Art College 1994

Source: Nezha Bros. Pictures Company Ltd, Beijing Modern Sky Culture Development Co. Ltd

‘Art College 1994’

Paris-based Memento International has secured global sales rights to Chinese filmmaker Liu Jian’s animated feature Art College 1994, which has made a late entry to the Competition line-up at the upcoming Berlinale.

The feature will receive its world premiere at the 73rd edition of the festival, which runs February 16-26.

It marks Liu’s third feature after 2010’s Piercing I and Have A Nice Day, which also premiered in Competition at the Berlinale in 2017 and went on to win best animated feature at the prestigious Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. Memento sold Have A Nice Day to more than 30 territories.

Art College 1994 is 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. The coming-of-age story follows a group of college students caught between tradition and modernity as love and friendships are intertwined with their artistic pursuits, ideals and ambitions.

An all-star Chinese voice cast includes Venice Golden Lion-winning filmmaker Jia Zhangke.

Art College 1994 is produced by Nezha Bros. Pictures Company Limited, Modern Sky Entertainment Company Limited, and China Academy Of Art’s School of Animation and Game.

“It took director Liu Jian five years to create this film with his iconic artistic style and true sensibility,” said producer Yang Cheng, who also produced Liu’s Have A Nice Day. “Both as an animated film and as an arthouse film, it’s very unique.”

Memento described the film as “a beautiful reflection on art filled with pop references,” which “marks a new thrilling achievement in Liu Jian’s fascinating work”.

At the EFM, Memento International will also market premiere recent Sundance titles including Anthony Chen’s Drift, starring Cynthia Erivo and Alia Shawkat, and Babak Jalali’s Fremont.

The company’s slate also includes Luis De Filippis’s Something You Said Last Night, which screened at Toronto and San Sebastian; high-profile French titles such as Martin Provost’s Bonnard, Pierre And Marthe and Bruno Dumont’s highly anticipated The Empire; and Cannes favourites Boy From Heaven, Sick Of Myself, Falcon Lake and The Night Of The 12th. The latter recently secured 10 César nominations for the upcoming awards.