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‘Blanket of Words’ Named Top Animated Short at 2023 LALIFF

Academy Award-nominated actor Edward James Olmos announced the festival winners to close out the 22nd edition of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.

The 22nd edition of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) wrapped up on June 4, featuring five days of programming at the TCL Chinese Theatre and TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, CA. The lineup included feature films, short films, episodic works, animation, master classes, panels, networking sessions, and musical performances. LatinX in Animation (LXiA) programming was embedded throughout LALIFF, with both in-person and virtual events. This year’s animation program featured exclusive animated film premieres, in-person panel discussions and virtual coffee chats, or “cafecitos,'' with animation industry professionals, insightful portfolio reviews courtesy of animation studio recruiters, premieres in the animated episodic program, as well as a worldwide range of talent at the Animated Shorts Program (juried by a panel of critically acclaimed judges).

Closing the festival, Academy Award-nominated actor Edward James Olmos, founder of the Latino Film Institute, announced the 2023 LALIFF award winners.

"This year's LALIFF winners perfectly encapsulate the brilliance and diversity within our community,” said Olmos. “I'd like to express our sincerest gratitude to the filmmakers for sharing their exceptional films, vision, and talent with us. You have made this festival truly remarkable."

The Animated Shorts Program jury consisted of Natasha Kline (Creator and Executive Producer, Primos, Disney Television Animation), Octavio Rodriguez (Director, DreamWorks Animation), and Karissa Valencia (Creator/ Showrunner, Netflix). The selected all-around best animated short will be awarded the top prize of Best Animated Short Film, with a $2K award sponsored by Ad Astra Media, a Wacom Cintiq presented by Wacom, and a one-year license to animation software from Toon Boom Animation.

LALIFF 2023 Award Winners in Animation:

Best Animated Short Film Award - Presented by LatinX in Animation (LXiA)

Blanket Of Words, directed by Carlos Zerpa, Jacobo Albán, and Beltrán Pérez - Colombia, Venezuela, France

  • Kevin was raised away from his parents. War hits his village - he's violently displaced and forced to look for the true meaning of family.

Special Jury Award for Directing Animation

Lucky Brave’s Sunshine, directed by Chogrin (Joseph Game) and Ichi (Andres Aguilar) - Ecuador

  • Somewhere in space, on a desolate planet, lives a young cowboy named Lucky Brave. Lucky must go on a quest to find a cure to heal his ailing grandmother and many of the planet's inhabitants, but at what cost?

The 2023 LXiA Spark Animation Grant Sponsored by Netflix

The LXiA Spark Grant, sponsored by Netflix, aims to uplift the presence of Latinx animation filmmakers, drawing attention to their unique ideas and perspectives.

The Spark Animation Grant awarded $20,000 USD to three U.S.-based Latino animation filmmakers:

  • Alec Castillo
  • Danna Galeano
  • Sandra Suarez

Source: LALIFF

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.