The BIFFWorkshop & Masterclass, a platform of sharing and communication for master filmmakers, fans and practitioners, invites world-renowned filmmakers to share filmmaking stories, experience and wisdom, investigate the essence of cinema from a professional perspective, and reveal the charms of cinematic art. Since the 10th BJIFF Workshop & Masterclass, we have invited many master filmmakers with consummate filmmaking skills who have a high reputation at home and abroad to give professional, authoritative and lively lectures for the audience.

This year’s BJIFF Workshop & Masterclass features Zhang Yimou, a Chinese director; Nuri Bilge Ceylan, a Turkish director and screenwriter; Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, a German director and screenwriter; and Yonfan, a Chinese Hong Kong photographer, director and writer, as keynote speakers. At the offline event, master filmmakers will interact with the audience in person.

From Red Sorghum to Full River Red: Everything in Zhang Yimou’s Filmmaking World

It is hard to encapsulate Zhang Yimou’s filmmaking career that spans more than four decades. His artistic approach is multifaceted: he began as a photographer, and then received the Best Actor Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival before becoming a director. In 1987, Red Sorghum, his maiden directorial work, received the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, making it the first Chinese film to win such an award. Between 1987 and 1999, his directorial works, including the Red Sorghum, Ju Dou, Raise The Red Lantern, The Story of Qiu-Ju, Not One Less and The Road Home, won various awards at home and abroad, including three nominations for the Academy Awards and five nominations for the Golden Globe Award.

Zhang Yimou has never slackened his efforts to create and innovate, from Red Sorghum to Full River Red. This Workshop & Masterclass will focus on Zhang Yimou’s artistic creation over the past 40 years, notably his innovation and breakthroughs in genre, theme and creative concept as a director, exposing the audience to Zhang Yimou’s dynamic filmmaking world.

Philosophy on Literature and Images in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s works

Nuri Bilge Ceylan deserves his reputation as a master Turkish filmmaker, after having won many international film festival awards such as the Festival de Cannes’s Golden Palm Prize, the Best Director Prize, the Grand Jury Prize, and the FIPRESCI Prize for his works including Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Distant, Climates, and Winter Sleep.

Dialogue in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s films is always full of poetry, and the literary narrative technique nicely expresses his philosophical thoughts. The unique audiovisual language style and profound cultural and historical background give birth to films with Turkish characteristics. This Workshop & Masterclass will delve into the cultural philosophy of his filmmaking art.

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck talks about the distance from inspiration to film

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has directed only four feature films over sixteen years, including his debut feature film The Lives of Others, but he has won many international film festival awards, including the 79th Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, the Audience Award of Locarno Film Festival and the British Academy Film Awards.

From The Lives of Others to Never Look Away, what are the “changes” and “constants” in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s creation of arthouse film after a 12-year hiatus? Donnersmarck has a multidisciplinary background, having studied Russian lagnauge and Russian culture at St. Petersburg University, and philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University. How does Donnersmarck integrate a variety of humanities knowledge into filmmaking? At this Workshop & Masterclass, Donnersmarck will talk about his creative process and share the most authentic and practical creative experience in how to translate creative inspiration into films with young directors and the author.

Yonfan’s Golden Years in screens and beyond

To use a popular Internet term, Yonfan can be described as an outright “young slasher”. Yonfan spent his early years studying music in Europe and the United States, and devoted himself to music and dance. He later engaged in photography and directing, as well as writing.

His films are known for exquisite and elegant shots, and presentation of perplexed, sad and beautiful love. The films, which focus on the lives and love stories of Hong Kong citizens with a delicate sensual touch and romantic film expression techniques, have piqued the interest of the film industry. This Workshop & Masterclass will focus on Yonfan’s personal experience and his avant-garde artistic creation during his golden years in and out of screens.

As a result of passion for film art, practitioners have been creating and polishing works. Students work hard to seek practice opportunities in the industry. Fans anxiously await the BJIFF for a chance to meet master filmmakers. I hope that we will be inspired and stimulated again by the four master filmmakers this lovely spring. Let’s meet at the 13th BJIFF Workshop & Masterclass to investigate the frontier film creation concepts and embrace the bright future of film art.