Jian Yi

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Jian Yi
Director Jian Yi.jpg
Years active2000s-present
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese簡藝
Simplified Chinese简艺

Jian Yi (Chinese: 简艺; pinyin: jiǎn yì) is a Chinese independent filmmaker, visual artist, and writer. He has worked as a filmmaker and senior art consultant for a number of European Union projects in China. His films Bamboo Shoots and Super, Girls! won a number of international film festival awards. Since 2014, Jian Yi has been at the forefront of promoting sustainable food system in China and founded the Good Food Fund under the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation. Jointly with Yale Hospitality of Yale University, Jian started the China Food Leadership Initiative in 2018 and during the Chinese New Year in 2019, he headed a delegation of seven top Chinese chefs, entrepreneurs, journalists and toured five U.S. universities (Yale, UMass, Harvard, UConn and CIA), where they coached chefs in the host universities on preparing for Chinese New Year banquets and were engaged in dialogues on sustainable food system. The tour was taken place under the theme of the Food Forward Forum.


Jian Yi was born in Ji'an, Jiangxi, China.

He received a Master's degree in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 1998, and an MA in International Journalism from Beijing Broadcasting Institute in 1999. Jian received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2015.

He is the founder and director of ARTiSIMPLE Studio, which was founded in January 2005 and has pioneered the art of collaborative community and citizen projects. In 2005-06, he partnered with premier documentary filmmaker Wu Wenguang to launch the China Villager Documentary Project. Jian's photos on China's village governance toured the nation's seven provinces as well as the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels and the Seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

In 2007, Jian Yi won the Bronze Zenith Award at the 31st Montreal World Film Festival for his feature film Dong Sun ("Bamboo Shoots"), one of only two Asian films to win an award. In 2007 Jian also produced and directed Super, Girls!, the only independently produced documentary film about the Super Girl singing contest, one of the most popular TV shows in China’s history.[citation needed] As a result he was one of the three Chinese national finalists selected by the British Council for the 2007 International Young Film Entrepreneur of the Year award. (Bamboo Shoots officially hit Canadian cinemas on August 26, 2010.)

Jian launched the IFCHINA pilot project in his hometown of Ji'an in 2008-09 with Douglas Xiao and Eva Song.

He was a delegate to the Asia Society's Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2011.

In 2012-2013, he lived and worked at the 1700-year-old Buddhist monastery at the foot of Mount Lu, a World Heritage Site.

Jian Yi is currently a member of the Art Advisory Board for the Yale-China Association.



Bamboo Shoots

Super Girls!


Year English Title Chinese Title Notable screenings
2007–2009 New Socialist Climax (documentary) 红色之旅
2007 Bamboo Shoots (narrative) 冬笋 Solo screening, Hong Kong Art Center, 2010
2007 Super, Girls! (documentary) 超级女生 Cherry Lane Movies, Beijing; Caochangdi Workstation, Beijing; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Yale University; New York University; University of Southern California; University of California, Los Angeles; California College of the Arts; China Institute
2007–2009 JI'AN 24x60' (experimental video, 24 minutes) 吉安 24x60
2009 Remote Control(experimental video, 11 minutes) 遥控
2009 What's for Dinner (29',documentary) 何以为食
2012 Global Civics (documentary) 全球公民
2014-2016 The 1000-Hour Film Project: Stories of Birth (documentary) 1000小时的电影:《生的故事》
2017- Zodiac 12 (documentary) 《十二生肖》

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