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Meet the Student Film Selection Jury

Today is the turn of the Student Film Selection Jury! The members of this Jury talk about the evolution of animation cinema, especially in higher education institutions. It is also in this sense they perspective a bright future for emerging talents!

JOSÉ ALBERTO RODRIGUES

“My relationship with CINANIMA is very strong, almost umbilical”

With a vast experience as a jury member, José Alberto Rodrigues has already been part of CINANIMA’s Organization Committee and has been the coordinator of the Education Service. It was through this contact with CINANIMA that he realized his “definitive approach to the world of animation cinema”. He believes that the evolution of the film panorama “is great” and “very positive” and has been accentuated, above all, due to the creation of schools dedicated to Animation Cinema courses. Being part of the Selection Jury is, for him, “an honor and a responsibility” and makes him forget the work of (many) dozens of hours of film viewing and selection. He hopes that this year will truly be the first “post-pandemic” edition and, for this reason, his expectations are high.

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

Although I was aware of animation cinema from an early age, being also someone who belonged to the “Vasco Granja generation”, I consumed quality animation cinema as a child. But the definitive approach to the world of animation cinema happened when, in 1997, I attended a 50 hour training course for teachers promoted by CINANIMA and integrated in the pre-festival activities of that year’s edition. It was then that I learned the basics of animation cinema, its techniques, and fell in love with this art. Since then, and one year later, I started to integrate CINANIMA’s workshops and shortly after I joined the Festival’s Organizing Committee. I was responsible for its workshops and, later, coordinator of its Educational Service. However, in 2017 there was an interruption in my participation, as I dedicated myself to other projects and left the organization.

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

The evolution is great and very positive. If this was already the case when technologies, around 20 or 25 years ago, started to make the work of directors and animators much easier, today the evolution is even greater with the reach of new tools, at various levels. Also the creation of schools, which at the higher education level dedicate courses to Animation Cinema, is an extraordinary added value. This can be seen by the increasing amount of films produced and, of course, also in their quality.

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

My relationship with CINANIMA is very strong, almost umbilical – right after the first contact that I mentioned to you, in 1997. They were years of commitment, dedication, learning, and permanent sharing. This close relationship is also the result of having fought hard to have in this festival a true Educational Service that worked in a truly fantastic way for some years, interrupted in the last two or three years, but I’m sure it will be resumed already this year. Being part of the jury panel is an honor and a huge responsibility because this is a festival where the best want to be, and in the case of the category in which I am a juror – international jury of school films – there are hundreds of films for very few to be selected for international competition. It is an honor and a responsibility that makes one forget the work of dozens, many dozens, of hours of film viewing and evaluation.

What are your expectations for this year’s edition?

They are high expectations, of course. I believe it will truly be the first “post-pandemic” edition, at least the one in which we will have the public attending and participating fully in the Festival’s activities. From the films that I have also seen and analyzed, the quality is very high and I believe that, globally, this will happen in all categories. The expectations are the best and the highest, therefore.


PEDRO MOTA TEIXEIRA

“It’s a great encouragement to witness the emergence of new talents”

With a PhD in Communication Sciences from the Universidade do Minho, specialized in Audiovisuals, Pedro Mota Teixeira attended his first animation course in Espinho – organised by CINANIMA. With academic and professional experiences in Paris and Porto, the director of animation films, illustrator and digital animator considers that animation cinema “has grown a lot in the last years”. He says that he feels “a great pride” to be part of the Selection Jury of CINANIMA 2022 and is excited to see who will be the winner of the schools’ prize, since he is on the selection panel for Student Films.

