First held in 1993 by four Brazilian directors who feared for the health of Brazil’s ailing animation industry, Anima Mundi has returned every year since, becoming the second largest film festival of its kind in the world and even offering winners a route in to Hollywood’s Oscars.
Just as welcome for amateur auteurs, however, are the ‘Papos Animados’, a series of open-to-all workshops and panels, whilst the pros are given a more in-depth forum under the banner ‘Master Classes’. Fundição Progresso becomes the headquarters for 2013, with two screening rooms and acres of space to show off everything from stop-motion techniques to the latest technology, backed up by the Flamengo branch of Oi Futuro where a pixelation class and a handful of screenings will take place. The full programme can be found on the official website (animamundi.com.br).
This year’s roll call of distinguished speakers includes Oscar-winning director Chris Wedge (who worked on the blockbuster Ice Age films), the storyboard creator of ’80s classics Airwolf and Back to the Future, Andrew Probert, and Brazilian Ennio Torresan, fresh from a stint at Dreamworks where he worked on Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.
For the general public, of course, there is also the not-so-small matter of the films. This edition will show 485 animations selected from 1300 submissions from 53 countries, largely Brazilian but with strong representation from France, the US, the UK and Germany. The dedicated kids’ sessions, a category for innovative Brazilian works and Anima Multi, a multi-platform section covering everything from video games to interactive art, make for a varied programme, while the serious business of winning Best Film could clear the way to the 2014 Oscar shortlist.