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-- Juror-- Ning Ying


Born in Beijing in 1959 to a family of scholars. Studied violin from an early age and entered the Beijing Film Academy in 1978. After making progress in the film world received a scholarship in 1981 and was admitted to the renowned Centro Sperimentale di Cinematographia in Rome, Italy where director Masumura Yasuzo and cinematographer Nestor Almendros studied. After four years in the editing program and three in the directing, she was chosen as assistant director for Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987). Returned to the Beijing Film Academy in 1987 and made her directorial debut in 1990 with Someone Loves Just Me ("Youren pianpian aishangwo"). In 1992, her For Fun ("Zhao Le") a warm but intense portrayal of a senior amateur theater troupe, gained worldwide success and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize in the Forum at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Gold Prize of the Young Directors section of the Tokyo International Film Festival, and the Grand Prix-Montgolfière d'Or at the Festival of 3 Continents in Nantes, France. Her latest feature, On the Beat ("Minjung Gushi"), released in 1995, was also highly acclaimed. Invited to Turin in 1996 to make a promotional documentary for the city, she served as a juror for the Berlin International Film Festival this year.

Juror's Statement

A documentary film is always interesting, because it shows a piece of reality recorded with the full force and impact of truth, especially when one doesn't have the chance to see much of it.

What intrigues me is the documentary-maker behind the cine-camera. When the reality is not simply a Manichean statement but rather a more ambiguous and multi-thematic description of a fact: the reality seen through his eyes. It is even more fascinating when through his description that material reality becomes unbelievably surreal... that's for me the stuff of which films are made.

For Fun


A retired theater janitor, an exofficial of the government with a unique talent as a female impersonator: a lively gathering of old men talk about Jingji (Beijing Opera) in a park, then borrow a space in the community hall and start an amateur Jingji troop. Ning Ying, the woman director who gathered together mostly amateurs, elderly Jingji lovers for the film--except for three professional actors--was only in her early thirties at the time. In spite of the worries of the studio front office, she captured their vivid expressions and delicate emotions, their friendships, quarrels, and their dreams, with an intimacy, as if this world is her own. The film has been loved and praised all over the world.


Director: Ning Ying
Script: Ning Dai, Ning Ying
Based on the novel by: Chen Jiangong
Photography: Xiao Feng, Wu Di
Music: Meng Weidong
Art Director: Yang Xiaowen
Cast: Huang Zongluo, Huang Wenjie, He Ming
Producers: Zheng Kainan, Cai Rubin
Production Company: Beijin Film Studio, Hong Kong Van Ho Film & TV Co., Ltd.
Source: Toko Tokuma
Tokuma-shoten Bldg. 4F, 1-1-16 Higashi-shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0021 JAPAN
Phone: 81-3-3573-8715 / Fax: 81-3-3573-8740
CHINA, HONG KONG / 1992 / Chinese / Color / 93 min


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee