Argentina Backs Animation as a Strategic Growth Sector (EXCLUSIVE)

·5 min read

On the eve of Annecy’s MIFA market, Argentina’s National Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (INCAA) has announced that it will launch three regional animation schools as it proclaims animation a strategic growth sector.

Forming part of INCAA’s Enerc federal film school system, currently headquartered in Buenos Aires, the new animation training facilities will be based in Mar del Plata, already home to Latin America’s only “A” grade film festival, as well as Santa Fe’s Rosario and Patagonia’s Comodoro Rivadavia. The film school’s will focus on 3D animation and new technologies.

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In a first move, Argentina’s INCAA is setting up a new Animation and New Technologies division, headed by Silvina Cornillón, the driving force behind the explosive growth of Ventana Sur’s Animation! from its launch in 2016. In the space of five editions, organized in collaboration with Annecy’s MIFA market. Animation! has become one of the Latin American film market’s biggest sales and co-production hubs, hosting presentations of titles, such as Gullane’s “Noah Ark,” which go on to strike multi-million dollar international sales.

Animation! is also one of the founding partners, with Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival and Spain’s Quirino Awards, of La Liga of Ibero-American a support platform for animation throughout Latin America, Spain and Portugal which will present a showcase of Animation! winners at Annecy this Monday June 14.

In another action line, building on Argentina’s Cinema in Prisons, the INCAA, in coordination with the country’s Ministry of Justice, is looking to create animation workshops and training initiatives as a tool of social reinsertion for penitentiary inmates.

“Like other cinema formats, animation launched early in Argentina,” INCAA President Luis Puenzo told Variety, in reference to Quirino Cristiani, who created the world’s first two animated features, the first, “El Apostol,” in 1917.

“Added to this, we have a long tradition of audiovisual arts, especially in comics. Argentine illustrators are recognized the world over. Our country’s fertility in animation and new technologies have carved out a place in our industry and our Enerc film school,” Puenzo continued.

The INCAA will continue to be “attentive” to the development of animation and new technologies in the world, to drive innovation across all formats, from fiction to video games, “on all screens and new distribution channels,” Puenzo concluded.

In a further sign of Argentina’s animation drive, 37 companies and institutions will attend MIFA online, with works playing at the festival and market, including in La Liga’s showcase and, as part of MIFA Partner Pitches, five projects in the Animation! Mentoring Program: Female Directors in Focus.

Following, 10 Argentine titles to track at MIFA:

Alen From Patagonia’

Winner of the Platino Industry Award at 2020’s Ventana Sur, this TV-series in development follows a 10-year girl who spends every summer with her grandmother in Patagonia surrounded by old legends and myths from the region. Dante Di Giovanni directs. Iupa Toons produces.

Highlands Shadow’

Prizewinning gender-focused graphic novelist Paula Boffo directs “Highlands Shadow,” a fantasy series grounded in traditional folklore mixing action, mystery and political undertones. In development. Project was selected at Animation!’s 2020 Women Animation Directors Mentoring Program.

‘ID3NTI4’

Directed by Fernando Casal and Pablo Fuertes, “ID3NTI4” weighs in as a “multiverse, transmedia 3D sci-fi,” in its creators’ words. Born as a series, it has morphed into a free access videogame platform that aims to track the digital carbon footprint.

‘Invasión 2040’

The series is finished, with a feature in development. Starting out as a multi-prized short directed by César Turturro, it is set in 2040, when aliens dominate the world and humans only chance to recover control is to turn to AI. Produced by Creavisión Films.

Paradise

Directed by Federico Moreno Breser and Fernando Sirianni, a noirish 2.5D animated feature turning on two immigrant sisters who migrate from Poland to 1920s Rosario with hopes of a new future. Oscar-nominated Argentine actress Norma Aleandro is part of the voice cast. FS Entertainment and Nomad Cine produce.

‘Passenger’

Argentine stop-motion master Juan Pablo Zaramella, an Annecy Crystal winner with 2011’s “Luminaris,” is prepping a new short, exploring the interaction between strangers in public spaces. In production. JPZtudio produces.

‘Quixotes’

Director of the $10 million Latino sci-fi live-action movie “Pacific,” now in post, Gonzalo Gutiérrez’s sophomore outing, the animated “Quixotes,” turns on 11-year Alfonso who believes he’s the lone legitimate heir to legendary monster fighter Don Quixote. In production, with Gf films (Argentina), Studio100 (Germany) and Chatrone (Brazil) co-producing.

‘Robotia, the Movie’

Diego Cagide directs his first feature, a spinoff from the series. A sci-fi parable on a world exclusively inhabited by machines with a life cycle surprisingly similar to humans. The first feature production of Malabar Producciones, and now in pre-production.

‘The World’s After’

Florentina González taps into millennial after party vibes while focusing on two ghosts floating around in a post human ether. In production. A MIFA prize winner last year, pre-bought by Arte.

‘Two Little Birds’

A hit at Ventana Sur’s Animation! in-development series strand, ”Two Little Birds” revolves around a pair of adventurous birds. The knock-about comedy is directed by Alfredo Soderguit and Alejo Schettini. Argentina’s Can Can Club, France’s Autour de Minuit and Uruguay’s Palermo Estudio co-produce.

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