An Academy Member in 2018, an Oscar Nominee in 2019 with His Feature Animation Have a Nice Day
Liu Jian: A Good Film Always Expresses a Good World Outlook through a Good Story
During the Academy Awards in 2018, Liu Jian was known to the public.
As a Chinese animation director, he was elected as an Academy Member and became one of the rare Chinese members in the Academy. This year, his work Have a Nice Day entered the longlist of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature which included 25 films. As a representative of Chinese animation, he entered the world’s spotlight again.
In 4 years, he spent 8 to 10 hours to draw every day. He finished 800 shots and 44,000 rough sketches. He acted as the director, the screenwriter, the animator, the film editor, the dubber, poster maker and post-production… Liu Jian finished 95% of the film production by himself.
After being shortlisted in the Golden Bear of the main competition during the 67th Berlin Film Festival and awarded with the Best Animated Feature in the 54th Golden Horse Award, Have a Nice Day has premiered in over 30 cities in the United States. Finally, in 2019, a positive intersection appeared between the Academy Award and this masterpiece which is the only shortlisted feature animation produced in mainland China.
“I want to express my opinion and thought about this world through animated films.” Now, over 30 countries around the world have purchased the rights of Have a Nice Day. “For me, a good film must be creative, and shall express a good world outlook though a good story.”
Liu Jian, who acted as an Academy Member for the second time, said frankly that compared to the European film festivals, Oscar is more commercial but will be more diversified in its future development. “This year, 25 films entered the long list of the best feature animation. 50 to 60 films entered the long list of the best short animation. Among these films, the Academy Members will elect 5 nominated works first, and vote for the prize-winning works at last.” For Liu Jian, the competition of the Academy Award for Animated Short Film in each year is always very fierce. However, surprisingly enough, among the nominated short animations this year, Bao and One Small Step are full of Chinese elements. “Chinese elements are quite eye-catching overseas. I believe more and more better Chinese animated films will show up in the world platform in future, which will be enjoyed and recognized by more and more people.”
“China’s animated film industry, which has just got going, has a large room for development and improvement. All filmmakers shall have a down-to-earth attitude towards the animated films and face the audiences and art sincerely.”
As the Deputy Dean and the Associate Professor of the School of Film and Animation of China Academy of Art, Liu Jian is very concerned about the students’ level of expertise. “All students of the Academy have solid foundation of painting and art, which is an important prerequisite for animation creation.” He is gratified by the achievements accomplished by many excellent students in the domestic and international animation competitions in recent years. “Works produced by students graduated in 2018 won awards in the 69th Berlin Film Festival in this year. This is definitely a matter of pride.”
Along with the vigorous development of China’s animation industry, Hangzhou, the “Cartoon and Animation Center” of China, is becoming more and more famous in the world. “Now the cultural and economic environment of Hangzhou is full of vigor and hope.” From an international perspective, Liu Jian is very optimistic about Hangzhou’s animation development in future.
Last December, Liu Jian and his students created the animated film Liangzhu together. This film depicts the origin and evolvement of the Liangzhu Culture by integrating the source materials of Liangzhu Culture’s 5,000-year history, such as the dams, city walls, jades and the Taotie Designs, etc.
Will elements of Hangzhou still be found in his future animated films? Liu Jiang replied with a smile, “You will definitely find them in my next animated film.”