An animation film from China was forced to pull out of the 41st session of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, held on June 12-17, 2017.
Mainland China’s animation film, Have a Nice Day, which is also the first animated feature from China to take part in the Berlin Animation Film Festival, would have shone in the Film Festival in France. However, during the opening ceremony, it suddenly “disappeared” from the official website.
Film Festival curator Patrick Eveno said that Have a Nice Day was forced to pull out because it did not have the official clearance and approval from Chinese officials to take part in the international festival. Even though the film festival wanted to reject China’s demand to withdraw the film, the film producer decided to obey the order made by China.
Eveno also said that in his 12 years of planning for the film festival, they have never come across pressure from government bureaucracy to withdraw a film nomination.
Public information revealed that Have a Nice Day is a self-directed long animation film by Liu Jian. It is a black-humored story about “money” in a small town in Southern China. Xiaozhang, a driver, tries to raise money for his fiancée to fix her failed plastic surgery. He steals money from his company, which leads to a series of ridiculously disastrous events.
The film is only suitable for adult viewing because there is a lot of foul language and violent scenes. It also features several roles that include a worker, a farmer, a thief, a security guard, and a policeman. It fully reflects the reality and harshness of the Mainland’s lower stream society.
Liu Jian, earlier on, had accepted an interview from a German media. He talked about his original intention of making the film. He said: “I want to do a meaningful and exceptional story.”
Liu Jian was born in 1969 in Jiangsu Province. In 1993, he graduated from Nanjing Art Institute of Fine Arts. His first work, Piercing I, won the fourth Asia-Pacific Film Award for the best animated feature film in 2010. However, according to the report by Le Figaro, the work was also ordered by the Chinese officials to withdraw.
Translated by Chua BC and copyedited by Alan Cheung