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Today we reach the halfway mark in season one of CB Fest with the premiere of Tough (2016) by Jennifer Zheng, showcasing a beautiful conversation that brings a Chinese mother and her Europe-born daughter closer together.

Zheng graduated with the 2D animated documentary from Kingston University in the UK. She spent seven months making the film, all frame-by-frame hand-drawn, with a process that combined digital and traditional. Prior to today’s online debut, the short was nominated for a BAFTA for best British short animation, and screened at Sundance, SXSW, Annecy, Holland, and Zagreb among dozens of other festivals. We are proud to present her film as an online co-premiere with Short of the Week, a website that champions the art of short-form filmmaking in all its many forms.

After watching Tough, check out our visual essay below with comments from the director. And please help us spread Jennifer’s wonderful film across online communities using these links for Vimeo, Youtube, and Facebook.


Tunde Vollenbroek

Tunde Vollenbroek is a writer at Cartoon Brew, focusing on issues related to professional development. She is currently the head of programming at KLIK! Amsterdam Animation Festival, and a producer at Studio Pupil.

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