Art College 1994 Art College 1994

Chinese indie animated feature Art College 1994 will have its U.S. theatrical-run premiere at Metrograph in Manhattan this Friday, April 26, followed by a weeklong stand at the theater. It’s the third feature from Liu Jian who was proven himself to be one the boldest and most accomplished independent voices in China’s animation scene.

In conjunction with the premiere of the new film, Metrograph will also offer revival screenings of Liu’s earlier film Have A Nice Day, which the Annecy animation festival was forced to removed from competition in 2017 due to pressure from the Chinese government. Have A Nice Day will also become available on streaming this Friday through the Metrograph At Home app.

Starting May 3, Art College 1994′s U.S. distributor Dekanalog will take the film to L.A. at the Laemmle Noho and Hartford, Connecticut, at Cinestudio. Other cities are to be announced.

Art College 1994 premiered at Berlinale last year and also screened at Annecy and the Animation is Film Festival in Los Angeles. Partly autobiographical, Liu drew inspiration from his experience attending the Chinese Southern Academy of Arts in the mid-’90s. It is described by Metrograph as “an affectionate, bittersweet group portrait of students preparing to revolutionize the arts – when not locked into impassioned conversations about grunge and Van Gogh – while struggling to find a balance between tradition and modernity against the backdrop of reforms opening China to the Western world.”

The 2d hand-drawn, 118-minute film was in production for five years, and uniquely, was produced by art school teachers and students at the China Academy of Art, where Liu is a professor. The voice cast includes Chinese directors Bi Gan and Jia Zhangke, and actor Wang Hongwei.


Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Cartoon Brew's Publisher and Editor-at-large.