Li Jiahe, La Cinef 2022 2nd prize © Maxence Parey / FDC

Meet Li Jiahe, La Cinef 2022 second prize winner

A Film and Television graduate from Hebei University of Science and Technology, Li Jiahe won second prize at La Cinef during last year’s 75th edition of the Festival de Cannes. The masterful use of colour seen in his short Somewhere demonstrated that the Chinese director already has the eye of a top cinematographer. In this short interview, he recounts how excited he was to take part in the Festival de Cannes alongside famous creatives and directors, how moved he was upon attending a screening at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, and how inspired he felt by the experience once he arrived back home.  

How did you react when you won your award at the Festival de Cannes?     

I think it’s a great honour to be selected at Cannes and winning a prize was a complete surprise. It was my first time travelling abroad alone and Cannes was the first festival I ever attended, so I was really nervous when I got on stage. 


What has your award brought you? / What did it change for you?  

In my view it’s about confidence and opportunity. Having that recognition from the Festival de Cannes encourages me to continue trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. The Festival de Cannes has also served as a platform, giving me and my film more industry visibility. 


What are your best memories of Cannes?  

My best memory is attending the world premiere screenings of the Official Selection films at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, surrounded by filmmakers and artists from around the world. There’s nothing quite like that feeling. After each screening, the film crews often received standing ovations, with applause that went on and on. This is the most romantic gift a filmmaker could ever hope for. It was in moments like these that I realised I wanted to dedicate my life to film. 


Do you have new projects? 

After returning from Cannes, I decided to push myself even further. I started working on my first feature film, a family tale. I’m currently working on the script and hope it will be revealed to audiences soon. I will continue to work hard. Many thanks to all. 


The video interview:


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