Tsai Ming-liang (Chinese: 蔡明亮; pinyin: Cài Míngliàng) (born 1957) is one of the most celebrated "Second New Wave" film directors of Taiwanese Cinema, along with earlier contemporaries as Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang. His films have been acclaimed world-wide and have won numerous festival awards.
Tsai is a Chinese born in Malaysia, and lived there "in a very simple small village" for 20 years, after which he moved to Taipei. This, he says, had "a huge impact on mind and psyche", perhaps later mirrored in his films. "Even today," says Tsai, "I feel I belong neither to Taiwan nor to Malaysia. In a sense, I can go anywhere I want and fit in, but I never feel that sense of belonging."
He graduated from the Drama and Cinema Department of the Chinese Culture University of Taiwan in 1982 and worked as a theatrical producer, screenwriter and television director in Hong Kong.
Tsai's honours include a Golden Lion (best picture) for Vive L'Amour at the Venice Film Festival in 1994, the Silver Bear/Special Jury Prize for The River at the 1997 Berlin International Film Festival, the FIPRESCI award for The Hole at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival and the Alfred Bauer Award and Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Achievement for The Wayward Cloud at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival.
All his films have featured Taiwanese actor Lee Kang-sheng.
The Malaysian Censorship Board on 4th March 2007 decided to ban Tsai's latest film shot in Malaysia, I Don't Want to Sleep Alone based on 18 counts of incidences shown in the film depicting the country "in a bad light" for cultural, ethical and racial reasons. However, they later allowed the film to be screened in the country after Tsai agreed to censor parts of the film according to the requirements of the Censorship Board.