Influential Chinese filmmaker Wu Tianming has died after suffering a heart attack at his home in Beijing.

The director of cult films Life and The Old Well, he was found dead on Tuesday (04Mar14), aged 74.

His final film was last year's (13) Song of the Phoenix.

Born in 1939, Wu became a stage actor in his teens.

After studying at the Beijing Film Academy in the 1970s, he was hired by Xi’an Film Studios as an apprentice to Professor Cui Wei. He co-directed his first film, Tremors of Life, in 1979.

He became so revered in his native China, the name of the village where he shot The Old Well was changed to Old Well Village.

Wu became the youngest head of Xi’an Film Studios in the early 1980s.