Eternal Spring (長春) represents Canada in the race for Best International Feature Film at the 2023 Oscars
Eternal Spring (長春), by director, writer and producer Jason Loftus alongside writers Masha Loftus and the Pearman Brothers, and producers Masha Loftus, Yvan Pinard and Kevin Koo, is representing Canada in the nomination process for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards, to be held on March 12, 2023. The film is produced by Lofty Sky Entertainment and the international sales agent is Sideways Film.
“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. “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.”
“Being nominated to represent Canada for Best International Film at the 95th Academy Awards is an immense honour,” said Jason Loftus, director, writer and producer. “Eternal Spring (長春) is a product of Canada’s creativity, diversity and tolerance. Through Daxiong’s story and art, as well as the talent of our Quebec based animation team, we hope this universal tale of courage in the face of injustice and repression resonates worldwide.”
Eternal Spring (長春) has been presented at several international festivals and will be released across Canada on September 23 and in the United States on October 14. This animated documentary film highlights the work of internationally renowned illustrator Daxiong.
So far, five countries have submitted their entries for the best international film. Last year, 92 countries submitted a film.
Synopsis of the Film
In March 2002, a state TV signal in China is hacked by members of the banned spiritual group Falun Gong. Their goal is to counter the government narrative about their practice.
In the aftermath, police raids sweep Changchun City, and comic book illustrator Daxiong (Justice League, Star Wars), a Falun Gong practitioner, is forced to flee. He arrives in North America, blaming the hijacking for worsening a violent repression. But his views are challenged when he meets the lone surviving participant to have escaped China, now living in Seoul, South Korea.
Combining present-day footage with 3D animation inspired by Daxiong’s art, Eternal Spring (長春) retraces the event on its 20th anniversary, and brings to life an unprecedented story of defiance, harrowing eyewitness accounts of persecution, and an exhilarating tale of determination to speak up for political and religious freedoms, no matter the cost.
Canada in the Best International Feature Film (formerly Best Foreign Language Film) category at the Oscars
In the history of the Oscars, eight Canadian films have been official nominees in the Best Foreign Language Film category: in 2013, Rebelle, by Kim Nguyen; in 2012, Monsieur Lazhar, by Philippe Falardeau and In Darkness, by Agnieszka Holland (a minority coproduction with Poland and Germany); in 2011, Incendies, by Denis Villeneuve; and, in 2007, Water, by Deepa Mehta. The list also includes three films by Denys Arcand: Le Déclin de l’empire américain, in 1987, Jésus de Montréal, in 1990 and, in 2004, Les Invasions barbares, the only Canadian film to have won the Oscar in this category.
Selection process for the Best International Film category
Telefilm Canada coordinates and chairs the pan-Canadian Selection Committee, without voting right. The committee comprises some 20 members representing key government agencies and national film industry associations. It is responsible for choosing the film that will represent Canada at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which accepts only one film per country for the Best International Feature Film category. Submitted films must have been produced outside the United States in a language other than English and must have been theatrically exhibited in the submitting country for at least seven consecutive days between January 1, 2022, and November 30, 2022. A shortlist of 15 films will be unveiled on December 21, 2022, and the chosen five official nominees will be announced on January 24, 2023.
About Telefilm Canada
As a Partner of Choice, Telefilm Canada is a Crown corporation dedicated to the success of the Canadian audiovisual industry, fostering access and excellence through programming that supports cultural resonance and public engagement. Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent in Canada and around the world, always with an eye to equity, inclusion and sustainability. In addition, it makes recommendations to the Department of Canadian Heritage regarding the certification of treaty audiovisual co-productions, and administers the Canada Media Fund programs. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund accepts private donations that are primarily used to support emerging talent. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at facebook.com/telefilmcanada.
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market
Public Relations for the film:
Lofty Sky Entertainment