The Beginning The Beginning

NY Premiere: “The Beginning” Doc About China’s Indie Animation Scene

There’s a strong wave of indie animators emerging from Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, and China. The latter country’s indie scene is the focus of the documentary The Beginning directed by Jess Zou of NeochaEDGE. The film, which debuts in NY next week at the China Institute (125 East 65th Street, NY, NY 10065), features profiles of twenty Chinese animators and studios who are pursuing a more independent approach in their work. The 100-minute film is in Mandarin with English subtitles. Tickets are $8 and pre-registration is required on the Institute’s website.

Artists and studios featured in The Beginning include: Ray Lei (Beijing), Sun Haipeng (Shenzhen), Liu Jian (Nanjing), Mao Qichao (Magic Animation Studio, Chengdu), Pi San (Beijing), Anytime (aka: ANI7IME) Animation Studio (Zhang Chunli, Pu Junhan, Li Weikun, Su Jingxin: Guangzhou), Seen Studio (Zhang Naowen, Aspirin, Zeng Xun: Beijing), Song Siqi (Henan)/Wang Qing (Suzhou), Li Dongzhen (Beijing), and Beijing Film Academy student animation group (Sun Yiran, Wang Xingchen, Chen Xi, Zhang Yi, and Zhang Xiadian).

  • Fantastic! I really enjoy the work of Wolf Smoke Studio, which is based in China, but I would love to see more indie animation from that country, as well as the rest of Asia as well. I don’t know about you, but I am getting pretty sick of all this generic looking anime that Japan excretes every five seconds. It’s nothing but breasts and little kids shouting “I wanna be the greatest!” all the time. It’s really getting on my nerves. I’m starting to question whether or not I still want to enjoy anime because of it. But then I look at something like this, and I am reminded that maybe there is hope for the Asian animation market yet. Thank you, Cartoon Brew, for making animated movies a better place to escape to.

  • JonH

    So jealous of the people in NY right now! Hope they bring it to San Francisco, we’ve got plenty of Chinese people here too!

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Toledo deserves it too (what with the potential Chinese investment our mayor’s trying to rope in).

      • Jon H

        Every city deserves this!

        • Hear hear! Especially Texas. I think it would do great at SXSW.

  • In other words, we all wish it had a theatrical run!! An online screening? Netflix? I live in Kentucky, and so am perpetually jealous of friends who live in New York and California. :|