Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Anima Mundi 2011 Rio de Janeiro Audience Awards

Best Feature Film for Children

1. THE MISSED LYNX - Raul García (Spain)
2. HEART AND YUMMIE - Masaya Fujimori (Japan)
3. THE SANDMAN AND THE LOST LAND OF DREAMS - Jesper Mølle e Sinem Sakaoglu (France and Germany)

Best Student Film

1. CHYBICKA SE VLOUDI - Aneta Kýrová (Czech Republic)
2. HAMBUSTER - Paul Alexandre; Dara Cazamea; Maxime Cazaux; Romain Delaunay; Laurent Monneron (France)
3. PARIGOT - Mehdi Alavi; Loic Bramoulle; Alex Digoix; Geoffrey Lerus; Alexandre Wolfromm (France)

Melhor Short Film for Children

1. ORMIE - Rob Silvestri (Canada)
2. BRIDGE - Ting Chian Tey (USA)
3. HOOKED - Friedl Jooste (South Africa)

Best Brazilian Short

1. BOMTEMPO - Alexandre Dubiela (Brazil)
2. FURICO & FIOFÓ - Fernando Miller (Brazil)
3. OBSOLETO - Leandro de Souza Henriques; Victor Mendonça dos Santos; Heitor Mendonça dos Santos (Brazil)

Best Short

1. CAPTAIN AWESOME: THE RUMBLE IN THE CONCRETE JUNGLE - Ercan Bozodgan; Mikkel Aabenhuus Sørensen (Denmark)
2. THE SAGA OF BIÔRN - Benjamin Kousholt (Denmark)
3. FLY de Alan Short (United Kingdom)

Anima Mundi 2011 São Paulo Audience Awards

Best Feature Film for Children

1. THE MISSED LYNX - Raul García (Spain)
2. HEART AND YUMMIE - Masaya Fujimori (Japan)
3. LIGHT OF THE RIVER - Tetsuo Hirakawa (Japan)

Best Student Film

1. CHYBICKA SE VLOUDI - Aneta Kýrová (Czech Republic)
2. LE ROYAUME - Nuno Alves Rodrigues; Oussama Bouacheria; Julien Cheng; Sébastien Hary; Aymeric Kevin; Ulysse Malassagne; Franck Monier (France)
3. HAMBUSTER - Paul Alexandre; Dara Cazamea; Maxime Cazaux; Romain Delaunay; Laurent Monneron (France)

Melhor Short Film for Children

1. ORMIE - Rob Silvestri (Canada)
2. HOOKED - Friedl Jooste (South Africa)
3. BRIDGE - Ting Chian Tey (USA)

Best Brazilian Short

1. BOMTEMPO - Alexandre Dubiela (Brazil)
2. O CÉU NO ANDAR DE BAIXO - Leonardo Cata Preta (Brazil)
3. FURICO & FIOFÓ - Fernando Miller (Brazil)

Best Short

1. VICENTA - Sam Orti (Spain)
2. THE SAGA OF BIÔRN - Benjamin Kousholt (Denmark)
3. FLY de Alan Short (United Kigdom)

Anima Mundi 2011 Professional Jury Awards


1. ESSÊNCIA - Daniel Rabanéa
2. CACHOEIRA - Rodrigo Eba
3. FÁTIMA! - Jeferson T. S. Hamaguchi



1. WHEELS AND LOVE - Massimo Ottoni (Italy)
3. AJUDANDO NOSSO MUNDO EM 60 SEGUNDOS - Marlon Amorim Tenório (Brazil)


1. O FEITIÇO VIROU CONTRA O FEITICEIRO - Bruno Sarracceni Tedesco (Brazil)
2.FAST FOOD - Christiano Borges (Brazil)
3. NUDE - Colin Reid (Ireland)


FURICO & FIOFÓ - Fernando Miller (Brazil)


OBSOLETO - Leandro de Souza Henriques; Victor Mendonça dos Santos; Heitor Mendonça dos Santos (Brazil)


Best Film* – PATHS OF HATE - Damian Nenow (Poland)

Best Animation – LUMINARIS - Juan Pablo Zaramella (Argentina)

Best Script – THE SAGA OF BIÔRN - Benjamin Kousholt (Denmark)

Best Soundtrack – DRIPPED - Léo Verrier (France)

Best Design – THE BACKWATER GOSPEL - Bo Mathorne (Denmark)

Best Comissioned Film – LOSE THIS CHILD - Yuval & Merav Nathan (Israel)

*This year the Best Film award was chosen by the ANIMA MUNDI directors and the Professional Jury.

Pixar celebrates 25 years!

