Jia Zhang-Ke was born in Fenyang, Shanxi, and graduated from Beijing Film Academy. His debut feature Xiao Wu (1998) won numerous awards from international film festivals, including the New Currents Award at BIFF. Since then, he has gained international recognition and became a leading filmmaker of contemporary Chinese cinema. He received the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for Still Life (2006) and the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival for A Touch of Sin (2013). His major works include Xiao Wu (1998), Platform (2000), Unknown Pleasures (2002), 24 City (2008), Mountains May Depart (2015), and Ash is Purest White (2018).