Asian Shadows has taken international sales for Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish, ahead of the film’s premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).
The essay film focuses on director Lei Lei’s family, and their struggle for survival during the political turmoil of Mao’s China. The director mixes techniques, combining clay puppets, collage, live-action footage, and “pop-art animation.”
Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish (which was previously known as Ningdu) is the debut animated feature from Lei, one of the most notable Chinese indie filmmakers working in animation today. His shorts, which include This Is Love, Missing One Player, and Recycled, have won awards at festivals including Ottawa and Hiroshima.
Maria A. Ruggieri, head of sales and acquisitions at Asian Shadows, said: “We found the combination of the film’s unique, personal vision, strong family story, and powerful setting during an incredible historical and political moment fascinating and compelling. We believe in the universality of this family’s journey, of the human struggle to survive troubled times.”
A U.S.-Dutch co-production, Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish is produced by Lei’s U.S.-based See-Ray Studio, Hong Kong’s Chinese Shadows, and the Netherlands’ Submarine. After IFFR’s online edition (January 26 – February 6), where it is playing as part of the Tiger Competition for emerging talent, the film will be featured at the virtual European Film Market (February 10–17).
Lei also works in live action. He previously collaborated with Asian Shadows on his 68-minute documentary Breathless Animals, which played in the Berlinale’s Forum section.
See more images from Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish below:
Screen Daily first reported the news.