Part real-life footage, part animation, the feature-length Eternal Spring: The Heist of China’s Airwaves which premiered at the 24th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and received two awards, will be one of the films showing at the forthcoming Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 7th Edition taking place with live screenings at Cinema Nova from 21-31 July, and online from 1-31 July.

The work of Canadian producer and director Jason Loftus, Eternal Spring won the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival’s Fischer Audience Award (one of just two international films selected for the award) and the Human Values Award from the Hellenic Parliament that according to the citation was “given to a Newcomers Competition film that skilfully binds together personal testimonies and 3D animation to unfold a breathtaking story of a struggle for freedom of ideas and expression against an authoritarian regime that violently smothers any attempt of resistance.”

“The reception to Eternal Spring at TDF (Thessaloniki Documentary Festival) was extremely heartening,” said director Loftus, who attended the film’s premiere in Greece.

“We’re thrilled that audiences are resonating with this film and we also thank TDF, the Hellenic Parliament, and the jurors for recognising the universal values Eternal Spring displays. We couldn’t ask for a better start to our festival run.”

Eternal Spring: The Heist of China’s Airwaves participant and illustrator Daxiong ( (full name Guo Jingxiong) at work. Photo: Supplied/ © 2022 Lofty Sky Pictures

Based on a true event, the film recounts how members of the outlawed Falun Gong movement took over a state television centre in Changchung City in China with the aim of countering the state’s message against their movement.

In the clampdown that followed, visual artist Daxiong (full name Guo Jingxiong ), who has, among others, illustrated Justice League and Star Wars publications, is forced to flee to North America. His views that the TV station takeover worsened the repression of the movement are challenged when he meets the only survivor of the takeover who escaped to Seoul in South Korea.

The film also won awards when it was screened at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival and at the Movies that Matter Festival in The Hague, Netherlands.

Eternal Spring: The Heist of China’s Airwaves will be screened at the Nova Cinema at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 20 July and 7pm on Saturday, 23 July.

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See the film’s preview: