HighlightsNews

Meet the Feature Film Selection Jury

And we end up with the Feature Film Selection Jury! Antero Monteiro, Johnny Marques and Matos Barbosa are the elements that make up this category. To learn more about our Selection Jury, read the “last round” of these interviews.

ANTERO MONTEIRO

“My participation as a juror is a way of keeping this relationship alive and fruitful”

From an early age he has been passionate about the areas of audiovisual and multimedia. His first contact with CINANIMA happens in the early 90s – with the school sessions. He was a collaborator at the Festival between 2015 and 2019 and, although this relationship has been strengthened in the last decade, he considers that being an integral member of the Selection Jury “is a way to keep this affective relationship alive and fruitful”. For this year’s edition, he hopes that CINANIMA continues to establish itself as a “relevant event on the national and international animation stage, with a careful and diverse selection of films for all tastes and audiences”, without forgetting the “cinematic formation of new audiences and a greater involvement with the local environment”.

How long ago and in what way did your approach to animation cinema begin?

My approach to animation cinema was in the most common way for anyone born in the eighties: cartoons on television on weekend mornings and Hollywood animations (mostly Disney). However, I vividly remember the school sessions of CINANIMA in the early 90s, at the Cine-Teatro São Pedro or at the Parish Hall, where I had the first contact with Aardman’s stop-motion short films. So it is a connection that goes back a long way, although it’s more affective than professional, since I don’t work in the area (and my skills as a draughtsman aren’t that good).

How do you see the evolution of animation cinema in recent years?

In the world panorama or specifically in the Portuguese “market”? If it is the second, I believe that we cannot dissociate the growth of animation cinema from pivotal events such as the 25th of April. This allowed a greater social opening and cultural effervescence, as well as the opening of Portugal to the European space, the reforms in education that allowed a greater integration of disciplines such as graphic, visual and plastic arts, etc. in the academic curricula, without forgetting the access to Higher Education for a larger slice of the population. In general, it’s essential to highlight the technical advances in the area of animation, with a strong digital boost, which allowed a greater massification of production tools and, thanks to the evolution of the Internet, a much greater reach (at least in potential) in terms of audience, as well as easier distribution and significant cost reduction. The evolution of animation also goes through the multiplication of festivals (animation or not) in the country and in the world since, many times, it ends up being one of the few accesses to film culture that the population has. This allows an exposure to works that otherwise would not reach these audiences, and establishes itself as an alternative to traditional channels and the commercial circuit.

How do you feel about CINANIMA and being part of the jury panel?

As I have already mentioned, my relationship with CINANIMA goes back a long way, although it has become closer in the last ten years. As I usually say, I have been on almost all “sides of the barricade” in relation to the Festival: I have been a mere spectator, a collaborator, then a technician of the Festival and the Cooperativa Nascente, later as a juror and member of the CINANIMA organization team. Although the availability isn’t ideal, taking into account all the work to be developed, my participation as a juror is a way to keep this affective relationship alive and fruitful.

And what are your expectations for this year’s edition?

My expectations for this year’s edition is that CINANIMA continues to establish itself as a relevant event on the national and international animation stage, with a careful and diverse selection of films for all tastes and audiences, without forgetting the cinema training of new audiences and a greater involvement with the local environment. Obviously, we cannot disregard the contingencies of resources, namely financial, that affects cultural events in general and that were aggravated by the pandemic context in which we live. But I believe that all conditions are in place for CINANIMA to be a source of pride for all those involved and for those who visit it.


MANUEL MATOS BARBOSA

“CINANIMA means a lot to me. I feel it is like a second home”.

Manuel Matos Barbosa has been attending CINANIMA for over 40 years. He is a big name in Animation Cinema and his approach to this art started when he was still a child watching cartoons. He bought a film camera to do some “experiments”. Since then, a vast, award-winning and recognised path has been mapped out. He considers that the evolution of Animation Cinema – in Portugal and in the world – has been positive. In part, he attributes “blame” for this evolution to CINANIMA. “It is a very pleasant feeling of guilt” – he says. Matos Barbosa doesn’t hide his appreciation for Festival: it’s like his second home. He’s convinced that this year’s edition will be a true recovery from the shock caused by the pandemic and hopes that the Festival will once again reflect the prestige that is characteristic of it.

