Masterclasses 2023

Priit Tender (Estonia) – ‘Dog Apartment – creative process’
ESAD – School of Arts and Design (Matosinhos) | 13 november (Monday) | 11h00 

Logo ESAD Arte Design

Priit Tender will show his latest stop motion film Dog Apartment (00:14:00) and he will give a detailed look into the creative process behind the film idea, development and production at Nukufilm studios. Priit will offer a brief overview of animation filmmaking in Estonia and will be available for discussion and questions from the audience.

Biography: Priit Tender (born in 1971) is an award-winning filmmaker who has written, designed and directed over 20 animated films. He has worked with the most outstanding Estonian animation studios Eesti Joonisfilm and Nukufilm, making films both in 2D and traditional stop motion techniques. Priit’s latest film Dog Apartment is actively circulating film festivals and winning over 20 awards so far, including the Grand Prix (and Oscar qualification) at Stuttgart International Animation Festival, BEST of the FESTIVAL AWARD at London International Animation Festival, BEST ANIMATION AWARD at Tampere Film Festival, GRAND PRIX at MONSTRA Lisbon Animation Festival and many others.
In 2021 he established the international animation festival Animist Tallinn and is currently the Artistic Director of the festival.
Em 2021, fundou o festival internacional de animação Animist Tallinn e é atualmente o Diretor Artístico do festival. Filmografia completa aqui

Craig Caldwell (USA) – ‘Bringing Characters to Life’
POLIVALENTE room of Multimeios (Espinho) | 14 november (Tuesday) | 11h00

UTAH Brancoo

Be it animation, VFX, or immersive media… character development in storytelling is tough to get right. It can seem like an impossible task to come up with engaging characters that your audience/players can emotionally connect (i.e. identification). The characters must be knowable and feel real, whether your genre is fantasy, medieval, comedy, or drama. The characters must be capable of change (i.e., Arc). But where do you start? To flesh out characters, you begin with their motivations, backstories (influences from their history), psychology, and external relationships. Next, it is essential to differentiate their wants, goals, and needs. One must successfully delineate between archetypes versus stereotypes as well as making sure the characters are distinct, not generic. This session looks at character conflict (e.g., internal, external characters, environmental), cause & effect, and how choice defines a character. What is at stake? (i.e., survival, safety, love, esteem, etc.) What drives a character? Fear? Determination? Once you know your characters, you can create character-driven stories/experiences so your audience will care about what your characters are going through.

Biography: Craig Caldwell, USTAR Professor, Digital Media Cluster, University of Utah, and a founder of one of the top ranked (Entertainment Arts & Engineering) Game Programs. DeTao Master, Institute of Animation and Creative Content, SIVA, Shanghai, China. Industry experience includes Electronic Arts and Walt Disney Feature Animation (Mulan, Tarzan, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons). Academic background includes Head of largest Film School in Australia, Griffith University, and Chair, University of Arizona. Author of the book Story Structure and Development – A Guide for Animators, VFX Artists, Game Designers, and Virtual Reality; published by CRC Publishers, available on Amazon.

João Levezinho
(Portugal) – ‘Talking with João Levezinho’
School Group Dr. Manuel Gomes de Almeida | 14 november (Tuesday) | 11h00
School Group Dr. Manuel Laranjeira | 14 november (Tuesday) | 16h00

AE DR Manuel e AE Dr Manuel Laranjeira
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In a world where we face a crisis of too much meaning and overproduction of information, constantly online, the role of abstraction could be to evade our current definitions, concepts and present realities. An inherently caption less art, one in which every significance and value we can find is in itself evidently present, in the object, without language, and which provides valuable distance in a conflict driven world.
João Levezinho explains what drives his visual identity, and analyzes the potential of opting for simplicity over complexity, through his work. “Less is more”.

