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'No. 7 Cherry Lane': Watch The Trailer For China's New Award-Winner

It would be fair to say that Chinese animation is having a bit of a moment, to put it mildly. Ne Zha has quickly become the second highest-grossing Chinese film in history, White Snake is playing festivals around the world, and The Legend Of Hei opened at number one.  Another Chinese animated film is starting to make a splash internationally with No. 7 Cherry Lane making its bow at Venice and also screening at this month's Toronto's International Film Festival.

The film is the animation debut of writer/director Yonfan,  who is best known for directing live-action films such as Prince Of Tears and Bishonen. His first foray into animation is an adult animated drama set in 1960's Hong Kong. Against a politically charged backdrop, an English-literature student gets caught up in a love triangle with the woman he is tutoring and her middle-aged mother.

It's the kind of film we see all too rarely in animation. And it's going down a storm, winning a Golden Osella for best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival, as well as being nominated for The Golden Lion for Best Film. It's also turned out to be extra relevant, considering the recent events in Hong Kong.

The trailer suggests a film that has beautifully recreated the time and place, with a wonderful sense of mood. While the use of CG is apparent, particularly in the character models, it's also got a rather lovely hand-drawn look- reminiscent of fashion illustration of the period.

There's nothing bombastic or flashy here- it's about as far from the fantasy action of White Snake as you can get. Whether that appeals to you or not is a matter of personal taste. But if the idea of what looks a bit like an animated version of Wong Kar-Wai's In The Mood For Love sounds like something you'd want to see, then this looks right up your street (or should that be lane?).

UPDATE: The film has been confirmed to screen at this year's Animation Is Film festival in LA.