LatAm cinema » Animarkt and MIANIMA: Latin American animation moves in Europe

Between November 5 and 8, the seventh edition of the Forum of stop motion Animarkt, a Polish event dedicated to this animation technique that returns to face-to-face in the city of Lodz. Since its first version, the Forum has received Latin American projects, and this year eight titles from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico are participating. Consulted by LatAm cinema, the person in charge of ANIMARKT, Agnieszka Kowalewska-Skowron, affirms: “The projects from Latin American countries have enchanted us for their diversity and for their way of telling stories. It is an exceptionally strong representation of various aesthetics and approaches to animation. We have options for younger audiences, adolescents, as well as unique animations for the adult public. I am convinced that, with such wonderful animations, this year’s Pitching will once again arouse great emotions”.

The selection of feature film or series projects includes twelve works in development, production or completed stages; five of which are from the region. The Argentinian “worldscopic” is a series project (26×3′) directed by Ana Martini and produced by Karina Fuentes (MOCO Studio), aimed at children (7-9 years old) that has the support of the Metropolitan Fund of Buenos Aires and has participated in APA LAB, in the Mentoring program for creators of Animation! South Window and Girl Power 4 in Pixelatl. The series is set in a micro-universe full of tiny and eccentric bacteria, fungi and viruses that are discovered with the help of the Super Magnifying Glass.

The other selected regional series is the Chilean “Sissi and Cesar”, a project in the development stage directed by Gabriela Villalobos and Sebastián Bisbal and produced by Allan Bortnic (Tres Tercios). Aimed at preschool audiences, the series is projected with 26 11-minute episodes in which the rainbow penguins Sissi and César leave Antarctica to save the colors of the world on a planet that turns black and white due to the chromatic crisis.

From Chile also participates “Hain”, a feature film by Alejandra Jaramillo and produced by Paulina Sanhueza (Gigante Azul) which is in the pre-production stage. The film stars four young people who are persecuted by mysterious spirits in the Selk’nam initiation rite in Tierra del Fuego. The project has the support of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage through funds for production, development and script rewriting; and participated in Animarkt in 2019, where he received a puppet advisory award. It has also been selected in Animation! 2020, BAL Lab Biarritz, MAI! Chilemonos and BrLab, among other spaces.

Another long-running feature film that also participates in the Polish Forum is the Mexican “The Ballad of Phoenix” directed by Arturo Ambriz and Roy Ambriz with production by Marta Hernaiz Pidal and the Ambriz brothers (Cinema Fantasma). Oriented towards family audiences, the film stars an elf princess with magical powers who, upon learning that her dying father is a tyrant, must choose between saving the life of the king and saving the kingdom from his cruel submission with the help of the worst his father’s enemy: a wise phoenix alchemist. The project participated in Pixelatl in 2019, Animation! South Window 2019, Animation! Focus @ MIFA in 2020 and MIFA Pitches in 2022. The brothers recently announced that actor Gael García Bernal will voice one of the leads.

The third regional film selected at Animarkt is the Colombian “It’s the moon!”, feature film directorial debut by Jorge Alberto Vega Rivera, director of the award-winning short film “El Pájarocubo”. Produced by Ángela María Revelo C. (La Valiente Estudio), who was also in charge of producing the short, the project “¡Es la luna!” He has participated in some spaces in the region, such as the script laboratory for feature films with an adolescent perspective Cine a la Vista LAB and the Ibero-American Laboratory of Fantastic Film Projects. The film stars Johan, who believes that the moonlight is turning his parents into a wolf, so he decides to destroy it with the support of his friends.

On the other hand, of the fifteen selected short film projects in development, three are Latin American. The list is integrated by the Chilean “Embroider the body”documentary in stop motion with embroidery directed by Alejandra Jaramillo, written by Maria Angelica Ovalle and produced by Ximena Araya (Gigante Azul Producciones, Mami Male Producciones) that will tell stories of violence obstetrics in Chile. The project It has the support of the Project Strengthening Fund and participated in Pixelatl last September. The Argentine short film also participates “Hatker”, second short film by Rosario director Alejandro Ariel Martin, who debuted in 2019 with “Epirenov”, a short that participated in a hundred festivals around the world. It is a production by Florencia Pilotti (Bloom Producción Audiovisual), also from Rosario, set in an old office where several people are glued to the ceiling by their hats without realizing their situation. The third regional title selected in this category is the Colombian “Palm Eater Monster” by Juan Camilo Foonegra, a Dipacho production that proposes the adaptation of the homonymous story by him. The work portrays the palm tree-eating monster, who eats everything he finds in a tropical jungle full of multicolored palm trees and infinite shapes and colorful, exotic and strange birds. The selection is completed with works from Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Ukraine, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Lebanon.

Also in Europe, three other Latin American projects have been selected in MIANIMA 2022-23, a mentoring program for projects led by women convened by the Spanish association Women in the Animation Industry (MIA). Of the six selected projects, three are from Latin American filmmakers, two of which are feature films. One of them is the Colombian adventure film Collided: Earth and Monsters”, written and directed by Estefanía Piñeres and produced by Letrario. The project, which recently received the FDC Production Fund and has participated in Pixelatl and BAM, plans to start its pre-production in the first quarter of 2023. The film stars Chocó, an intrepid eight-year-old girl who He lives in a small village in the middle of the jungle with his grandmother and brother.

The second selected regional feature film is the brazilian drama “Nihonjin”, by the director Celia Catunda and the screenwriter Rita Catunda. Produced by Pinguim, the studio co-founded by the director together with Kiko Mistrorigo, the project is an adaptation of the homonymous book by Oscar Nakasato (Jabuti Award winner in 2012). The film follows the story of a migrant family in three generations: from Hideo Inabata’s departure from Japan to Brazil, to the journey of his grandson Noboru, from Brazil to Japan.

The Latin American team is completed with the Argentine action series and folk horror “Holy Shadow” by director Paula Boffo and produced by Ojo Raro. It is an adaptation of the homonymous graphic novel written by the director herself and published in August of this year. “Santa Sombra” stars Juana, a young coya who lives with her grandmother and her sisters in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. His quiet life is violated when his older sister is kidnapped by a trafficking network. She will then become a hunter of abusive men trying to rescue her sister. The project participated in the Animation Mentoring Program! and was selected by Women in Animation in their program Stories x Women.

For five months, the selected projects will receive tutoring by industry professionals “with the aim of developing the necessary material to face the animation market” and will receive a grant of 3,000 euros to support the maintenance of the selected ones. In addition, two of the participating projects will opt for a monetary prize of 25 thousand euros for the development of the teaser. The selection was made from a total of 39 postulated projects from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay; and was in charge of the committee made up of Daniela Vieira (Netflix), Inés Ramos (Disney Channel & Disney Junior), Manuel Cristóbal (audiovisual producer and consultant), Paula Taborda dos Guaranys (PGS Entertainment) and Patricia Hidalgo (BBC).

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LatAm cinema » Animarkt and MIANIMA: Latin American animation moves in Europe

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