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Animac, the International Animation Film Festival of Catalonia, presents its programme

Animac celebrates its 19th edition from February 19th to the 22nd in Lleida with a programme centered on the theme "The Artist's Hand"

Animac celebrates its 19th edition from February 19th to the 22nd in Lleida with a programme centered on the theme "The Artist's Hand", celebrating the multiplication of handmade productions and recognising the artist's hands in digital animation processes.

Animac will feature two exceptional guests: Piotr Dumała, one of the most currently venerated European animators and winner of the Grand Prix in the recent Ottawa festival with Hipopotamy, which will be screened in Animac, and experimental animator Pierre Hébert, disciple of world-renowned experimental animation icon Norman McLaren.

As a new feature, Animac presents the brand-new Trajectory Award, which will honor the 25 years of existence of Studio Grangel, founded by Carlos and Jordi Grangel, two of our most international artists, who have collaborated with filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg (DreamWorks), Tim Burton or Genndy Tartakovsky (Sony Pictures). The brothers Grangel will also give a conference and drawings of their characters will be displayed.

This year's festival bets strongly on feature films and presents a list of independent animated features of exceptional quality like Rocks in My Pockets  (Catalonia premiere), Song of the Sea, Seth's Dominion, O Menino e o Mundo (winner of the latest Grand Cristal d’Annecy), Truth Has Fallen and Giovanni's Island.

Animac does not forget the short films, soul of the Festival, and this year we'll be able to see the latest works of international directors such as Torill Kove, Rita Basulto, Mirai Mizue, Olga or Priit Pärn; and national directors like Anna Solanas and Marc Riba, César Díaz, Jossie Malis, Laura Ginès, Andrés Raimundo Nieves and Trimono, among many others.

The Festival completes its programme with a list of conferences and workshops that will bring to Lleida the most active professionals currently working, such as Víctor Monigote (Mortadelo i Filemon) or Íker de los Mozos (Big Hero 6), among many others.

There will also be a space for meeting and experimentation in the Animacrea space, projections for young audiences and school sessions, meetings for sector professional and many more activities that will complete four intense programme days.

Animac,  the International Animation Film Festival of Catalonia, organized by the Lleida city council, is celebrating its 19th edition this year from February 19th to the 22nd in Lleida. Four days filled with projections, conferences, workshops and other special activities which will take place in the usual headquarters of the festival, La Llotja, CaixaForum Lleida and, as a new feature, com a novetat, the Magical  Media space, home of the educational workshops.

This year's programming will focus around the theme "The Artist's Hand", celebrating the multiplication of handmade productions, and recognizing the artists' hands in digital animation processes, a declaration of intentions in a festival that has always defended the most personal brush. In the words of director Carolina López, “Being able to touch the matter is still a pleasure for the artist and the younger generations are redescovering it, and proof of it is more than 80% of the films received this year in Animac (including the ones from important international schools) are created with manual techniques. The selection that we'll feature is a showcase of the talent and the bravery of placing the most personal paintbrush in the front row".

Animac, the most veteran specialized festival in the entire Spanish state, will present this year a list of animated feature films from independent producers of exceptional quality, among which we find the Catalonian premiere of Rocks in My Pockets, first freature by New York-based lithuanian author Signe Baumane (pre-selected to the Oscars); Song of the Sea, traditionally animated jewel from the director of The  Secret of Kells, Tomm Moore; and the recently Oscar-nominated and Spanish premiere, Seth's Dominion, an animated documentary about Seth, the brilliant canadian graphic comic artist. We'll also find the wonderful O Menino e  o Mundo from Alê Abreu, winner of the latest Grand Cristal d’Annecy;  Truth Has Fallen by Sheila Sofian,  animated documentary about imprisoned innocents, and the touching Giovanni's Island, recent work by Mizuho Nishikubo, from japanese studies IG.

Even so, Animac does not forget the short films, which are still the soul of the Festival. Between the selected ones this year, we'll be able to see, among many others, Le Sens  du toucher by Jean Charles Mbotti Maloto, recent Oscar candidate Me and my Moulton by Torill  Kove, Lluvia en los ojos, from mexican Rita Basulto; a new asthaetic in clay animation with Eager by Allison Schulnik; Wonder by Mirai Mizue; or the best short in 2014 according to critics and specialists, Pilots on the Way Home, by Estònia Olga and Priit Pärn.

Catalan and Spanish productions are also present with titles like Bloquejats apilats from Anna Solanas and Marc Riba, Zepo by César Díaz, Bendito Machine V- Pull the Trigger by Jossie Malis,  La Princesa  China by Tomás Bases, Tengo miedo by Laura Ginès,  La Trompeta by Andrés  Raimundo Nieves and the groundbreaking Monkeys are back in town by the Madrid-based Trimono.

This edition's special guest is Piotr Dumała (1956, Warsaw), winner of the Grand Prix in the recent Ottawa festival with his latest and amazing short Hipopotamy, which will be featured in Animac. He's one of the most venerated Polonian filmmakers thanks to his animated and live-action versions of the universe of writers such as Nikolai  Gógol,  Franz Kafka or Fyodor Dostoievsky.  His films, most of them made with the technique he created himself, "destructive animation”,  include adaptations of literary classics, but also psychological portraits of their authors. One of his most celebrated works is the adaptation of Crime and Punishment, based on the work of the same name by Dostoevsky. Dumała,  in his greatest creative moment (he's currently finishing his second live-action film), will offer a conference and some of his most prized animation works alongside the projection of Hipopotamy.