One of the most expected shows of 2011’s Anima Mundi was the 25 years retrospective of the biggest animation studio in the world, Pixar! The Pixar’s animation movies have been part of children and adults life all over the globe for the past one-fourth century. This special session not only represents the history of this important studio, but also shows us the growing process of the digital animation industry itself.

Pixar is an animation studio specialized in high technology for computer graphics. They not only do the animations, but also create the computer tools to develop then. There was a time , thought, where this balance did not exist. Initially, the company belonged to George Lucas, famous for the Star War saga. Lucas was far more interested in creating new computer graphics technologies that he could sell for big studios, such as Disney. For a long time, the company developed only computer programs. The sails weren’t taking of, so a few employees saw an opportunity to start doing what they loved the most: animation. John Lasseter was one of then. Graduated in Cal Arts, his biggest dream was to be able to develop animation through the computer. He found a way to do animated movies, without disobeying his boss: the first short film, Luxo Jr. was a great prototype to be showed for potential buyers.

In 1986 the company was bought by no one less than Steve Jobs and it was renamed after Pixar, a neologism that refers to the action of putting pixels. But not even the owner of Apple could help the company increasing the profits. Maybe because he was try to earn money with the wrong product, as the animation movies were still not consider commercially interesting. In 1991, the company was almost sold, because Jobs was spending too much money on it. Things started to change when they arranged a twenty-six million dollar contract with Disney to produce three animated feature movies. Toy Story, the first of its kind, was launched in 1995, setting the date were Pixar would start to become the giant it is now, winner of Oscars, Grammys and Globe Award. With the success of Toy Story, the doors for computer animations were opened forever and the industry started growing fast. We can see that Pixar is not only another company. It origins carries the very first seed of the dream of developing a computers graphic animation industry and with the stubborn of their employees this dream was turned into a fantastical reality.

The fourteen short movies in the Anima Mundi’s show allow you to take a dip in beautiful childhood memories. We brought films right from the beginning, such as Luxo Jr., the first episode of the life of the little lamp that became Pixar’s symbol, and the company’s first Oscar winner movie, Red’s Dream. The show comes also with some recent productions, like Day and Night. The short movie was produced in 2010 and was distributed to be exhibit just before Toy Story 3 in cinema rooms all over the world. The film is different from everything the company has done before, especially because of the mixing of 2D and 3D animation. Even when they are not using the most advanced technologies available, Pixar stills incredible. But the great surprise is that we brought two new films, never exhibit before: Hawaiian Vacation, a hilarious episode of Ken and Barbie’s frustrated holidays, and the beautiful and delicate La Luna, about the first steps of a little boy towards his adult life. Pixar’s movies continue to enchant kids and adults with its stories and we hope it will stay like this for another one-fourth century. When the time comes, I bet they will be doing 4D films!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Panorama and Portfolio!

Another session that cannot be lost is International Panorama! This category was created to be a wide open window through which the Brazilian animation fans could check what is being produced in the international circuit. The short movies came from almost thirty different countries and are not part of the festival’s competition. The show is extremely important to improve the cultural exchange between countries. Some of the artists are internationally renowned, but little people known then in Brazil. That is David O’Reilly’s case. His most recent film, The External World, is well recognized abroad. The short movie is remarkable for its sarcasm. The author produces an environment fulfilled with figures that are well know in the animation field. These symbols are visually easy recognized, but when you get a closer look you see they don’t feet the pattern. This loss of reference produces, in a first moment, an apparently disconnect narrative, until you get to see the deep reflection underneath. The film won the 67th Venice Film Festival.

This year the panel International Panorama had a special show that reunited only animated documentaries. All the movies have real themes portrayed in an animation form. The themes are varied: in Migrópolis the audience can take a deep look in the reality of kids that see themselves forced do migrate and in The Greek Crisis Explained you can have a very different economy lesson. It is a very good debate: can an animated image represent the “external world” better than a photographic record? Or can we assume that the animation is even more sincere if we think that this “external” does not really exists? Worth to check and to think!

For the ones that are trying to figure out how to make a living doing what they love the most, animation, of course, there is the session called Portfolio, with the best commissioned animations films in several formats: commercials, corporate videos, music videos, scenes for feature movies and a lot more! This category is judged only by the professional Jury. This year they choose the animated clip Lose This Child as best piece. The music video was built with the construction of figures in the sand, which move under the moon light. The band that plays the song is called Eatliz and the clip was direct by the Grammy winners Yuval and Merav Nathan. Good music and fascinating animation! Another great movie is Ode to a Post-it Note, a commercial for the company 3M’s most famous product. In the film, one solitary Post-it decides to look for his “father” and creator. The movie star is no one less than Arthur Fry, the man who invented the Post-it!

