in China.
She graduated from the University of Hong Kong but holds a graduate diploma in drama and visual arts from Bristol University in the UK and an MFA Degree in film production from New York University Graduate Film School.
Paul Currie is an Australian producer and director whose work spans commercials, TV series, films and live events. His debut feature as a director One Perfect Day won him the best debut director award from the Screen Directors Association Of Australia.
Early in his career he produced action film Under The Gun, co-wrote the book A Hero’s Journey and directed the documentaries Lionheart – The Jesse Martin Story and Every Heart Beats True: The Jim Stynes Story. He also served as creative director for World Reconciliation Day, a live and multi-camera broadcast event that featured Nelson Mandela and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.
Other directing credits are ABC TV series Twentysomething and psychological thriller 2:22 which stars Michael Huisman and Teresa Palmer.
He executive produced cop thriller Rampart written by James Ellroy and starring Woody Harrelson, Sigourney Weaver and Robin Wright, and Max Rose starring Jerry Lewis. Teaming with Hollywood veteran Bill Mechanic, he produced both the recently completed fantasy adventure The King’s Daughter with Pierce Brosnan, William Hurt and Fan Bingbing and Mel Gibson’s hit war film Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield.
He recently produced Bleeding Steel, a large budget Chinese film shot in Australia with Jackie Chan in the lead role and China/Australia co-production The Longest Shot He also directed the live action opening and closing sequences of The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) also starring Jackie Chan.
Celebrated Indian actress Tillotama Shome has achieved success at home and internationally with a series of outstanding performances starting with her breakhrough role as the family maid Alice in Mira Nair’s Golden Lion winning Monsoon Wedding in 2001.
Ironically after that initial fame, she quit films to do a second master degree from New York University in educational theatre, receiving the prestigious INLAKS scholarship for it. She went on to work as a teaching artist in New York, exploring issues of violence and sexuality in prison and domestic violence shelters.
She returned to film four years after Monsoon Wedding, and has subsequently acted in 25 films in various languages. As a girl raised as a boy in Anup Singh’s Qissa (2013), Variety said she gave “a fearless performance [which] combines gender assumptions so seamlessly that the border between male and female seems to fade into irrelevance.”
Among her other notable films are Konkona SenSharma’s A Death In The Gunj (2016) for which she was nominated for a Filmfar award in India and Rohena Gera’s Sir (2018) which was selected for Critics Week at Cannes this year. Her portrayal of Ratna, the maid in the house of a wealthy Mumbai man, was considered the soul of the film which won the Gan Foundation prize at the festival.
Other credits include Claire McCarthy’s The Waiting City, Florian Gallenberger’s Shadows Of Time, Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai and Tanuj Chopra’s short film Butterfly.
Danis Tanovic is an Oscar-winning Bosnian director who leapt to fame when his sardonic film about the Bosnian war No Man’s Land was selected for competition at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. It won the screenplay prize at Cannes before going on to win the Academy Award and Golden Globe for best foreign language film in early 2002.
Tanovic was born in 1969 and raised in Sarajevo. The war disrupted his studies and he started making documentary films about the conflict and the siege in his home city that lasted four years. He started work on No Man’s Land in the late 1990s. After the film’s success, he started making films all over Europe including Hell (2005) in France with an all-star cast led by Carole Bouquet and Emmanuelle Beart, and Triage (2009) in Ireland and Spain with Colin Farrell and Paz Vega.
In 2010, he returned to Balkan themes with his film Cirkus Columbia which played at the Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian film festivals and was Bosnia’s submission to the Academy Awards that year.
His 2013 film An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker was selected for competition at Berlin in 2013 where it won the Silver Bears for best actor and the grand jury prize. His latest film Death In Sarajevo (2016) also went to Berlin competition and won the grand jury prize and the FIPRESCI award for best film in competition.
He is currently in post-production on his first TV series, a six-hour drama for HBO Europe called Success.