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‘Virus,’ ‘Jorel,’ Take Best Feature, Series Prizes at 2nd Quirino Awards

TENERIFE, Spain – Santiago Caicedo’s debut “Virus Tropical” took best feature prize at Quirino Awards in a ceremony held at Tenerife’s auditorium on Saturday April 6.

Best TV series award went to Juliano Enrico’s “Jorel’s Brother – Be Broccoli!” and best short kudo to Nara Normande’s “Guaxuma.” Two out of three main prizes went to Brazil’s productions.

Based on the graphic novel of Colombia-Ecuador’s Power Paola, “Virus Tropical” is produced by Colombia’s Timbo Studio and France’s Ikki Films. Sold to Amazon by Paris’ Stray Dogs, it’s a black and white coming-of-age story beginning the very night Paola is conceived. This will set the tone for a family drama with a strong element of sexuality exploring its main character, a woman born to a priest and a psychic, who will battle for independence and to find her place in the world.

The Quirino Award adds to a flurry of nominations and kudos for “Virus Tropical” including Berlin’s Crystal Bear nom, SXSW’s Audience Award and Colombia’s Macondo Award in 2018. It has also been nominated for the upcoming Platino Awards.

“Virus Tropical’s” production companies are also involved in “Chandasma,” an all audiences-targeting project in pre-production following nine-year-old Renata who, due to family circumstances, is forced to live with her aunt Eva, a bitter woman, and Chandasma, an abandoned ghost dog. Pic will be directed by first-timer David Restrepo Zuluaga.

The Quirino jury was presided by Oscar-nominated Annecy winner Alê Abreu (“The Boy and the World”) and included Pixar Animation executive Deanna Marsigliese, producer Gustavo Ferrada, at Spain’s Convoy Films, sales agent Barbie Heusinger, from Germany’s Sola Media, and Marie-Laurence Turpin, development chief at France’s Xilam Animation.

A phenomenon in Brazil “Jorel’s Brother” snagged best TV-show. It’s a production of Copa Studio in co-production with Cartoon Network LATAM directed by Juliano Enrico (“Choque de Cultura”), a member of Brazilian comedic group TVquase. It tells short stories about Jorel’s brother who, due to a bad grade in art education, is forced to participate in a school theater group.

Enrico is developing a feature based on the series, whose Season 4 is in production.

Premiered at the 2018 Annecy Festival, stop motion “Guaxuma,” a graceful evocation of the director’s memories about her childhood on a deserted beach with her hippie parents – is mainly made with colored sand. Director Nara Normande is developing her debut feature –a live-action film.

Canary Islands is strongly backing the audiovisual sector, and specially animation. One case to point is the Quirinos. Another new companies which are setting up in Tenerife, such as prominent Spanish VFX company El Ranchito, which won an Emmy Award for “Game of Thrones,” and created the tsunami effects in “The Impossible.”

That little surprise: the Canary Islands offer a 40% tax rebate for foreign shoots. Tax deductions for Spanish productions and co-productions rose to 45% for the first €1 million ($1.1 million), and 40 % onwards, up to $6.2 million.

However, a new law passed last November added a new benefit settingat $224,ooo the minimum spend on the islands to qualify for rebates.

Canary Islands’ fiscal system also includes the Zona Especial Canaria (ZEC), which allows companies launched in the Islands to pay just 4% in corporation tax.

“Our aim is to strengthen the animation services we can provide and to progressively increase the generation of our own IP’s,” Tenerife Film Commission strategy consultant Zulay Rodríguez told Variety.

The Quirino event also embraces an academic and co-production forums. In its second edition, latter saw 670 scheduled B2B meetings vs. 350 last year, standing for a 91.4% increase.

Some of the titles and projects generating buzz at Tenerife included Marvick Núñez’ “The League of 5,” from Mexico’s Ánima Studios, a comedy adventure feature following the adventures of a team of superheroes rescuing a kidnapped girl; and “Beast,” produced by Mexico’s Fotosíntesis Media and Brazil’s Levante Films. Feature offers an allegory of immigration in a world divided by war.

The La Liga award is a joint initiative between the Quirino Awards, Argentina’s Animation! and Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival. Each year, the winner receives an invitation to attend each of the three events. “Two Little Birds” was the first production to win the award, a co-production between Argentina’s Can Can Club and Uruguay’s Palermo Estudio. The show follows two small birds living peacefully in a tree until something new and exciting appears, and the two compete over it in ludicrous ways which put themselves and the tree at risk.

The winner of the most innovative work at this year’s edition is directed by Argentine genre producer-director Hernán Moyano. “Belisario, The Little Big Hero of the Cosmos” is a TV series which turns on astronaut mouse’s adventures. The distinctiveness of the work is linked to its production and exhibition format –it is intended to be screened in a full dome as an immersive VR experience without a head-mounted display. It’s co-produced by Argentina’s Celeste Estudio Creativo and Ciudad de La Plata’s Planetarium.

The Quirinos were launched to celebrate the burgeoning animation sector in Latin America, Spain and Portugal, and to promote co-production between the territories.

CREDIT: Quirino Awards

2019 IBERO-AMERICAN QUIRINO AWARDS

BEST FEATURE

“Tropical Virus,” (Santiago Caicedo, Colombia)

BEST SERIES

“Jorel’s Brother – Be Broccoli!” (Juliano Enrico, Brazil)

BEST SHORT FILM

“Guaxuma,” (Nara Normande, Brazil, France)

BEST STUDENT SHORT FILM

“Patchwork,” (María Manero Muro, Spain)

BEST COMMISSIONED FILM

“The Amazing Story of the Man that Could Fly and Didn’t Know How,” (Manuel Rubio, Spain)

MOST INNOVATIVE WORK

“Belisario – The Little Big Hero of the Cosmos,” (Hernan Moyano, Argentina)

BEST VISUAL DEVELOPMENT

“The Wolf House,” (Diluvio, Globo Rojo, Chile)

BEST ANIMATION DESIGN

“Paper Port Season 2 – The Lives of Others,” (Zumbástico Studios, Gloob, Señal Colombia, Pakapaka, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina)

SOUND DESIGN AND ORIGINAL MUSIC

“Black Is Beltza,” (Black is Beltza A.I.E., Talka Records, Set Màgic Audiovisual, Spain)

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