For the fifth consecutive year, Anima Mundi stands again as the most important cultural event in Rio De Janeiro. Spanning ten days in August, more than 22,000 people enjoyed 126 films and dozens of videos, and participated in various workshops, talks, and other events.Cesar Coelho, Valeria Colela, Lea Zagury, Aida Queiroz, Marcos Magalhaes. Photo: Lula Rodrigues. © Anima Mundi. Anima Mundi's Impact This unique animation festival, the only one of its kind in Latin America, brings to the Cariocas (as the residents of Rio refer to themselves) the best in worldwide...
For the fifth consecutive year, Anima Mundi stands again as the most important cultural event in Rio De Janeiro. Spanning ten days in August, more than 22,000 people enjoyed 126 films and dozens of videos, and participated in various workshops, talks, and other events.
Anima Mundi's Impact
This unique animation festival, the only one of its kind in Latin America, brings to the Cariocas (as the residents of Rio refer to themselves) the best in worldwide animation. The festival helps to create a synchrony between the rest of the world and the Brazilian industry that is just beginning to bear its first fruits. Before Anima Mundi was born, Brazilian animators had to go abroad to find work, or they took jobs in advertising. Today many of them are creating their own independent studios, or they hold important posts in top animation studios around the world. It's now possible to see a brighter future for Brazilian animation. This year, two Brazilian short films were in competition. Also, a video showcase with eleven new "Made In Brazil" productions, was presented. Some of these works were created by young animators that were introduced to the art of animation through Anima Mundi's previous festivals.
Over the past five years, this event has brought over 120,000 people to the Bank of Brazil's Cultural Center, a magnificent building from the 19th Century located in the heart of Rio. The event's success, however, is mainly due to the festival's close and intimate relationship with the public. Every individual who visits the festival, has the opportunity to develop his or her own animation in the various studios, or animation stands, that are permanently open to the public. The admission for these sessions is nominal (less than $3 for films and $1 for video) and the prizes are awarded by "popular jury," in other words, the audience. In addition to the prize for best film, this year Anima Mundi introduced two new prize categories that are awarded by the audience: the Best in Children's Animation and the Best in Computer Graphics. The award for best film was given to Dada, a Dutch film directed by Piet Kroon. Letonia won the Children's prize with The Rescue Team, a claymation series directed by filmmaker Jýnis Cimermanij. The Best in Computer Graphics was Sticky Business by British director Ed Taylor.
Anima Mundi not only brings to the Cariocas the best in new animation, but also the very special guests who constitute the trademark of a great festival. This year, the audience was honored by the presence of American filmmaker Caroline Leaf who showcased her complete work. Also present was English producer and filmmaker David Sproxton who showed the works of Aardman Animations. Both were the main attractions of the event Papo Animado, or Animated Chat, in which the guests show their work and have an open dialogue with the audience. Alongside the international guests was Brazilian animator Luiz Briquet, who is responsible for some of Brazil's best advertising campaigns. He showed his work which includes pieces that have won prizes at the Cannes Festival and the Clio Awards. Beyond presenting the best in international production, Anima Mundi's purpose is to stimulate Brazilian youth's interest in animation. For this reason, in addition to the open public studios, Anima Mundi also organizes animation workshops where Brazilians can learn some of the fundamental principles of the art. A highlight of the 1997 festival was the workshop on Story Boarding, directed by American animator and artist Jeffrey Lynch. Brazilian Carlos Saldanha, an animation director for Blue Sky Studios and a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, came to share some tips and tricks on computer graphics.
For the fifth time Anima Mundi was a big success. In an improvement over past years, the screening rooms in the Post Office building's Cultural Center opened one week earlier than the rest of the schedule, allowing more people to be able to see the films. Even with this added capacity, the seating was full of people who will hardly be able to wait for next year's installment of this event; an event which is already becoming a tradition in the cultural calendar of Rio de Janeiro.
Edmundo Barreiros is a 31 year-old journalist. As a reporter he has covered all of the Anima Mundi editions. He is an animation lover and also a writer and cartoon critic. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he lives there with his son who has been accompanying him to the animation festivals for the last four years.
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