Hou Hsiao-hsien (born 8 April 1947) is a Taiwanese film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He is a leading figure in world cinema and in Taiwan's New Wave cinema movement. He won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1989 for his film A City of Sadness (1989), and the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 for The Assassin (2015). Other highly regarded works of his include The Puppetmaster (1993) and Flowers of Shanghai (1998).
Hou was voted "Director of the Decade" for the 1990s in a poll of American and international critics by The Village Voice and Film Comment. In a 1998 New York Film Festival worldwide critics' poll, Hou was named "one of the three directors most crucial to the future of cinema." A City of Sadness ranked 117th in the British Film Institute's 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll of the greatest films ever made.