It’s the Lunar New Year of the Pig and to draw attention to conditions for most of the world’s millions of pigs, we co-produced a new animated film. It’s called “Piggy’s New Year’s Dream” and it’s a multi-cultural collaboration between our colleague and Chinese film-maker, Jian Yi, and Emmy Award-winning U.S. film-maker Allison Argo. Their different homelands helped them create a universal story, which takes place in China, but could be set in just about any country. (The film’s executive producer is Brighter Green executive director Mia MacDonald.) Piggy’s New Year Dream was first released in China in mid-February for Lantern Festival, which occurs about two weeks after the Lunar New Year. It has been viewed tens of thousands of times since then. We’re pleased to be able to share these versions of the film now with English language narration and English subtitles.
The film uses rotoscope animation, which traces over documentary footage of pig farming, which exists throughout the world and is becoming increasingly mechanized. This mechanization is leading to greater and greater mistreatment of pigs and other farmed animals who are seen and treated as mere units of production. New high-rise pig “farms” in China bear witness to the speed and scale of the adoption of factory farming and the inhumane conditions it entails.
Piggy, the star of the film, “sees” firsthand the horrors of one such factory farm. Most people in China, however, have not seen these operations or even a live pig. This is the case despite the fact that up to 700 million pigs that are consumed each year in China (about 50% of the world’s pork consumption). Pigs are sensitive animals with excellent memories, complex communication skills, and are known to form tight bonds with other pigs. Inside factory farms, all of these capabilities are severely constrained. At the end of the film, the young boy makes a wish for the world’s pigs. By the next Year of the Pig in twelve years, the wish may have become universal and a global reality.
Here are the links to watch multiple versions of the film:
English Narration with Chinese Subtitles
English Narration with English Subtitles
Chinese Narration with English Subtitles
You can learn more about Brighter Green’s work in China on factory farming and sustainable, equitable food systems here, and visit the Good Food Fund’s good food academy here.
About the filmmakers: Allison Argo has won more than 100 awards for her filmmaking, including six National Emmys. Her mission is to provide “a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.” The first film she produced and directed was The Urban Gorilla, and she recently produced, directed, and edited the documentary, The Last Pig. She narrates the English version of Piggy’s New Year’s Dream. She met Jian Yi when they appeared together in Los Angeles on a filmmaking panel. Jian Yi has directed several films, which have been shown worldwide, including What’s for Dinner? and Six Years On, both executive produced by Brighter Green and Mia MacDonald. He’s currently working on a film about animals in the Chinese zodiac [link to Zodiac 12 website]. He is also the founder of the Good Food Fund in Beijing. Jian Yi’s wife, Eva Song, and son, Kuankuan, appear as the characters in Piggy’s New Year’s Dream, and Eva narrates the Chinese language version. The rotoscope animation was done by U.S.-based animator Lindsay Thompson.