INTERFILM 37 International Short Film Festival Berlin
16 - 21 November 2021



The Thorn Birds

Qiannan Fang / Yingying Pan // China // 2020 // 09:00 min


An animated fable relating the legend of a special bird that only sings once in its life and spends its entire existence looking for a thorn tree where it can complete this great song. Communication University of Zhejiang - Hangzhou

Three Questions for the Director

1. Short Film has a unique way of telling stories and exploring themes. What is it that fascinates you about the short format?

What fascinates me most about the short film is the innovation and breakthrough of the sense of form. The short film has an experimental attribute, which can fully demonstrate the personalization of the creator. The character performance and storyline of "The Thorn Birds" are unified in the tone of the Chinese traditional style, allowing the film to create a unique aesthetic appeal. The short film has to show the ups and downs of the story in a few minutes, so it is challenging and interesting to integrate lens aesthetics, audio-visual language, performance forms, sensory stimulation and so on.

2. The program your film is selected for is called “China: New Talents": What connection do you see between your film and that title?

"The Thorn Bird" is honored to be shortlisted for this unit. Our creative concept is to innovate the visual language of animation and create a different and connotative Chinese style. "The Thorn Bird" is an experimental animated short film of "New Rock Color". In the setting of the art concept, it draws nutrients from the Chinese traditional pattern art and integrates the past and the present. We have studied the art style of Dunhuang rock color, repeatedly tested the suitable art style, and constantly polished the design concept, so that the overall aesthetics and the animation narrative can be more integrated. Finally, we used digital methods to create the art style of “New Rock Color”; in the opening clip, we innovatively used the architectural projection method, projecting the animation on the rock background with a good setting, and then shooting. Simulate the texture of ancient petroglyphs on real rocks. I hope everyone can feel the charm of Chinese traditional art style in the film.

3. What film has inspried you most to make films yourself and what part of it do you see in your own work?

The movie that inspired me the most was the animated film "Nine-Colored Deer" produced by Shanghai Fine Arts Film Studio in 1981. The creators of "Nine Colored Deer" combined ancient legendary religious stories with beautiful and characteristic mural art styles through animation, and creatively combined traditional paintings with contemporary visual art. This kind of art fusion plays a vital role in the inheritance and spread of traditional art and the innovative expression of contemporary art. "The Thorn Bird" was inspired by it, learning from Dunhuang murals, and integrating contemporary animation creation methods, innovated the "New Rock Color" style of painting. I am very grateful to the pioneers of the "Chinese Tradition" of animation.

Producer: Qiannan Fang, Yingying Pan

Director: Qiannan Fang, Yingying Pan

Sales Agent: China Animation Contemporary Archive Nanjing

The film is shown in the following programs

Special Programs

China: New Talents

19.11.21, 18:00h, ACUD Kino

21.11.21, 16:30h, Babylon 2