Together with the rising commercialization and industrialization of China's film industry, a filmmaker's popularity, impact, and monetary value on the mainland may have shifted in recent years. The director is one of the most crucial people on a film production, even if they don't appear in front of the camera. They're the person who decides the artistic vision and makes all of the film's major decisions behind the scenes, doing more than shouting "action" and "cut." The following is a list of outstanding Chinese filmmakers.
1. Stephen Chow
Chow, a 55-year-old Hong Kong filmmaker, is best known for starring in and directing the popular action comedies Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, both of which were released in 2001. Both films blend kung fu with his typical slapstick humour, called "silly talk" in the West and known in Cantonese as mo lei tou, or "nonsensical" in Cantonese. Surprising and discordant aspects, such as nonsensical parodies and unexpected, unusual conversation and action, are included in these films.
2. Ang Lee
Lee, who was born in Taiwan and studied film in the United States, is the first Asian to receive an Academy Award for Best Director for his love drama Brokeback Mountain, which he directed in 2005. In 2013, he received his second Academy Award for Best Director for the fantasy film Life of Pi.
3. Jiang Wen
The Chinese actor and director is best recognized in the West for his roles as Baze Malbus in the Star Wars sci-fi, fantasy prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and as Gong Li in Zhang Yimou's 1986 classic Red Sorghum.
4. Feng Xiaogang
The Beijing-born filmmaker has had financial and critical acclaim for his work, but he isn't hesitant to go against the grain with his subject matter. He was won best director at Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Awards that year for his work behind the camera on the multi-award-winning 2016 comedy movie I Am Not Madame Bovary.
5. Zhang Yimou
The seasoned filmmaker worked on The Great Wall, a 2016 monster feature starring Matt Damon, and The Flowers of War, a 2011 historical drama starring Christian Bale. House Of Flying Daggers, starring Jet Li and directed by Takeshi Kaneshire, was one of his domestic hits in 2002.
He presently lives in Beijing and is most known for the fantasy blockbuster Mojin: The Lost Legend from 2015, the fantasy drama Painted Skin: The Resurrection from 2012, and the avant-garde martial arts comedy The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman from 2011, for which he also penned the screenplay.
7. Ning Hao
The Beijing Film Academy alumnus, 40, is best known for his low-budget 2006 black comedy Crazy Stone, involving three different robberies of a rare jade stone, which was a great box office triumph on the mainland. The neo-western thriller he directed in 2013 was another of his achievements.
8. Wu Jing
In 2015's war action picture Wolf Warrior, the Chinese martial artist actor-turned-director, 43, seized the helm and also appeared as a Chinese special forces soldier, and followed it up with the even more popular Wolf Warrior 2 in 2017.
9. Tsui Hark
The Vietnamese-born Chinese film director, who migrated to Hong Kong as a child, is mainly remembered for his grandiose martial arts action flicks, such as Once Upon a Time in China (1991), Seven Swords (2005), and The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014).
10. Chen Kaige
His films are noted for their social realism, visual flair, and dramatic storytelling. Chen, 65, received the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993 for his film Farewell My Concubine, which starred the late Leslie Cheung, Gong Li, and Zhang Fengyi and focused on the lives of two Peking Opera singers and the woman who stands between them.