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

My journey began many years ago when I started to develop some comic strips and to follow the Porto Comic Strip Salon. Some prizes in some competitions motivated me to continue and, at the age of 16, through the hands of my dear Professor Clídio Nóbio, I attended my first animation course in Espinho, organised precisely by CINANIMA, and with the experienced Jordi Artigas. From then on I tried to give continuity to a personal work and tried to study animation in Paris, where I developed a project under the supervision of Jordan Crandell, editor at the time of “Archive”. In my last year of my degree at the Faculdade de Belas Artes do Porto, I was contacted to work on the television series “Major Alvega” (RTP), where I learned a lot about computer animation. In those years (beginning of 2000) I ended up working a lot for TV openings in animation. I ended up deserving my first financial support from the ICA, which allowed me to explore the ins and outs of computer animation. These were the fundamental steps for me, which started my personal and professional career. At the moment my interest is divided into mixed media, where I try to navigate between manual and digital technology.

What do you think about the evolution of animation cinema in the last few years?

Animation cinema has grown immensely in the last few years, this is an undeniable and very visible fact, because at its genesis, animation is resilient and operates in a “wide field” of platforms and numerous forms of production, publication and distribution. Thus, the great diversity of expressions, the inclusion of different techniques and this permeability of technology in animation has allowed more and more young people to become interested and have access to sources of learning very early. This is above all an artistic expression that demands a great deal of commitment and demand. Besides this, the sharing of experiences and contacts on a global level has fostered a greater diversity of international co-productions, which from my point of view has been fundamental for the dynamisation of animation cinema.

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

It is for me a great pride to be able to participate in a panel with the long tradition that CINANIMA has and the artistic and cultural baggage that it represents. It has been a privilege to participate in various editions and different panels over the years, and it’s with a very special pleasure that I do so this year. I have always been very well received and cherished. I’ve had, throughout the years, the satisfaction of being present in several national and international festivals, and in this sense, it is with great pleasure that I look at CINANIMA that seeks to reinvent itself every year and continues to bring, with great concern, the best in animation from all over the world.

What are your expectations for this year’s edition?

This year, being on the selection panel for the schools is to have the opportunity to view hundreds of films. Besides being a professional, as an animation teacher, it’s a great stimulation to be able to watch, in first-hand, the emergence of new talents and to see how committed the schools are to developing animation projects. For me this experience will translate into an added motivation for my students. I have to say that animation schools in Portugal have made a great effort in order to offer a training of great demands and quality. The international panorama of schools reveals the same effort, but with the inclusion of new schools that have been able to compete with the most recognised ones. Despite the recent confinement, I consider that a good part of the students’ film productions have great plastic and narrative interest. It will certainly be very interesting to watch who will take the schools’ prize.


PEDRO PEREZ

“It is a pride to be part of this Festival and of this Jury”.

He was born in Espinho and his passion for Animated Film and Comics started when he was a child. Pedro Perez had his first contact with CINANIMA in 1979, as a spectator in a school trip to the “nostalgic S. Pedro Cinema”. He became a CINANIMA collaborator in 1988 and today he’s proud to be part of the Festival and to integrate the Selection Jury. For this edition of CINANIMA, he hopes that after the two years of the pandemic, it will be possible to get together again and share knowledge and experiences.

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

Since I was a child I have had a taste for animation cinema and comic books. I had the privilege of being born in Espinho and I have been going to CINANIMA since I was 10 years old. First as a spectator, (my first visit was with my school, in 1979, at the Cinema S. Pedro) and, in 1988, I started to collaborate with CINANIMA by invitation of Mr. António Gaio.

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

With the evolution of technologies came also the evolution of animation cinema, it became “easier” to make an animation film and also to teach animation. Every year there’s an increase in the number of films submitted to competitions. There are already several programmes at school level for the creation of animated films. I have witnessed with enthusiasm the appearance of more and more Portuguese directors with works of excellent quality.

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

I am proud to be part of this Festival and of this Jury. As I mentioned before, my connection to CINANIMA goes back many years … As we say in Portugal, “I have animation in my blood”.

What are your expectations for this year’s edition?

I hope that it will be a year with a lot of quality and that, after these two years of pandemic, it will be possible to have a Festival of conviviality, sharing of knowledge and experiences.