Award-Winning ‘Eternal Spring’ Documentary Premieres in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia—The award-winning documentary “Eternal Spring” premiered in Australia on July 20 at Cinema Nova in Melbourne.“Eternal Spring” was hosted by the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival to a full-house, with the second screening coming up on Saturday July 23 already sold out. Audience members watch the Australian premiere of “Eternal Spring” in Melbourne, Australia, on July 20, 2022. (Grace Yu/The Epoch Times) Practitioners of Falun Gong in China have endured widespread persecution since 1999, and events are held globally on July 20 to raise awareness. Using their bravery and courage as inspiration, the Canadian-made documentary uses a mixture of animation and interviews to tell a story of a group of people standing up to oppression in their own unique way. To break through the state-sponsored constant broadcasting of propaganda, a small group of Falun Gong practitioners set out to hijack a TV station programme in the city of Changchun, meaning “Eternal Spring” in English. The film is directed by Jason Loftus, a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, and the film’s illustrations are created by Daxiong, who is renowned for his work in Star Wars comics and DC’s Justice League. Filmmaker Jason Loftus (L) and Artist Daxiong (R) in a still of the “Eternal Spring” documentary. (Courtesy of Lofty Sky Pictures) Loftus said he wanted to give exposure to a human rights issue in an entertaining and informative way that people can connect with. “When it comes to human rights issues, if people are just hearing facts about suffering, and this kind of thing, it can be a lot for people to bear,” he told The Epoch Times. “And I think people want to be educated, they want to be informed, but they also want to be entertained, and they want to find a story that they can connect with and take something from and into their own lives.” Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Jason Loftus, director of the new animated documentary “Eternal Spring,” in Melbourne, Australia, on July 20, 2022. (Grace Yu/The Epoch Times) Story of Courage Against the Odds Hijacking a TV station in communist China to counter a false narrative carried risks for the real-life characters involved. Even today, such an act carries grave consequences, such as imprisonment and torture. Compelled by a desire to inform people of the truth of Falun Gong—amidst a wave of misinformation and disinformation—these characters defied the odds and successfully achieved their mission. However, their fate post-mission highlights the harsh consequences of countering the CCP’s narrative. George Mavroyeni, an award-winning video producer and 40-year veteran in the television and corporate industry, was present at the premiere, and shared with The Epoch Times how he thought the Falun Gong practitioners depicted in the film were “very brave.” “Not just determined, but there comes a time when they see life as going nowhere, and they are actually prepared to give up their lives to actually have their freedom,” Mavroyeni told The Epoch Times. Currently, Falun Gong practitioners in China are subjected to “widespread surveillance, arbitrary detention, horrific torture, and extrajudicial killing—abuses which continue today,” according to Freedom House, a nonprofit organisation. “We’ve got to tell our government to speak up on behalf of those people who are suppressed [in China], and the problem here [in Australia] is that a lot of people don’t even realise that the Chinese people are suppressed,” Mavroyeni said. “If the mainstream media do not expose this, then in my view, our mainstream media is complicit with the Chinese mainstream media.” In a panel discussion that was hosted by film critic Peter Kraus from the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, Loftus said one of the main issues with the 23-year-long persecution is that people develop “compassion fatigue.” Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Jason Loftus, director of the new animated documentary “Eternal Spring,” speaks at a film screening in Melbourne, Australia on July 20, 2022. (Grace Yu/The Epoch Times) “So people move on to something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things have actually changed or gotten better there [in China],” he said. “If you look at the Uyghurs, and the scores of arrests of Uyghur Muslims in the northwest of China and how they’re detained and in the internment camps there, you see some very similar things in terms of large-scale arrests, detention and the coercion to abandon their beliefs and their traditions. “The persecution of Falun Gong has been going on for a long time. That doesn’t actually mean the situation has improved, and it’s still very urgent.” When asked about the practitioners’ courage illustrated in the film, Loftus said he resonated with the idea of a plum blossom. “[B]ecause the flower actually blooms when it’s still winter. So it conjures this meaning that even in the midst of difficulty and hardship, that there’s better times ahead, or there’s stil

Award-Winning ‘Eternal Spring’ Documentary Premieres in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia—The award-winning documentary “Eternal Spring” premiered in Australia on July 20 at Cinema Nova in Melbourne.

“Eternal Spring” was hosted by the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival to a full-house, with the second screening coming up on Saturday July 23 already sold out.

Epoch Times Photo
Audience members watch the Australian premiere of “Eternal Spring” in Melbourne, Australia, on July 20, 2022. (Grace Yu/The Epoch Times)

Practitioners of Falun Gong in China have endured widespread persecution since 1999, and events are held globally on July 20 to raise awareness.