For how long ago and in what way did you approach animated cinema?

It started a few years ago. When I was a child I liked watching cartoons and it came to a point where I decided to buy a film camera. I started to experiment, right? These experiments resulted in films and these films were encouraged by some prizes that came along the way. That led to about half a dozen films having a certain amount of success and gave me the impetus to continue. Then my attendance at CINANIMA in the first year was a new beginning. Not so much for making films but for the interest in getting to know things that I didn’t know at all. This ignorance had two causes: films that weren’t shown because there was a very small audience in the country, and because censorship didn’t allow certain films to be shown. At that time, Espinho opened up an enormous path. Then I was lucky enough to be invited to be part of the Selection Jury or the CINANIMA finals. You see how quickly I got there? [laughs] That opened up an enormous field for me. Then I never had the opportunity to make films again, because using Super-8 or smaller formats, in my idea, was a waste of time. But then there was a time when I held a small exhibition of my drawings in my local museum and someone from the Cineclube de Avanca told me: “Let’s make a film of this”. And so the film was made. After that I started to move and I have a new film almost ready… And another one is due to follow. You know, I should have known better, because I don’t have the age to get into this. [laughs]

And what analysis do you make about the evolution of animation cinema in recent years?

There is the appearance of some works in certain countries that, for many years, were almost unknow. I’m thinking, for example, of Brazil, which today has quite a big projection. There’s also Chile, Spain and even Portugal. These films were not very well known here. Cartoons were used more for advertising and this was something that was lost a lot. It was an inexhaustible source of work and experiences.  But as I was saying, a number of countries came along and Portugal has some very good people making films. I have accompanied this enormous evolution and we, CINANIMA, are also “guilty”.

How do you feel about CINANIMA and being part of the jury panel?

My response is going to be suspicious. I’ve been going to CINANIMA for 40-something years and that is indicative of my appreciation for the Festival. From what I know, internationally, there was a small moment when Covid-19 caused some harm. We were also hit, but I’m convinced that we’re in a recovery phase. Espinho has an international prestige that needs to be renewed and increased.

And what are your expectations for this year’s edition?

I think a lot of new and good things will appear. I hope, especially from Portugal, that a lot of new cinema will show up. There are many new people working and that normally comes to Espinho. Not long ago I was at a meeting of film clubs and everyone was talking about CINANIMA. I’m suspicious about what I say, but CINANIMA means a lot to me. I feel it’s like a second home. I have many memories of great people who passed through there and they fill me up. I hope that this interregnum due to the pandemic will revive CINANIMA, so that it can quickly return to those high places of prestige that are recognised everywhere.


JOHNNY MARQUES

“I hope the festival follows the tradition of showing the best of world animation”.

Johnny Marques, who has collaborated with CINANIMA for almost a decade, remembers his first contact with animation cinema, when the Festival was still held at Cineteatro São Pedro. He says that animation cinema “has been gaining more and more strength” in line with the diversity of themes and expansion of perspectives. He also feels “a great honour” to be part of the Selection Jury. Johnny’s expectations for this year’s edition are related to CINANIMA’s tradition: “to show the best in world animation in all its countless expressions and possibilities”.

How long ago and in what way did your approach to animation cinema come about?

It happened because of CINANIMA. In the times when the Festival was still held at the Cineteatro São Pedro, I remember being one more young man walking animatedly down the streets of the city with his class, towards an unpredictable and fascinating film session.

How do you see the evolution of animation cinema in the last few years?

Fortunately, animation cinema has been gaining more and more strength, while the diversity of themes and perspectives continues to expand. I’m very pleased to note the great boom in Portuguese animation that we are going through, thanks to the remarkable efforts of a new and talented generation, the national production companies and the countless pioneers that have helped create the foundations for the present.

How do you feel about CINANIMA and being part of the jury panel?

It’s always a great honour to be part of this team and to help bring this year’s edition to life.

What are your expectations for this year’s edition?

I hope that the Festival continues its tradition of showing the best in world animation – in all its countless expressions and possibilities, that it shows us works of genius, that it reveals new talents, that it opens horizons and that it continues to deserve the trust of the public that honours us with their presence every year.