Jia Zhangke's passion for film developed in a manner not unlike many of the world's great filmmakers: he saw a movie, it changed his life, and then he went to film school. The big difference is that Zhangke was in China, where the production of films is regulated by the government. After making a few well-received short films at the Beijing Film Academy, Zhangke set out to make his first film "Xiao Wu" (1997) without approval from the government. Thus, his first film was an underground movie that couldn't be released in China. Even still, it received international acclaim and he built off that success with two more underground films, "Platform" (2000) and "Unknown Pleasures" (2002), which were in competition at the Venice Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival respectively. Zhangke, along with other notable underground Chinese filmmakers, started working with the Chinese government afterwards. "The World" (2004) was the first film he made with approval from the government, meaning that was the first time in his then nearly 10-year career that his work could be sold in his home country. Zhangke's next project was "Still Life" (2006), which took home the Golden Lion at Cannes. He also made a documentary entitled "Dong" (2006), which complemented the film. Over the next few years, Zhangke started to lean more towards making documentaries with projects including the Chinese clothing industry documentary "Useless" (2007), documentary/fiction fusion "24 City" (2008), and the Shanghai-focused documentary "I Wish I Knew" (2010). He dove back into bigger fiction projects with the action epic "A Touch of Sin" (2013) and the Australia-set drama "Mountains May Depart" (2015).