Short

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8-10 mins.

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Foolish Fish Fable

愚鱼寓

A handmade short film that combines stop-motion puppet animation with outdoor puppetry. It tells the story of a very polite big fish that desires to devour a kid in its quest for immortality.

The story begins with a piece of hundreds of kids embroidery that I collected in Dunhuang, China. I fell in love with this embroidery; the scene depicted a child carrying fish out of the water, which left me puzzled and curious. So, I wrote the story of a big fish longing to become immortal by devouring children. We aim to blend puppetry performances with open animation techniques, coupled with the filming style of mocumentaries, inviting everyone to delve into the metaphorical “Yuyu” (Foolish Fish) and explore the meaning behind its quest for immortality. Rather than focusing solely on the outcome, I’m more inclined to showcase the open process as the embodiment of the imagery, delving into themes such as manipulate and animate to discuss topics like marine and land migration; population shifts and family planning; ritualistic cultures; Taiwan and mainland China relations; waterborne trade, plunder, and mythological symbols, among other open-ended questions and scenarios.

Director’s statement
We have three puppet systems:

1. Over 20 fabric kid—puppets and a large fabric fish for stop-motion animation. We will combine embroidery and tie-dye techniques in their production.

2. String-controlled ceramic puppets and ceramic fish for outdoor puppetry performances. We will also create puppeteer masks to manipulate the puppets. The inspiration for the puppetry comes from Vietnamese water puppetry, the giant fish lantern festivals in China’s Huangshan, and puppetry traditions in southern Fujian and Taiwan.

3. Found footage combined with flat fabrics for flat stop-motion animation, aiming to let the breathing medium itself express the story automatically.

Director and Producer
Lei Chia Hui
reneeqaz@gmail.com
Director and Scriptwriter
Yiyang Sun
yiyang.sun@artun.ee

Country of production

Estonia

Target audience

5+

Animation Technique

Stop-motion, ceramic puppetry, found footage

Production company

Estonia academy of arts
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CEE Animation is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and co-funded by state funds and foundations and professional organisations from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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