Rain Li is based nowhere, she calls herself ‘homeless’ , traveling through airports all over the world for her passion for film, visual arts, and life. She left China for England at the age of 15 to pursue her dream as a filmmaker and throughout her teenage years she worked her way up from gaffer to cinematographer.
At the age of 19, Rain shot her first feature film, and it started her king-time collaboration with renowned cinematographer/director Christopher Doyle (In the mood for love, Hero, 2046 etc.)
Throughout her 20’s, she collaborated with many internationally renowned directors, including Jim Jarmusch, Gus Van Sant and Mike Figgis. The film Paranoid Park directed by Gus Van Sant, Cinematography by Rain, received the special 60th Anniversary prize of the International Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
When Rain was 24, she was voted one of the 10 best Cinematographers of the year by Variety and received the Best Cinematographer award from The Boston Film Critic just two years later.
Hollywood reporter has featured her as one of the most talented cinematographers of the next generation.
In recent years, Rain’s focus has shifted towards directing. Before her feature debut, she directed commercials and short films for many international-renowned brands, including; Dries Van Noten, Yohji Yamamoto, Dove and Uniqlo.
Her first directorial debut was Beijing New York and is exceptionally well received across china. It’s beautiful and epic cinematic language is unique among Chinese movies. Some Chinese critics claim that Beijing New York is not just a love story, it has left a mark in the Chinese film industry in terms of its exquisite cinematic quality and honesty.
Rain is a unique filmmaker, with a strong creative vision and is versed in both western and eastern cultures. The core of her work is telling captivating stories that engage audiences with deep emotion through powerful images and atmospheric sounds.
Her work has been described as ‘romanticism vs aggression’ and ‘surrealism vs reality’.
It is her desire to bring her unique vision, voice and experiences to Chinese and cinemas worldwide.