Native of the Fujian province of China, filmmaker and author Dai Sijie left China in 1984 moving to France where he has been living and working ever since. Dai Sijie was sent away from his "bourgeois doctor" parents to be "re-educated" during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1966-1971. He was exactly 22 when Mao Zedong died in 1976. He then applied to the University of Arts and was awarded a grant to study abroad.
His first novel "Balzac and the Little Chinise Seastress" was an overnight sensation when it first appeared in France in 2000, becoming an immediate best-seller and winning five prizes.
Dai Sijie is also known as a filmmaker, with three films to his credit: "Chine, ma douleur" (1989), "Le Mangeur de Lune" (1993) and served as both writer and director for "The Eleventh Child" (1998). Dai Sijie has just finished shooting "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress". Shot on location in China, the film is scheduled for release in 2002.