GONG LI (Isabella) is an acclaimed international star who made her American
film debut as the dangerous Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha.
Li's performances have been thrilling audiences around the world since her screen
debut in Red Sorghum, which won the Golden Bear at the 1987 Berlin Film Festival and
marked the beginning of a new era in Chinese film. Director Zhang Yimou, one of the
first post-Cultural Revolution filmmakers, made six more films with Li after Red
Sorghum. His Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern were the first Chinese films to be
nominated for Academy AwardsÂ®. Their collaborations also included The Story of Qi u
Ju, which brought Li the Best Actress prize at the Venice International Film Festival and
China's Golden Rooster Award, as well as To Live and Shanghai Triad.
Li has made three films with Chen Kaige, another leading Fifth Generation
director. The first, Farewell My Concubine, was OscarÂ®-nominated and won the Palme
d'Or at Cannes, the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for best foreign film, as well as
prizes from top critics groups. Li received the New York Film Critics Circle Award for
Best Supporting Actress for Farewell My Concubine. She also starred in Temptress
Moon and The Emperor and the Assassin for Chen Kaige. She was seen last year in Zhou
Yu's Train, her second film with director Sun Zhou, who also directed her in Breaking
the Silence. She again won the Golden Rooster for Best Actress for Breaking the Silence.
Li has starred in two projects for Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai: 2046 and
The Hand, his segment of the three-part anthology film Eros. She also recently filmed
Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask, written by Thomas Harris and directed by Peter
Born in northeastern China in the Shenyang province, Li graduated from Beijing's
Central Drama College in 1989. She has headed juries at the 2000 Berlin, 2002 Venice
and 2003 Tokyo International Film Festivals. In 1998, Li was honored by the French
government with the title Officier des Arts et Lettres for her contributions to cinema.
She lives in Beijing.
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