Private Project

Princess Danya

Princess Danya is adapted from an ancient legend which based on Hainan Li of China. Hainan is an island at the south of China and Li is a minority on Hainan Island. Li is a nation which women as the main labor force and productivity, many of the cultural traditions are created by women. Princess of Danya with the two-dimensional hand-drawn animation depicts Li's unique culture.

This story tells a pregnant princess Danya who misunderstood by her people as a monster and she was banished to a small island which named Hainan Island. On this island, she used the boat for housing(Boat-Shape House), farming, raising her child. After her boy grows up, one day, the boy heard a beautiful song. He followed the song and found a girl, and then they fell in love. Suddenly, A monster who transformed from the wall forbidden them together, it beat that girl (left tattoo on girl's face) and chased them to their living place. Danya draw a face pattern as the girl’s face tattoo and confused the monster. Finally, Danya used the bamboo to eliminate the monster. The monster cracked and his parts transformed to plants, animals, mountains, rivers (totem forms of Li minority). This place is said to be the cradle of Li nation, who still performs a special dance called Bamboo dance today at festivals.

  • Xi Deng
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 25, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Xi Deng

Xi Deng was born in Hunan Province, China. Her recent work falls in the fields of Chinese Intangible Culture Heritage research, games and animation. She received her BFA in Graphic Design at Beijing Institution of Fashion Technology in 2004, and MA in Computer Animation at Peking University in 2009.

She spent three months in Scotland, UK, and finished a game named “Bear go home”. It was nominated by BAFTA and won the Innovation and Creative Award of Dare to Be Digital in 2007. Since she joined Hainan University as a lecturer, she became interested in local minority’s culture and started using animation to present their Intangible Culture Heritage. Her program in this area was supported by the Chinese National Social Science Foundation.

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Director Statement

Lecturer at Hainan University, China
Visiting professor at University of Regina, Canada.