Animac will also count with the exceptional presence of experimental animator and plastic artist Pierre  Hébert (Montreal, 1944), disciple of world-renowned experimental animation icon Norman McLaren, who will present his films and his master's in a carte blanche, and will offer the most plastic art-focused animation lovers a masterclass they won't want to miss. This way, Animac joins the celebration of the centenary of McLaren's birth.

As a new feature, Animac presents the new Trajectory Award, which in its birth will honor the 25 years of existence of Studio Grangel, founded by Carlos and Jordi Grangel, two of the most international catalan artists, which will also be present in an expo and which will give a conference dedicated to their quarter-century of works in the animation world, during which they've collaborated with many of the great names of animation such as Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, owners of DreamWorks; filmmaker Tim Burton; Genndy Tartakovsky, renowned director of Sony Pictures  Animation;  or Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman, among many othrs.

Another anticipated conference is the one that will put together the two most popular 3D productions of the moment: Mortadelo i Filemón Contra Jimmy el Cachondo and Big Hero 6. Víctor Monigote, art directro in Mortadelo i  Filemón contra Jimmy el Cachondo (Zeta Cinema, Películas Pendelton); and Íker de  los Mozos,  one of the technical responsables of Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios), will share a fascinating event in which we'll discover the creative dialogue between tradition and novelty in the animation world.

The section "En Construcció" returns to Animac with the conference dedicated to Psiconautas,  the future animated film directed by Galicians Alberto Vázquez (Birdboy, Sangre de Unicornio) and Pedro Rivera (Birdboy) and based on the graphic novel by the first, who will talk about their promising first animated feature film, now in production.

And for the ones interested in animated TV series, the conference “Així vam  crear Horaci l’Inuit” will present Horaci l'Inuit, a new children's animation production created by Lleida-born Òscar Sarramia. Also, the Animac   Cartoon  section will feature national and international premieres from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, among other studios.

Animacrea, the space to experiment animation in the first row, will fill again the second floor of La Llotja with workshops of all kinds, held by schools like the Leandre Cristòfol Art School, 9zeros, Ites, Joso, Pau Gargallo, Ilerna, Escola d’Art de Sant Cugat, Ermengol and La Academia de la Animación. Also, books will have a featured presence with stands like the one from the Lleida Public Library, which will feature part of their animation and film section, La Traama Cómics, Llibreria Caselles, Haiku Barcelona with Japanese specialties or Imágica  Ediciones. Grans Records, music and vinyl-focused store, will also add charm to these days alongside the educational activities of Kumon or the animation activities programmed by Bombeto. Finally, La Guerrilla del Gilda (a collective of girls fond of knitting and having fun), will accompany us during the weekend and will present, after working on in weeks in advance, the confection of the dress from our poster's protagonist. We'll also feature the return of Open Screen, featuring non-stop animation, and the Espai Kids to let imagination run free and the hands of the youngest artists. As a new feature, Sunday February 22nd at 18h, there'll be an official presentation of the Animac workshops that have been taking place during all those days.

Networking  and  Pitch is already established for up-and-coming professionals thanks to the programmed activities which establish a bridge between young talent and established professionals, thanks to the project pitch Incubator, which this year features 16 projects in production or pre-production status, a collection which will be evaluated by a group of professionals. Also, the Portfolio sessions give the possibility of a vis-a-vis meeting between animated professionals looking for a place in the industry, and the producers and filmmakers in search of talent.

To break the ice betweet established professionals and upcoming ones, everyone's invited to the freelance vermut, one of the many moments Animac features to establish contacts and, at the same time, recognize the great quantity of artists and professionals which work by themselves and are an important part of our industry. Animac will also offer animation schools and specialized sector services, to have visibility in Market Pitch, short sessions to feature oneself in public and share contacts between businesses and people interested in the services they offer.

Animac does not forget Its youngest audience either, with the popular section Petit Animac and the School Sessions which this year break a visit record with more than 6.600 children. Petit Animac is a feature for non-commercial animation and searches of the development of imagination and the sensibilization of the values in entertaining family pieces such as Juan y la nube by Pablo Poleseyo; Mythopolis,  by Alexandra Hetmerová;  or Tant de Fôrets by Burcu Sankur, based on a poem by Jackes Prévert, among many others. We'll also be able to see the previously-mentioned features Song of the Sea and O Menino e o Mundo.

Animac reinforces once more its educational vocation with workshops and activities in collaboration with centers and entities of the city imparted by the best professionals of the medium. We highlight the RE-CICLADO workshop, taught by mexican artist Lourdes Villagómez with the Municipal Art School Leandre Cristòfol; a workshop taught by El Bombeto with the Ilerna school centered in a stop-motion and modeling experience, the I Love Lleida workshop organized by the Social Welfare Department, a seminary with the Communication and Audiovisual Grade of the UdL taught by Manuel Garín of the Pompeu Fabra University, focused on the experience of the creation and language of videogames, and finally a workshop focused on the stop-motion technique known as cut-out, Paper Stop, organized by the Youth Council and by L'Acadèmia  d'Animació.  All of them will take place in the Audiovisual  Production Center Magical Media de Lleida.

Animac completes its programme with nocturnal activities in the Cafè  del Teatre such as the projection of “Porqué me da la Gana”, a “nerdy" night with a selection of the most unexpected and groundbreaking international animation of the season.

Friday February 6th at 19.30h we'll feature a taste of Animac in Barcelona's CCCB. The Festival's director, Carolina López, will present the program and moderate a round table with animators Rocío Álvarez and Juan Pablo Echeverri with the title ‘The Artist's Hand’, where we'll learn the secrets behind the success of these young animators and their manual techniques.


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