Using their bravery and courage as inspiration, the Canadian-made documentary uses a mixture of animation and interviews to tell a story of a group of people standing up to oppression in their own unique way.

To break through the state-sponsored constant broadcasting of propaganda, a small group of Falun Gong practitioners set out to hijack a TV station programme in the city of Changchun, meaning “Eternal Spring” in English.

The film is directed by Jason Loftus, a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, and the film’s illustrations are created by Daxiong, who is renowned for his work in Star Wars comics and DC’s Justice League.

Epoch Times Photo
Filmmaker Jason Loftus (L) and Artist Daxiong (R) in a still of the “Eternal Spring” documentary. (Courtesy of Lofty Sky Pictures)

Loftus said he wanted to give exposure to a human rights issue in an entertaining and informative way that people can connect with.

“When it comes to human rights issues, if people are just hearing facts about suffering, and this kind of thing, it can be a lot for people to bear,” he told The Epoch Times.

“And I think people want to be educated, they want to be informed, but they also want to be entertained, and they want to find a story that they can connect with and take something from and into their own lives.”

Epoch Times Photo
Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Jason Loftus, director of the new animated documentary “Eternal Spring,” in Melbourne, Australia, on July 20, 2022. (Grace Yu/The Epoch Times)

Story of Courage Against the Odds

Hijacking a TV station in communist China to counter a false narrative carried risks for the real-life characters involved. Even today, such an act carries grave consequences, such as imprisonment and torture.

Compelled by a desire to inform people of the truth of Falun Gong—amidst a wave of misinformation and disinformation—these characters defied the odds and successfully achieved their mission.

However, their fate post-mission highlights the harsh consequences of countering the CCP’s narrative.

George Mavroyeni, an award-winning video producer and 40-year veteran in the television and corporate industry, was present at the premiere, and shared with The Epoch Times how he thought the Falun Gong practitioners depicted in the film were “very brave.”

“Not just determined, but there comes a time when they see life as going nowhere, and they are actually prepared to give up their lives to actually have their freedom,” Mavroyeni told The Epoch Times.

Currently, Falun Gong practitioners in China are subjected to “widespread surveillance, arbitrary detention, horrific torture, and extrajudicial killing—abuses which continue today,” according to Freedom House, a nonprofit organisation.

“We’ve got to tell our government to speak up on behalf of those people who are suppressed [in China], and the problem here [in Australia] is that a lot of people don’t even realise that the Chinese people are suppressed,” Mavroyeni said.

“If the mainstream media do not expose this, then in my view, our mainstream media is complicit with the Chinese mainstream media.”

In a panel discussion that was hosted by film critic Peter Kraus from the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, Loftus said one of the main issues with the 23-year-long persecution is that people develop “compassion fatigue.”

Epoch Times Photo
Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Jason Loftus, director of the new animated documentary “Eternal Spring,” speaks at a film screening in Melbourne, Australia on July 20, 2022. (Grace Yu/The Epoch Times)

“So people move on to something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things have actually changed or gotten better there [in China],” he said.

“If you look at the Uyghurs, and the scores of arrests of Uyghur Muslims in the northwest of China and how they’re detained and in the internment camps there, you see some very similar things in terms of large-scale arrests, detention and the coercion to abandon their beliefs and their traditions.

“The persecution of Falun Gong has been going on for a long time. That doesn’t actually mean the situation has improved, and it’s still very urgent.”

When asked about the practitioners’ courage illustrated in the film, Loftus said he resonated with the idea of a plum blossom.

“[B]ecause the flower actually blooms when it’s still winter. So it conjures this meaning that even in the midst of difficulty and hardship, that there’s better times ahead, or there’s still a sense of hope in the midst of that,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
A still from the film “Eternal Spring,” which tells the story a group Falun Gong practitioners who tapped into Changchun City’s state-controlled cable television to broadcast information to counter the Chinese communist regime’s propaganda against the spiritual practice. (Courtesy of Lofty Sky Pictures)

“[F]or me it was the spirit of the people, the subjects that I was seeing, so regardless of what they had gone through, they were still hopeful. And they still felt that even in the aftermath of all of this that it was worth it.”

“Eternal Spring” has been nominated as a 2022 Finalist by the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival under the following categories: Supreme Award Finalist, Best Director-International Finalist, and Audience Choice Finalist.

To watch the trailer or learn more about the movie, please visit the official website of “Eternal Spring.”


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Henry Jom is an Australian based reporter covering local Australia news. Contact him at [email protected]