Animation in the classroom!

One of Anima Mundi’s biggest dreams is to see that the animation is foot by foot taking over the classrooms. That is why the special sessions Future Animator and Animation of Course are so important for the festival. They both represent different evidence of the animation presence and relevance in education, whether it is to form or train new teachers or through the insertion of this type of language in pedagogical initiatives for formal basic schools.

In the Future Animator panel, the short-movies were done by kids from all over the world, who are giving their first steps towards the animated world. We can see works from Argentina, Brazil and even Portugal. There are also films made by young adults who are starting now as well, such as the professors that join us in Anima Escola courses. It is really worth while to see this amazing work.

In the Animations of Course panels, we get in touch with projects developed in specialized animation schools (check a little about some of then here), the main symbol of the process that is leading towards a biggest expansion of the animated know-how. Some of those institutions offer the same technological tools that the big animation studios. When they did not exist, the production of films that were concerned about exploring new languages and techniques was practically restrain to independent animators. The rise of these new teaching spaces allows the production of high technique quality movies without being submit to commercial imperatives. A structural change like this one is central to guarantee the development of new languages and the experimentation of different themes. Some of the movies made in international animation school compete in the same categories as the films produced in big studios, not only in festivals but also in big awards, like the Oscar! Check how many great things have been done by these students!

In an orphanage in Ukraine, children are getting ready for mother's day, their mother being the Tchernobyl Power Plant.

Playing ghost
Five year old Amy and her Mum are divided in grief for Dad, occupying very separate worlds in their struggle to cope. But whilst Mum sinks into numb solitude, struggling to keep to routine, Amy seeks a more magical escape that ultimately has its own perils.

Condamné à Vie
Charles Bonnemort discovers his immortality after he attends to kill himself.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Special (and scary) short-movies shows!

This year we had sixteen short-movies shows in Anima Mundi. These films were competing in several awards categories . We had two specials: one with only terror movies and one we called Surreal Mundi. They were both scary, but in different ways!

The terror special came with eight frightening movies. The productions were brought from France, South Korea, Denmark, Italy, United Kingdom, United States and Singapore. The styles and themes were varied, but some of then were great movies that showed that animation can function in a several variety of genres. Check a little bit!

The Backwater Gospel
An incredible portray of one of man most natural emotion: the fear of death. In the movie, Gospel and Death walk over the same shadow and when this darkness arrives to Backwater, the citizens watch their most deep instincts coming to the surface. The script conducts the spectator in a subtle and tense way. The design and art are simply amazing.

and Junk
In Hambuster, a man is attacked by his own lunch. A metaphor about modernity’s bad eating habits? Technically well done and a little bit disturbing. And it seems that food is really one of the biggest villains nowadays. The film Junk talks about the same theme, focusing on the obsession in junk food. Terror especially for those who want to loose weight!

When two dichotomous and diametrically opposed realities meet and mix, we enter into the Metachaos. Aesthetically rich, the film is fulfilled with futuristic and dark elements creating an intense visual impact.

Another incredible special session is Surreal Mundi, indicate for those who love the surrealistic classics. The audience can fell the absurd generate by the movies Taevalaul, from the Estonian director Mati Küti and Maska from the incredibles Brothers Kay.

Stephen and Timothy Quay, also known as Brothers Quay, are two highly renowned animators, whose specialty is stop motion. The identical twins live in England and work together since high school. They developed a fascinating work, which involves most objects animation. Their film is very strong in terms of image and installs a weirdness aesthetically achieved through the lights and shadows orientations. Deeply admired in Anima Mundi, this time the brothers bring the history of beautiful Duenna, whose duty to accomplish a mission forces her to make a difficult choice.

Fernando Trueba presents Chico & Rita

This year we had the honor of receiving the recognized Spanish cinema director Fernando Trueba in our Anima Mundi Festival in Rio de Janeiro! He came specially to present and make comments about his new movie, the animation feature Chico & Rita.

Fernando Trueba is the author behind remarkable movies, such as Belle Époque, Oscar winning for best foreigner movie in 1993. He did also a film in Brazil, called Milagre Candeal, a documentary that promotes the encounter between the Cuban musician Bebo Valdez and the Brazilian Carlinhos Brown.

