First held in 1993 by four Brazilian directors who feared for the health of Brazil’s ailing animation industry, Anima Mundi has likely quelled these fears – in this, its 21st annual edition, it’s the second largest film festival of its kind in the world.
Catering to filmmakers both established and emerging, the festival hosts a ‘Papos Animados’ (‘lively chats’) series of workshops and panels for amateur auteurs, and a more in-depth forum for pros, the ‘Master Classes’.
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 the Brazilian Ennio Torresan, fresh from a stint at DreamWorks where he worked on Madagascar and the Kung Fu Panda films.
For the general public there are five days jam-packed with film screenings – this edition features a prodigious 485 animations from 53 countries, largely from Brazil, but with a strong presence from France, the USA, the UK and Germany.
As if that collection didn’t offer enough choice, there are also dedicated kids’ sessions, another category exclusively for innovative Brazilian works and interesting additional viewing at Anima Multi – a strand covering everything from video games to interactive art.