The Annecy Festival is paying tribute to the 1950s in China with a selection of animated shorts from the renowned Shanghai Animation Film Studio.
Following the guidance of specialist Marie-Claire Kuo-Quiquemelle, the Festival brings you a selection celebrating Chinese animation from the 1950s. A large panel of works, with styles ranging from cartoons to intricate cut-outs to dolls, will give festivalgoers the chance to travel back to the golden age of traditional Chinese animation.
Marked by the communists’ victory, the 1950s favoured cinema for children and, in March 1950, the animation team that had been established in Changchun was sent off to Shanghai. It quickly hired on figures from the art scene and recruited young graduates from art schools. It was decided that they would develop an original animation style, directly inspired from traditional Chinese art. The government approved of this approach and shelled out the necessary funds.
Carried away by the optimism felt in the first years under the communist regime, Chinese animators stood out by making impressively high-quality films. By inaugurating the Shanghai Animation Film Studio, a new structure solely dedicated to animation in 1957, the authorities officially recognised the scope of the work being done. After this, progress happened fast: they produced 24 films in 1958 and 16 in 1959.
With a selection of five animated shorts, the Festival continues its special programme paying tribute to China with a few masterpieces from the past.