Film Director Jia Zhangke: Cinema in Touch with Reality-SOLD OUT
ChinaFile Presents: Internationally acclaimed film director and screenwriter Jia Zhangke joins Asia Society's Film Curator La Frances Hui and journalist Emily Parker on stage to discuss the art of filmmaking and the realities of life in contemporary China that Jia unfolds in his fictional worlds. He will be joined by long-time collaborator and wife, actress Zhao Tao.
Jia Zhangke’s newest film, A Touch of Sin, was recently honored with the best screenwriting prize at Cannes, and is currently showing at the New York Film Festival. Jia will show clips from the film, which opens in theaters on October 4.
Jia was born in 1970 in Fenyang, Shanxi province of China. He began his career as a screenwriter and director in 1995 while studying Screenwriting and Cinema Studies at the Beijing Film Academy. In 1998, his first feature film, Xiao Wu, won the Wolfgang Prize and Netpac Award at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival. In 2006, Jia’s fifth feature film, Still Life, received the Golden Lion Award in the 63rd Venice International Film Festival. In 2009, he was awarded the Officer Order of Arts and Letters of France. In 2010, he received the Leopard of Honor of the 63rd Festival del Film Locarno. Other significant films of Jia's include: Platform, Unknown Pleasures, The World, Still Life, 24 City, and I Wish I Knew. Jia's writings include: Jia's Thoughts, Interviews with Chinese Workers and I Wish I Knew—A Record of the Film. He lives in Beijing.
Zhao Tao graduated from the Department of Chinese Folk Dance of the Beijing Dance Academy. She obtained several awards in domestic dancing competitions and began to work with director Jia Zhangke in 2000. The film Still Life, which she starred in, won the Golden Lion Award of the 63rd Venice International Film Festival. She is also one of the producers of Jia Zhangke’s documentary Useless (2007), which won the Venice Horizons Documentary Award of the 64th Venice International Film Festival. In 2012, as the leading actress of an Italian film Io Sono Li, she won the David di Donatello Award for Best Actress, the first time an Asian actress has been awarded the prize.
La Frances Hui is Film Curator of Asia Society. Her writings on film have been published by Cinevue (Asian CineVision), ChinaFile, and The Margins (Asian American Writers’ Workshop). She was the co-curator of the Asian American International Film Festival (2013) and has curated for Film Southasia, Nepal. Hui has spoken at the Museum of Modern Art, New York University, Taipei National University of the Arts, Stony Brook University, among others. She regularly interviews film artists in live format. She last led an on-stage conversation with Jia Zhangke at Asia Society in 2010.
Emily Parker is digital diplomacy advisor and senior fellow at the New America Foundation, where she is writing a book about the Internet and democracy. Previously, Parker was a member of Secretary Clinton's Policy Planning staff at the U.S. Department of State. She is a former Arthur Ross Fellow at the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations. Parker spent over five years working for The Wall Street Journal, first as a writer in Hong Kong and later as an editor in New York. She was also a staff op-ed editor for The New York Times. In 2010, she profiled Jia Zhangke for The Wall Street Journal.
Watch the complete discussion on video here.