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‘Weekends,’ ‘Mum’s the Words’ Win Big at Spain’s 3D Wire Animation Festival

Four-day event featured multi-platform works in progress, one-on-one international meetings, and the debut of Spain’s first organization for women in animation

SEGOVIA, Spain — Spain’s 3D Wire, an increasingly important festival and market dedicated to animation, comics, video games, traditional gaming, VR and AR, wrapped its 10th edition this weekend in Segovia. Four days of industry workshops, works in progress presentations, meetings and much more culminated on Saturday night with an awards ceremony held at the Museo Zuloaga.

Here are five highlights from the weekend, and a complete list of award winners:

The Big Winners

Pixar story artist Trevor Jimenez’s poignant “Weekends” continued its 2018 run of festival successes, taking top honors for best animated short film. His take a young kid living between recently divorced parents highlights the cherished moments alone with mom and dad before or after both move on to new partners. It was featured as one of Variety’s 10 shorts not to miss at Annecy where it won the Jury and Audience awards for an animated short.

CREDIT: Weekends

“Mum’s the Word” from Spain’s Khris Cembe walked off with both the Audience and Jury awards for best Spanish animated short. The piece follows a young boy, alone in the woods, who witnesses something that will rob him of his innocence.

“Dolls Don’t Cry” and “Patchwork” scooped the international and national jury special mentions respectively, while the French short “Voyageurs” snagged the top international audience award.

#YoTambien: Spain Gets a Women in Animation Organization of Its Own

Emulating successful movements such as Women in Animation (WIA) in the U.S. and Les Femmes s’Animent (LFA) in France, female animators from across Spain have banded together to create Mujeres en la Industria de Animación (MIA), which will launch officially before the end of this year. At this year’s 3D Wire the group’s founders held their first public presentation and laid out their objectives.

According to the 2018 White Book, a yearly almanac breaking down all things Spanish animation, 35% of the work force in the industry is female. But the women at MIA are skeptical. With nearly a century of industry experience between them, no one at the organization has ever witnessed a production where a third of the crew was female.

“I’ve worked on projects with 100-200 people, and there are usually about 2-3 women working in the production sector and a handful doing illustration or color,” said Myriam Ballesteros, creative director at MB Producciones.

MIA held an informal survey of their social media followers and soon-to-be members, and came to the conclusion that even if the 35% figure is accurate, female representation in decision-making positions is woefully low, and another area the organization may be able to help.

Other objectives at MIA are to improve visibility for women working in animation, mentor and aid students and young professionals just getting into the industry, and to research the disconnect which exists between the number of female animation students – more than 50% of the Spanish student body – and women working in the field.

Pushing International

“Another Day of Life” opened this year’s 3D Wire – the first time a feature has done so – and was held up as a shining example of European co-production. The animated-live action movie premiered with a special screening at Cannes and just last week took home the Perlak Audience Award for best picture at San Sebastian.

“This film is an example of how all of Europe can work,” said Belgian producer Eric Goosens when presenting the film.

CREDIT: Kanaki Films

A chronicle of Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński’s life-defining reaction to the horros of Angola’s 1975 Civil War, it was developed from a concept by director Raul De la Fuente and Amaia Remírez at Spain’s Kanaki Films and is a pan-European co-production between Kanakai and Poland’s Platige Films, co-produced by Belgium’s Walking the Dog, Germany’s Wuste Film and Animationfabrik and Hungary’s Puppetworks.

Of the short film, feature and series projects presented at 3D Wire, nearly all already had or were looking for international co-producers in Spain or elsewhere. Young kids’ series “Turuleca’s Funny Farm” is a partnership between Spain and Argentina. Feature “Mibots” is doing the heavy production lifting in Spain, but will be animated in English, a trend common among many of the Iberian-based projects. In fact, both “Mibots” and fellow feature project “Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds” are penned by English-language screenwriters. A third feature, the multi-generational Angola-based drama “Nayola” will be in Portuguese, completing a sweep of non-Spanish language projects among features pitched at 3D Wire.

The Future Looks Brighter

The Portuguese-Spanish projects section saw three shorts, three features and three series pitch to an audience of industry professionals from around the world in hopes of securing international co-productions, sales and distribution deals.