Chico & Rita is Trueba’s first attempt of using the animations language and technique. He told us that the main reason why he decided to do this project was his big admiration for his friend and co-director, Javier Mariscal, a renowned graphic artist from Cataluña who had always dreamed of doing an animation. The film has also a third director, Tonio Errando, Mariscal’s brother, who was in charge of supervising the animations, which were being made in studios spread all over the world. The audience was absolutely enchanted by the movie and its beautiful and sensual images embraced by high quality songs as sound track.

Marcos Magalhães, one of the festival’s director, joint Trueba in the stage after the exhibition of the film to have a little chat with the director and the audience. First, he was curious to know from Fernando which were the advantages and disadvantages of doing an animation movie in comparison to a normal life action film. Fernando said that one of the most difficult aspects of doing an animation is that it takes too much time to be ready. “We are one person when we start the movie and another when we finish it”. In spite of the differences during the production, he said he loved doing it and he has projects to start new animation movies.

To be able to direct the animators, Trueba had to take advantage of his experience with life action movies. So he decided to shoot the whole story with actors, in Cuba, setting also the camera angles. These scenes, however, weren’t reproduced in the animation through the use of rotoscopy. They served only as a reference for the animators to redraw everything and animate. The fact that the animation work would be divided in different studios all over the globe was one of the main reasons for that. The film has scenes that were animated in Spain, Hungry, Filipinas, Lithonia and even Brazil (Lightstar Studio, in São Paulo), so it was necessary to have a clear model to base on as well as a strong reference of the movements and Mariscal’s precision as art director.

Fernando defines the movie as a musical. Normally directors do the screenplay and then, after the film is ready, they add the sound track. Chico & Rita wasn’t made like that. The screenplay was written at the same time the sound tracks were chosen (classics of the Cuban music and the American Bebop), in a way that the lyrics and the songs could help telling and conducting the story. As our other guest, Shinichiro Watanabe, Trueba is a huge fan of music, especially jazz, and for him it was an enormous pleasure to record this amazing songs for the film

We hope that Trueba keeps up doing animations. Chico & Rita has already become a classic! The magic of the movie was spread all over Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, carried by the ones who have seen it and loved it.

Animated Chat Interview: Carlos Saldanha

Friends always come back. Carlos is an old friend of the Anima Mundi festival. He has participated in the festival several times, as a spectator, an animator and a guest. His first short, Time For Love, was screened in the festival in 1994 and included in our first collection of “The Best of Anima Mundi” (which was still in the VHS format). In 1996 and 1997, Carlos presented seminars in computer graphics, already representing Blue Sky studios, from New York. In 2002, he was invited as a guest in the Animated Chat for the first time. He had just finished directing Ice Age with Chris Wedge. He then went on to direct the Oscar nominated short Gone Nutty (2003) and co-direct the feature film Robots (2005), taking the next step into directing feature films on his own, with two huge blockbusters: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (2006) and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009).

Carlos Saldanha is the newest national hero, due to his feat of transforming his (our) city into the scenery and character of yet another huge international animation blockbuster: “RIO” (2011). He will share with us, like close friends do, the best secrets in the construction of this hit film.

1. What first spiked your interest in animation?
I’ve enjoyed drawing since I was a little kid. I used to create comics and stories, paint, make caricatures, and I also loved watching cartoons. But my curiosity towards animation only blossomed when I was about eighteen, as I watched shorts created through computer graphics, especially “Luxo Jr.”, by John Lasseter. I was fascinated by the mixture of technology and art. That’s when I decided to go for it.
2. What was the research process for the film “Rio” like?
Having been born in Rio, I already knew a lot about the city, but I still bought dozens of books and DVDs, and did a lot of filming and picture taking around the city, so that I could show it to my crew, which was almost entirely made up of gringos! But this was still not enough, so I had to come to Rio with a small creative crew, to get the “feel” of the city and experience it in the same way as the character Blu. Sharing my emotion of being in Rio with the crew was amazing. We even got to participate in the carnival parade in Sapucaí! It was my first time doing that and it was a wonderful experience!
3. Are you developing a new project?
At the moment, I’ve got lots of ideas under development, but nothing definitive. We’ve bought the rights for the book “Ferdinand”, and we’re writing the script. But all I really want right now is a break!!!

4. What animators and artists inspire you?
I’ve always loved Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. The Disney classics, from the golden days of animation, are also a source of inspiration. Bambi, Dumbo and Pinocchio are unforgettable.

5. Can you tell us a little bit about you relationship with Anima Mundi?
It’s always an enormous thrill and pleasure to participate in Anima Mundi! The festival is an incredible achievement, which I like to come to whenever I can! It has changed the lives of a great number of artists who dreamed of working with animation, like myself, and is still an inspiration to lots of new animators from all over Brazil!
Anima Mundi is just great!!!