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Liu Jian’s Berlin Competition Entry ‘Art College 1994’ Unveils Clip, Poster

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Sales agency Memento Intl. Liu has unveiled the first clip and poster from Jian’s Berlin competition title “Art College 1994,” which world premieres on February 24.

The photo is a portrait of young people 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 live life to the fullest as they take their first steps into adulthood, where love and friendship intertwine with artistic pursuits, ideals and ambitions. Caught between tradition and modernity, they must now choose who they want to be.

It is the director’s third animated feature, following 2010’s “Piercing Eye” and “Have a Nice Day,” which premiered in competition at the Berlinale in 2017 and quickly built a cult following. “Have a Nice Day” won Best Animated Feature at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan.

Memento Intl. “Have a Nice Day” has seen healthy sales growth in more than 30 international territories.

The film features an all-star Chinese voice cast including Dong Jijian (“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 internationally acclaimed writers Jia Zhangke and Be Song.

“Art College 1994” is produced by Neza Brothers Pictures Company Limited, Modern Sky Entertainment Company Limited and China Academy of Arts School of Animation and Game.

The director said: “The 1990s was a special period in the development of Chinese society. The daily life of the average person was undergoing enormous changes. Along with the shift to a market-driven economy, Western culture and thought flooded people’s horizons.

“It was a time when we were discussing philosophy, literature, art etc… a time full of hope and ideals! I enrolled in an art college in the early nineties, and I devoted myself to artistic creation. I felt that everything around me in the campus was vibrant, hopeful, new. This is the background I chose for ‘Art College 1994’.

“What was happening on college campuses was part of a larger social transformation in China. I think it’s something that touched everyone.

“I wanted to express the choices and dilemmas people had to make in artistic creation, personal goals, love, friendship… All these choices and dilemmas reflect the constant struggle between tradition and modernity.

‘Art College 1994’ takes us back to the college campus life of the 1990s. It is a time that is both distant yet so close, both distant yet intimate. To me, recreating that period with animation is freer, more accurate and easier to control. But more importantly, I hope to create a sense that this sound is both real and surreal. If the audience can experience that beauty while watching this film, it will be very special.”

Memento Intl. Said: ”’Art College 1994′ is a nuanced, intimate and nostalgic look at campus life in the 1990s, full of pop culture references. Liu Jian’s stunning visuals make it even more interesting and mesmerizing.”

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