Zhang Yuan (simplified Chinese: 张元; traditional Chinese: 張元; pinyin: Zhāng Yuán; born October 1963) is a Chinese film director who has been described by film scholars as a pioneering member of China’s Sixth Generation of filmmakers. He and his films have won ten awards out of seventeen nominations received at international film festivals.
Born in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, Zhang received a BA in cinematography from the Beijing Film Academy in 1989. Having initially emerged onto the film scene shortly after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, he is frequently referenced as an exemplar of the pioneers who are grouped into the loosely-defined Sixth Generation. Despite a diploma from the prestigious Film Academy, Zhang decided to eschew his assigned position within the People’s Liberation Army-connected August First Film Studio, choosing instead to produce his films independently. As a fledgling filmmaker, he chose to shoot in a documentary style and has referred… read more