Eternal Spring (長春), a feature documentary about Chinese comic book artist Daxiong from director, writer and producer Jason Loftus, will represent Canada in the nomination process for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards.
“It is with great enthusiasm that we announce that Eternal Spring (長春) was selected from among 16 films submitted to the pan-Canadian selection committee for having the best chance of positioning itself well in the multi-stage Oscar race,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director and CEO, Telefilm Canada, in a release. “This venture represents an exceptional opportunity for Eternal Spring (長春) to reach new audiences and offers a golden opportunity to showcase the high quality of Canadian filmmaking. That is why Telefilm will be supporting the film team in this prestigious competition and we wish them the best of luck.”
Set for release in Canada on Sept. 23, the animated documentary highlights the work of the Chinese illustrator, who was forced to flee his homeland after taking part in a 2002 rebellion by Falun Gong practitioners to take over a state television station to protest human rights abuses. Their spiritual practice has been banned in mainland China since 1999. The first-person account of Daxiong’s escape to North America is detailed in 3D animated re-enactments, inspired by his work.
Already screened at several international festivals, Eternal Spring won both the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs, in addition to the Hot Docs Audience Award. The film is produced by Toronto digital media company, Lofty Sky Entertainment, of which Loftus serves as CEO. Loftus made his directorial debut with documentary feature, Ask No Questions, which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2020. He won a Peabody Award as Executive Producer of 2015 documentary, Human Harvest, which followed Nobel Peace Prize nominees David Matas and David Kilgour as they investigated the atrocities of illegal organ harvesting in China.
Thus far, five countries have submitted their entries for Best International Film, including Ireland which has put forward Colm Bairéad’s acclaimed Irish-language film, The Quiet Girl; Uruguay which selected Manolo Nieto’s provocative drama, The Employer And The Employee; South Korea, which submitted Park Chan-wook’s romantic mystery, Decision to Leave; and Switzerland which has put forward Michael Koch’s romantic drama, A Piece Of Sky. Last year, 92 countries submitted a film.
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