Sales Representative Memento Intl. has unveiled the first clip and poster of Liu Jian’s Berlin competition title, Art College 1994, which has its world premiere on February 24th.
The film is a youthful portrait set on the campus of the Chinese Southern Academy of Arts in the early 1990s. Against the backdrop of reforms opening China to the Western world, a group of college students lives in full swing as they take their first steps into adulthood, where love and friendships are intertwined with artistic aspirations, ideals, and ambitions. Caught between tradition and modernity, they now have to decide who they want to become.
It is the director’s third animated film after “Piercing I” and “Have a Nice Day” from 2010, which premiered in competition at the Berlinale in 2017 and quickly achieved cult status. Have a Nice Day also won Best Animated Feature at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan.
Souvenir Intl. achieved healthy sales in “Have a Nice Day” in more than 30 international territories.
The film features an all-star Chinese voice cast, including Dong Zijian (Mountains May Depart, At Cafe 6), Zhou Dongyu (Better Days), musician RenKe, comedian Papi, Huang Bo (The Island “, ” Journey to the West”), actor and director Da Peng (“City of Rock”, “A Final Reunion”) as well as the internationally renowned authors Jia Zhangke and Bi Gan.
Art College 1994 is produced by Nezha Bros. Pictures Company Limited, Modern Sky Entertainment Company Limited and School of Animation and Game of China Academy of Art.
The director said, “The 1990s were a very special time in the development of Chinese society. The daily lives of average people went through great changes. Along with the transition to a market-driven economy, Western culture and thinking flooded people’s horizons.
“It was a time when we discussed philosophy, literature, art and so on… A time full of hope and ideals! I was enrolled at an art school in the early 1990s and was passionate about creating art. I felt that everything around me on campus was alive, hopeful, new. This is the background I chose for Art College 1994.
“What happened on the college campus was part of China’s larger social transformation. I feel like this is something that touched everyone.
“I want to show the choices and dilemmas people have had to make in terms of artistic creation, personal goals, love, friendships… All of these choices and dilemmas reflect the ongoing struggle between tradition and modernity.
“’Art College 1994′ takes us back to college campus life in the 1990s. It is a time that is both distant and very near, both distant and intimate. For me, it’s freer, more accurate, and easier to control to recreate that time with animation. But more importantly, I hope to create a sense that this word is both real and surreal. If audiences can feel that sense of beauty while watching this film, that would be very special.”
Souvenir Intl. said: “‘Art College 1994’ is a tender, intimate and nostalgic look at campus life in the 1990s, full of pop culture references. Liu Jian’s stunning visuals make it all the more compelling and mesmerizing.”