Biography: João Levezinho is a Portuguese experimental Illustrator and Animator, influenced by transcending the physical world and the constraints of representational art.
Overall, his animations, fall under an abstract path due to its usual non-dialogic and sound driven nature, and after graduating and specializing in Illustration and Animation he continues to push the boundaries of his practice.
His work has been gaining more exposure through entries and selections in animation festivals, such as CINANIMA where, after being selected, he won the Young Portuguese Director Award (over 18 under 30 Years Old) 2022.


2apoios masterclasse

Britt Raes (Belgium)  – ‘How I got to where I am now?
Going from art studies to professional life ‘
ART SCHOOL of the Catholic University of Porto | 14 november (Tuesday) | 15h00

ucp porto branco

How did I get to where I am now? I give an overview of growing up and my education, and the different steps that lead to my current career. I didn’t grow up in an artistic nest but always had an itch for drawing and arts and crafts. I was able to study animation and discover my passion for it. I grew to where I am now with a thirst for experience, a curiosity to get to know people, a love for film and festivals, a dose of perseverance, naive ambition and of course some luck. I hope my journey can inspire others who are finding their way!

Biography: Britt Raes (1986) is a Belgian director, illustrator and scriptwriter. She creates independent and commissioned work. Her first professional short Catherine travelled to 200 festivals worldwide, collecting 50 prizes along the way. Her second short, Luce and the rock, premiered at the Berlinale, has over 170 festival selections and 40 awards. Currently she is developing Luce in the lovely land, a series based on the short. She’s also making a new short and a children’s book. She likes (dark) chocolate, hugs and sketching animals. When travelling, she collects rocks to paint eyes on.


Nikola Majdak e Ana Nedeljković (Sérvia) – From personal experiences to animated film
The world we live in isn’t perfect, but it could be very inspiring.

IPCA – Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (Barcelos)
15 november (Wednesday) | 11H00 


How to transfer intense personal experiences into an animated film? How to create a fictional world in order to talk about real events? Why is animation nowadays a powerful tool to address important social and political issues? Ana Nedeljković and Nikola Majdak will try to answer these questions by describing a personal motivation and working process on their animated films Rabbitland, Untravel and Money and Happiness


Ana Nedeljković: She graduated in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. She was awarded a PhD in art practice at the same faculty. She is a visual artist, director, animator and educator. 

Nikola Majdak Jr.: He has an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, camera department. For the past 25 years he has been a freelance cameraman, animator, director and lecturer.
Their first film Rabbitland (2013) was awarded the Crystal Bear at the Berlinale. It has received numerous other awards and has been shown at more than a hundred festivals worldwide. Their second film Untravel (2018) was screened at Berlinale, Annecy and Sundance, nominated for the Annie Award and received numerous awards. Their third film Money and Happiness (2022) has been premiered in Locarno, and screened at Annecy and numerous other festivals. At present they are working on project development for their first animated feature film New Rabbitland. Working within their own studio, they also make many commercial animation projects as well as conducting animation workshops. They live and work in Belgrade, Serbia.

João Gonzalez – Ice Merchants – From the Subconscious to the Screen
ESMAD – School of Media Arts and Design (Vila do Conde)
16 november (Thursday) |  15h00 

ESMAD Matosinhos (logo W)

Director João Gonzalez does a breakdown of his film’s Ice Merchant’s journey, (concept, production, animation, music, etc…) from a student film, to Cannes and the Oscars.

Biography:  João Gonzalez (1996) is a Portuguese film director, animator, illustrator and a musician with classical training in piano. Recipient of a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, he did a Masters at the Royal College Art (UK), after finishing his BA at ESMAD (PT). In these institutions he made 2 award winning films, Nestor and The Voyager. In 2022 he became the first Portuguese animation filmmaker to be awarded at Festival de Cannes, winning the Prize for Best Short film in competition at the Critics Week, with the multi-award winning short Ice Merchants, which later became the first ever Portuguese film to be nominated for an Oscar and the second to win an Annie Award, among more than 100 awards. He has a big interest in combining his musical background with his practice in authorial animation, always taking the role of composer and sometimes instrumentalist in the films he directs, occasionally setting them to a live performance.