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Director, screenwriter, actor

Zhang Yang is a Chinese film director, screenwriter, and occasional actor. He studied Chinese literature in Beijing and later moved to the Central Academy of Drama from where he graduated in 1992.


His first film SPICY LOVE SOUP opened in Competition at Tokyo IFF. His following film, SHOWER, a realistic gaze at contemporary Beijing, achieved great recognition internationally as well as in China, where it was successfully distributed. QUITTING, his next film, came even closer to reality: the film fictionalizes and re-enacts the real life of the main actor Jia Hongsheng, his struggle with drug addiction, his relationships to his parents and his fellow inmates in a mental institution, and Zhang Yang himself is part of the ensemble cast.


His next films, SUNFLOWER, GETTING HOME, FULL CIRCLE, a romantic drama, a road movie comedy, and a powerful drama, travelled internationally to many festivals and were distributed with major recognition in China.


PATHS OF THE SOUL premiered at TIFF 2015, screening with great success in many international festivals including Busan, Rotterdam, Black Nights, Goteborg, and HKIFF. The film was released in North America and Japan during summer 2016.


SOUL ON A STRING, his latest feature film, premiered in competition at the Shanghai IFF in June 2016 where it won for Best Cinematography.


THE SOUND OF DALI (Dali de shengyin大理的声音)

2019, documentary, 90 minutes

- Shanghai International Film Festival 2019



2018, documentary, 126 minutes

- IDFA IDFA Documentary Film Festival 2018, Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

SOUL ON A STRING (Pisheng shang de hun 皮绳上的魂)

(International Sales: ASIAN SHADOWS)

2016, feature, 142 minutes

- Shanghai IFF 2016, Competition, Best Cinematography

- Toronto IFF, 2016

PATHS OF THE SOUL (Kang Rinpoche 冈仁波齐)

(International Sales: ASIAN SHADOWS)

2015, feature, 115 minutes

- Toronto IFF, 2015

- Busan IFF, 2015

- Black Nights FF, 2015

- Black Movie Geneva, 2016

- Rotterdam IFF, 2016

- Gøteborg FF, 2016

- Glasgow FF, 2016

- Wales One World FF, 2016

- HKIFF, 2016

- Vilnius FF, 2016

- Farj FF, 2016

- MOOOV FF, 2016

- Trento FF, 2016

- Against Gravity FF, 2016


FULL CIRCLE (Feiyue laorenyuan/飞越老人院)

2012, feature, 104 minutes


DRIVERLESS (Wuren jiashi/无人驾驶)

2010, feature, 105 minutes


GETTING HOME (Luoyeguigen/落叶归根)

2007, feature, 110 minutes

- Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama series, Ecumenical Jury Prize

- Silk Screen Asian

- Deauville American Film Festival

- New York Asian Film Festival


SUNFLOWER (Xiangrikui/向日葵)

2005, feature, 129 minutes

- Toronto International Film Festival

- Chicago International Film Festival

- San Sebastian Film Festival

- Pusan International Film Festival 

- Hong Kong International Film Festival

- Bangkok International Film Festival

- Tokyo International Film Festival

- Pacific Rim Film Festival


QUITTING (Zuotian/昨天)

2001, feature, 112 minutes

- Venice International Film Festival, NETPAC Award (tied with Raye makhfi)

- Bangkok International Film Festival, Best Film

- Stockholm Film Festival, FIPRESCI Prize

- Singapore International Film Festival, Silver Screen Award for Best Actor


SHOWER (Xizao/洗澡)

1999, feature, 92 minutes

- Toronto Film Festival, International Critics' Award (Fipresci Prize)

- San Sebastian Film Festival, Best Director Ecumenical Award

- Thessaloniki Film Festival, Golden Alexander Award

- Seattle International Film Festival, Golden Space Needle Award, Best Director

- Rotterdam International Film Festival, Audience Award


SPICY LOVE SOUP (Aiqing malatang/爱情麻辣烫)

1997, feature, 109 minutes

- Tokyo International Film Festival, competition

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