“Colossal Jane” from industry vet Roc Espinet was the eventual winner of the Movistar+ Award, a €9,000 ($10,400) distribution deal with the broadcaster. The short is a female-led musical action-adventure with a trailer that impressed in Segovia and had been shared over 20,000 times across social media platforms in the first 48 hours after its posting.

CREDIT: Colossal Jane

“I thought Rocky Horror’ style or ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, ‘Sweeney Todd,’ the musicals that are more underground, more fun, and that deal with hard topics from an ironic point of view,” Espinet said of his inspirations.

The feature-length update of one of Spain’s most iconic animation properties, 1980’s “Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds,” had the crowd buzzing with never-before-seen artwork, characters and settings revealed during its pitch. Director Toni Garcia didn’t give away too many plot points, except to explain that while remaining true to the original IP, many updates have been made to appeal to modern audience sensibilities, particularly in regards to the roles of female characters. There will be no damsels in distress in this film.

“In the modern world of the internet we are reminded that it’s hard to position a new brand,” Garcia explained of the show’s potential appeal, adding: “Shows made years ago have added value now.”

A Spanish-Argentina co-production., “Turuleca’s Funny Farm” is a musical series featuring animals learning to play instruments and sing from retired schoolteacher Isabel. Aimed at younger audiences, the property also has a feature film coming out next year.

“Kids will learn it’s good to share, say thank you, respect the environment, read and be active,” the series’ Spanish team explained. “There will be a song in each episode composed by Isabel and played by the animals to emphasize the lesson.”

The End of the World as We Know it

If art imitates life, then the current crop of projects pitched at 3D Wire might suggest something dark about the way creators and audiences view society today. Dystopian projects were present in every category and garnered a great deal positive of attention.

CREDIT: I'm Not Alone

“I’m Not Alone” and “The Watchmaker” both pitched in the shorts section, the former a tale of the only remaining boy in a world now inhabited by machines and the later featuring a steampunk airship where a watchmaker keeps track of everyone’s time on earth like Hercules’ Fates.

“The 7 Boxes” from Portugal’s Animais studio is a near apocalyptic tale of a dark and damp city run by a clown called Whiteface who uses a TV program to hypnotize children and keep them inside where nothing bad can happen to them. His army of flying drones hover ominously, removing any other forms of possible entertainment.

 

 

3D WIRE 2018 PRIZE WINNERS

JURY PRIZES

BEST ANIMATED SHORT – INTERNATIONAL

“Weekends,” (Trevor Jimenez, U.S.)

SPECIAL MENTION ANIMATED SHORT – INTERNATIONAL

“Dolls Don’t Cry,” (Frédérick Tremblay, Canada)

BEST ANIMATED SHORT – NATIONAL

“Mum’s the Word,” (Khris Cembe)

SPECIAL MENTION ANIMATED SHORT – NATIONAL

“Patchwork,” (María Manero Muro)

AUDIENCE PRIZES

BEST ANIMATED SHORT – INTERNATIONAL

“Voyageurs,” (G. Ammeux, V. Baillon, B. Chaumény, A. Dumez, L. Finucci, M. Roger, France)

BEST ANIMATED SHORT – NATIONAL

“Mum’s the Word,” (Khris Cembe)

ROBOT ATOMO PRIZE – BEST SPANISH-LANGUAGE WEB SERIES

“FHS,” (Laura Edith Lara Cordova, Héctor Peinado Díaz, Spain)

ATOMO NETWORK AWARD – BEST NON-SPANISH-LANGUAGE WEB SERIES

“The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe,” (Christian Boving-Andersen, Eva Lee Wallberg, Denmark)

ATOMO GRAND PRIZE

“Garrote vengativo,” (Verónica Cortés, Carolina Mas, Spain)

PROJECT AWARDS

BEST PROJECT FROM A YOUNG CREATOR

“The Call of Mystery,” (Víctor López, Spain)

BEST VIDEO GAME

“Endling,” (Herobeat Studios, Spain)

MOVISTAR + BEST ANIMATED SHORT PROJECT

“Colossal Jane,” (Roc Espinet, Spain)

RTVE AWARD FOR THE MOST INNOVATIVE VIDEO GAME

“Islabomba,” (Sons of a Bit Entertainment, Spain)

RTVE AWARD FOR THE MOST INNOVATIVE VR

“Anyone’s Diary,” (World Domination Project Studio, Spain)

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