1. Chloe Zhao
History-making director Chloe Zhao became the first woman of color to win the Oscar for directing Nomoland (2020). She primarily focuses on independent films. Zhao’s first feature film, ‘Songs My Brothers Taught Me’, was a critically acclaimed and was nominated for prestigious awards. Fans are much awaited for Zhao’s upcoming work, ‘Eternals,’ which ensemble a large cast featuring Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, and Kumail Nanjiani. Her stories capture the spirit characters showcasing the inner beauty.
2. Bi Gan
Bi Gan is China’s upcoming filmmaker, born on June 4, 1989. His debut film, Kaili Blues, released in 2015, won him Best New Film Director at the 52nd Global Horse Awards and other overseas awards. His personal life has a strong influence in his work, and his works consist of some neo-magic realism. His latest film, The Long Night, is another thought-provoking film, with its second part of a long unbroken take in 3D, adding the charm.
3. Yin Ruoxin
The coming-of-age drama film, Sister, directed by Yin Ruoxin, is an eye-opener for many. Starring Zhang Zifeng in the titular role, the film tells the story of a young girl who must decide whether to pursue her independence and taking care of her brother after their parents passed away in a car accident. The movie sparks a discussion on societal norms such as gender inequality. In her works, Yin focuses on portraying people and the struggles they face in their day-to-day lives, showing a slice of social reality.
4. Vivian Qu
Vivian Qu is one of China’s promising female directors, scriptwriters, and producers. Her debut feature film ‘Trap Street’ looks at the role of technology in contemporary life. She has been a helping hand for many young directors. Vivian has produced films ‘Night Train’, ‘Knitting,’ and ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice.’ Her films show a realistic portrayal of contemporary life that intrigues the audience. Her second film, Angels Wear White, throws light on sexual assault and the difficulties of women of all ages.
5. Xin Yukun
Xin Yukun is a promising Chinese director and writer who received worldwide recognition with his first feature film, ‘The Coffin in the Mountain,’ which won plenty of awards. The surprise success of his debut film paved the way to the crime thriller movie, Wrath of Silence, becoming the talk of the town. His unique way of storytelling portraying human complexities has made an impact on the minds of the viewers.
6. Jia Ling
2021, Chinese New Year treat, HI, Mom, directed and starring Jia Ling, became a worldwide success and has become a milestone to Jia Ling’s directorial career. The heart-wrenching story was a tribute to Jia’s mother and told her relationship with her mother. The pure raw emotions portrayed by the actors and the beautiful storyline have moved the hearts of the viewers. Jia Ling became the world’s highest-grossing female director for a single film.
7. Lu Yang
China’s emerging director, known for his innovative ideas, Lu Yang, was born in 1979. What makes Lu Yang’s work unique is the virtual reality with a touch of anime and futuristic sci-fi. Lu Yang’s notable works are ‘Brother of Blades’ and ‘My Spectacular Theatre’ , and the latter won him Best Director of the Debut Award at the 28th Golden Rooster Awards.
8. Zhang Dalei
Zhang Dalei was born on 1982.One of China’s anticipated emerging directors; Zhang Dalei entered the industry with the movie, The Summer is Gone, telling the story of a working-class family in the 1990s in Mongolia. The film has been awarded the Best Film at the Golden Horse Film Festival in Taipei.
9. Wen Muye
Wen Muye, born in 1985, is a director and scriptwriter in mainland China. His directorial debut ‘Dying to Survive’ won him the Best New Director at the 55th Golden Horse Awards and Director of the Year Award at the International Film Festival in Hainan. His exquisite way of storytelling, with the excellent rendering of actors, expressing deep feelings, gets connected to the audience, which is very impressive.
10. Han Jie
China’s looming filmmaker, Han Jie, was born in 1977. Han’s feature film, Mr. Tree, an offbeat, satirical drama, won him the Best Director at the 14th Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai in 2011. Other than direction, Han has a keen interest in painting and acting. Han Jie’s realistic movies look at the rustic and hidden pain of ordinary people and narrate their life with dramatic and surreal plots to seek more profound truth.