Patron of La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde 2016
The Cannes atmosphere, with its focus on film, is extremely stimulating. Cannes respects cinematographic creativity, innovation and freedom. Being able to work with young directors in such a unique environment, helping them to finalise their projects, makes me feel like film is eternal.
I always look closely at work by young directors, particularly those producing their first films. Since 2006, I have produced around ten films in addition to my own. Most of these were first or second feature films. Many were produced as part of the Wings Project, which I launched in China to support young directors from China and elsewhere. It is true that working with these young people takes up around half of my time.
In working with these young directors, I tap into new forms of creativity and new ideas in the media and film fields. Interactions with others are an opportunity to get good advice, develop a unique vision of cinematography and improve self-knowledge.
After viewing the short films and projects by the directors in La Fabrique programme, I feel like I know who they really are. This collaboration is always incredibly inspiring.
Being the patron of this programme is also a way of returning the kindnesses of others. Since filming Xiao Wu at the age of 28, I have received support from many people. This has continued throughout my twenty-year career.
In turn, I would like to give my support to a new generation of filmmakers.
Early in his career, Jia Zhang-Ke became one of the leaders of the most important film movement in the twenty-first century, reflecting China’s emergence as an international power. His films are an opportunity to witness these major transformations and the dramas they give rise to. Jia’s early work includes Xiao Wu, Platform and Unknown Pleasures. Combining creativity and realism, Jia has built on his strong ties to his homeland and knowledge of contemporary technology to become renowned around the world. Jia was born in 1970 in Fenyang, a small city in the central Chinese province of Shanxi. It was there that he shot his two first films and part of his two most recent films. Jia’s films have been selected for major festivals and won many prizes. Some of his work is now screened in China, despite bans on earlier films. He has directed fiction films and documentaries. As a producer, he has supported many emerging filmmakers.