Born in Fenyang, a small town in North China's Shanxi Province, China's sixth Venice Golden Lion winner Jia Zhangke finished his first short film Xiaoshan Goes Home (Xiaoshan Huijia) in 1995 as a literature major while studying at the Beijing Film Academy.
What won him international renown was Xiao Wu, a film about a pickpocket in Fenyang, Jia's own hometown. The crude but moving feature won Jia the Netpac Award and the Wolfgang Staudte Award at the 1998 Berlin International Film Festival.
From 2000 to 2002, Jia shot two films, still focusing on the lives of ordinary people in Fenyang, namely Platform (Zhantai) and Unknown Pleasures (Renxiaoyao).
In 2004, Jia turned to people living in the city rather than those in small towns for the first time. The World (Shijie) about two migrant workers in a troupe in Beijing's World Park wins Jia a nomination of the Golden Lion in 2005 Venice festival.
After Still Life (Sanxia Haoren), Jia is planning his next film The Age of Tattoo (Ciqing Shidai). It will be a story of two youngsters in 1975, one year before the ending of the "cultural revolution. "
(China Daily December 8, 2006)