Search form

Portugal Unveils Trojan Horse VFX Fest

Artists and companies from the VFX, gaming and animation industries to gather on Portugal's Troia Peninsula September 18-21 for the first-ever Trojan Horse Was A Unicorn festival.

Lisbon, Portugal -- This September, the beautiful Troia Peninsula in Portugal, will be conquered by the Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn Festival. Between September 18-21, some of the best artists and companies from the VFX, Gaming and Animation industries will be gathering in a unique event, set in the Blue & Green Troia Design Hotel.

With a strong motivational purpose, the Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn is a premier event for Producers, Animators, Game Developers, Concept Artists and 3D generalists. It's a Festival for the fearless and the eager to learn and a rare opportunity to network with the best.

The Festival will offer four intensive days, where artists and attendees can share experiences and knowledge, in a very informal and creative setting. It's talent having fun.  It will also be a great opportunity for companies to recruit new talents from around the world, get to know the latest trends and for creators to find investors for their projects.

According to André Luís, co-director of Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn “there are different purposes for the festival. Clearly one of them is to put Portugal in the entertainment industry’s map. At the same time, we know that, until now, there isn't an event that’s capable of providing a real networking experience, which is able to reach different levels of the industry: students, artists, companies, schools and investors. With Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn, we want to assume that role.”

By gathering a stellar roster of renowned artists in the same place, the Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn Festival will also provide an excellent opportunity for young artists to showcase their talent and work, learn from the best and feel that they really belong in this creative community.

Nuno Rivotti, co-director of the Festival says that “Portugal is a country that, so far, hasn't been able to emerge in some of these areas. It’s somewhat invisible to the entertainment industry. Although we have some activity with a handful of companies, they still a way off from competing in an international level. That’s why we felt the need to create some sort of leverage that has the potential to boost, not only our own industry, but also to become a starting point for artists all over the world. At the same time, we want to give the change for the whole industry to come and visit us and discover that we have that creative and production force.”

To help this unique event become a reality, the Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn recruited four different personalities for the Advisory Board. Four artists that, from day one, believed that the festival was possible and envision it as a one of a kind experience. The Advisory Board is composed by Afonso Salcedo (Sutro Studios) and José Alves da Silva, two of the most prominent Portuguese artists, alongside Loic Zimmerman (Luma Pictures) and Serge Birault, two heavy-weights of the VFX and digital illustration areas.

Confirmed speakers include Dan LuVisi (creator of The Last Man Standing graphic novels and one of the most requested illustrators in the business), Raphael Lacoste (Brand Art Director of Assassin’s Creed, from Ubisoft), Ziah Fogel (former Pixar), In-Ah Roediger (Senior Animator in Cloudy With a Change of Meatballs 2 and Oz-The Great and The Powerful), Mathias Verhasselt (Senior Concept Artist in the Cinematics Department of Blizzard Entertainment), Maciej Jackiewicz (CG Supervisor and Animation Director at Platige Image), Alexis Wajsbrot (Framestore) and Kemp Remmilard (Massive Black), besides some of the best freelance artists of the industry. There will be more announcements in the coming weeks.

"Europe has a solid reputation in the CG area and yet, festivals like the Trojan Horse are very rare. The ever-expending digital community all around the world needs events like these to allow people to regroup and share experiences, discuss new ideas, talk about the evolution of the market and last but not least, find inspiration through mind-blowing lectures and demonstrations. It's also a great opportunity for students to meet professionals and get an insight on how things work in the industry and receive feedback on their own work,” says Loic Zimmerman.

As for José Alves da Silva “listening to all these talented speakers in a single event during 4 days will provide a condensed amount of information/knowledge which will surely affect positively most artists' work. Not only will you listen to them but will also have the opportunity to meet them in person and question them. So, networking will also happen, not only with speakers from some of the world's most prestigious entertainment companies but also with the other attendees which are from the same professional area. To summarize, you can expect lots of knowledge, networking and especially a big boost in motivation.”

Afonso Salcedo says that attendees of the Trojan Horse was a Unicorn can expect “a ton of workshops, talks and Q&A sessions that will be an invaluable resource for anyone who has an interest in filmmaking and the vfx/games/animation industries. Most importantly, it's in the informal settings of hanging out in this incredible venue over several days, where the real magic will happen. Nothing like stumbling upon each other, grabbing a beer and talk about life experiences.”

In order to offer a diverse offering for all attendees, the program of the Trojan Horse was a Unicorn Festival is composed of three different areas.

  • Main Events – These are at the heart of the Festival, available only for those who purchase a ticket. The Main Events will offer 3 daily Talks, with 90 minutes each, where our guest artists will share their knowledge with the attendees. These are prime-time events, with all other activities stopping so everyone can attend. In the Making Of Sessions attendees can enjoy a step-by-step behind the scenes (all secrets included) of our guest artists latest work. With the Demo Classes, attendees can witness the live creation of sculptures, drawings and digital art, with artist available to answer all the questions.
  • Side Events – Also available only for those with a ticket, this is where aspiring artists can find their next big job, showcase their talents or find investment to kickstart their projects, with Recruitment Sessions, Porfolio Reviews and Investment Pitch Sessions. It will also provide a great opportunity for companies visiting the Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn to recruit new talent.
  • Expo – There is no reason for those who can’t buy a ticket to miss in on the action. This is an area opened to the general public, with lots of activities and where some of our guest artist will make a presence. There will be a Book Fair with a selection of the best digital entertainment books, Art Exhibitions from some of our talented artists, that will also provide some Live Demos. Also, the THU Expo will be best place to provide personalized student guidance from two of the most renown schools in the business: Gnomon School of Visual Effects and Escape Studios - The Visual Effects Academy.

Troia – Where the Magic Happens. The long beaches, the Sado river estuary, the Roman ruins. From day one, Troia seemed the perfect choice for the Trojan Horse was a Unicorn to make camp. A paradise located 50 km south of Lisbon it offers great facilities, cutting-edge technology and breathtaking surroundings.

For Inês Santos Silva, co-director of Trojan Horse was a Unicorn, “Troia has an strong symbolism for the festival. We wanted a unique location where the industry could gather, capable of offering a unique experience. During 4 days, we will be only focused in learning, networking and building lasting relationships, in a location far away from the busy city centers.”

The Blue & Green Troia Design Hotel complex will serve as head-quarters for the Trojan Horse was a UnicornFestival, only possible with the partnership of Amorim Turismo. Attendees will benefit from a special rate to stay at the Blue & Green Troia Design Hotel, that includes buffet breakfast at the hotel restaurant, free access to the indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna, free Wi-Fi Internet access in the room and parking.

With 14 floors of residential suites and luxury rooms and a façade that communicates with the other side of the river using an innovative lighting system, Tróia Design Hotel leads the way in luxurious living. Only an hour drive from Lisbon, the hotel also includes the Blue & Green Spa, considered by World Luxury Spa Awards 2011 as “Best Luxury Resort Spa”, the Tróia Casino, a Conference Centre and a Show Center.

The unique features of our Conference Center will provide all the conditions to make the make Trojan Horse was a Unicorn a unique experience for all attendees and artists. The international appeal of the Festival will serve as a great opportunity to showcase Troia Peninsula as a prime turist destination to the world” says Teresa Roldão de Barros, Director of Communications and Marketing of Amorim Turismo.

Source:Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.