Morelia: Mexican Filmmaker Alejandro Rios Prepares ‘Robat,’ His Animated Feature Debut

Los Gatos
Courtesy of Muv

Set up at Oniria, project will include 'Humans After Death,' a virtual reality short film prequel

Mexican director Alejandro Rios, whose “Los Gatos” won the best toon short film award at 2016 Guadalajara Film Festival, is preparing “Robat,” his animated feature debut.

The “Robat” project encompasses a virtual reality animated short, “Humans After Death,” that will act as the feature’s prequel.

The prequel will tell how Humans After Death, a human eternity organization, seeks immortality for people through virtualizing their bodies.

Set in the year 2150, the the furistic narrative capture a population surrounded by machines and an army of virtualized people. In the film, the HAD org plans the creation of a Lunar society, teaching humans that true transcendence can only be achieved through death.

“It is a story that talks about a future where death no longer exists. Our aim is to reflect on that,” Rios told Variety.

“Robat” is set up at Oniria, a Mexican venture specialised in immersive technology launched in 2014 by the Rios-co-founded creative studio Muv in partnership with software company Funktionell.

Currently at a script development and research stage, “Robat” has already been presented at three Mexican film events: VR Fest Mx, Animasivo and the International Festival of Guanajuato.

Producers are talking to Mexican Film Institute Imcine, looking for possible financing alternatives for the virtual reality short, while, for the feature, they are investigating new models of international co-production, Rios said.

Rios’ “Los Gatos” plays at this October’s 14th Morelia International Film Festival edition. At Morelia, the helmer already won its best animated short award in 2011 with “Erase una vez.”

Written by Cesar Perlop and produced by Edith Sieck at Muv, partnering with Imcine, “Los Gatos” focuses on a street cat that starts a new life with a lonely old man. It adresdes issues such as abuse and dependence.

“Despite the social and economic situation in Mexico, there are many filmmakers telling big animated film stories,” Rios said.

“From my perspective, there are two reasons [for that]. The first is the approach to tools like software and cameras that allow to reduce production costs.”

“The second and most important is that somehow the lack of an industry in Mexico has generated independent animation models, mostly fuelled by a sense of collaboration among all the necessary talent willing to unconditionally support projects, despite not receiving good remuneration,” he added.

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