In the 1990s, a group of students on the campus of the Chinese Southern Academy of Arts are pursuing their studies and preparing to face the world. China is opening up to the West and the students’ lives are a tangle of love stories and friendships, artistic research, ideals and ambitions brought about by new influences. Caught between tradition and modernity, they have to decide who they want to become.
Filmmaker and painter Liu Jian returns to the Berlinale Competition with an animated film that combines stylised modern illustrations with a passion for art and life. Suffused with a dark offbeat humour, his work depicts the hopes and artistic dreams of an entire generation as it passes into adulthood. People, events and styles blend with the urban and winter landscape of a country undergoing rapid change.
by Liu Jian People’s Republic of China 2023 Mandarin 118’ Colour World premiere | Animation


Director Liu Jian
Screenplay Lin Shan, Liu Jian
Animation Li Jiajia
Editing Liu Jian
Music David Wen-Wei Liang, Sun Yunfan, Cui Jian, Alex Liu, Chen Li
Sound Design Li Danfeng, Gao Ruifeng
Sound Li Danfeng
Producers Yang Cheng, Shen Lihui, Gao Shiming
Executive Producer Wang Lynne

Produced by

Nezha Bros. Pictures

Modern Sky Entertainment

China Academy of Art, School of Animation and Game

Liu Jian

Liu Jian studied Chinese landscape painting and graduated from the Nanjing University of the Arts in 1993. Over the past two decades, his work has drawn on a range of media and aesthetic approaches and has been presented at major exhibitions both in China and abroad. In 1995, he began making works of animation and in 2007 he independently established the Le-joy Animation Studio. His first feature-length animation work, Piercing I, premiered at Holland Animation Film Festival and received numerous prestigious awards at film festivals across Asia and Europe.

Filmography (animated films)

2010 Citong wo (Piercing I) 2017 Hao ji le 2011 Chaos & Order; short film · Face; short film · Look At This Man; short film 2017 Hao ji le (Have a Nice Day) 2022 Art College 1994

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023