Published October 19, 2012 | 4:18 am
“I don’t get to watch a lot of Indian films because in the Chinese market, the majority is Hollywood movies. But I have watched a few and the most recent one is Aamir Khan’s ’3 Idiots’,” Zhand told IANS after receiving the lifetime achievement award at 14th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) Thursday night.
“I thought it was very interesting and I could feel a change in the Indian film scenario,” he added, speaking through an interpreter.
The 60-year-old said Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” also “fascinated” him “quite a lot”.
Zhang is the man behind Chinese blockbuster hits such as “Hero” (2002), “House of Flying Daggers” (2004), “The Road Home” (1999) and “The Flowers of War” (2011). Many of his films have been nominated for the Oscars.
He now wants to collaborate with Indian filmmakers.
“Indian movies are very interesting. I definitely see a possibility of collaborating about Indian filmmakers depending upon what kind of story line they have to offer,” he said.
“Hollywood movies dominate the market but with the long history of India, high productivity of its movie industry and interest of the audience, I see an important role of Indian films at the global platform,” he said.
“In future, India and China should collaborate to make Asian cinema popular and hopefully surpass Hollywood movies.”
During the award ceremony, Zhang received a standing ovation from the audience.
He said China and India were similar since both were ancient countries and China was deeply influenced by India’s Buddhist culture.
Zhang has also adapted into films two novels of Chinese writer Mo Yan, the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature.
Both the films – “Red Shorgum” (1987) and “Raise the Red Lantern” (1991) – have attained cult status in China.
After a two decades of success Zhang, a former cinematographer, still considers himself as a student of filmmaking.
“To be honest, I think I’m myself a student of movie making. I constantly learn how to make a good film. I get this lifetime achievement award but I think I am still learning and still have a long way to learn,” he said.
Zhang said young Chinese audiences knew too well about Bollywood movies.
“They find all the information online and keep themselves updated,” he said.
He also offered some advice to budding filmmakers.
“Have faith in yourself. You maybe not have enough money to make a film; people might not trust you, but if you have the talent and the will to do it, eventually you will shine.”
This is Zhang’s second visit to India in 10 years.