ANNECY, France – Three projects created and produced by young Latin American talent, Nadia Ronquillo and Bernardita Ojeda’s ‘Tally Molly,’ Arturo and Roy Ambriz’ “La balada del Fénix” and “Distrito Yorudan” will be pitched on June 12 at Annecy’s Mifa, brought onto the market by Animation!, the Ventana Sur animation forum.
A 7-minute 26 episode show, “Tally Molly” follows a cheerful 7-year-old girl who’s able to change her size to be as little as bacteria or as big as a mountain. Series deals with ordinary situations which becomes extraordinary, via the discovery of new worlds and friends. Chile’s Pájaro Estudio produces, in collaboration with development studio Kaleidos.
A comedic adventure created by children’s book illustrator and animator Ronquillo, Marta Gennari and Paulina Ziółkowska, “Tally Molly” “springs from the feeling that we have when kids of wanting to be big and small at the same time, something that we realized we had in common despite being three creators from very different countries— Marta’s from Italy, Paulina from Poland and I‘m from Ecuador.” Ronquillo told Variety, adding that playing with proportions and size was a key element in developing a fairly graphic and simplified visual style in order to explore perspectives from the point of view of kids.
“Being able to be as small as bacteria or as big as she wants gives Tally access to highly diverse points of view to exercise a degree of empathy, something we believe is essential for children to continue acquiring,” she added.
An action-packed animation series about street basketball hip hop culture in a future Latin America, “Yorudan District” is a 25-minute eight episode format dovetailing action and youth drama to the rhythm of Latin cumbia, rap, hip-hop, EDM and trap music.
Produced by Buenos Aires-based Bellolandia and directed by Damián Fernández Gómez “Yorudan” follows the adventures of young graffiti artist Violeta who hustles her way into a savage 3 on 3 underground street basketball tournament. Violeta has to face the unique skills of rival gangs, fight robot cops and push her limits to defend the future of her neighborhood in dystopian Glyphocity.
“The tone is of a social drama. Graphically, the aim is to have a visually stunning mix of anime style with western storytelling. This project is unique because it takes elements from Latin American street culture and presents them through the universal language of sports, driven by a story full of power conflicts and the defense of one’s own identity,” producer Facundo Cavallero told Variety.
Diversity in all its forms is key in the series, Cavallero pointed out, arguing it painted a “non-heteronormative and gender inclusive worldview, seen in its non-judgemental depiction of drug use, a strong female lead, a multicultural environment and the clash between shanty town inhabitants and at vicious corporate world.”
An auteur-ish feature project directed by Roy and Arturo Ambriz at Mexico’s stop-motion company Cinema Fantasma, “The Ballad of the Phoenix” presents a confused princess with the power to brew the elixir of eternal life who, after realizing her dying father is a tyrant, must decide between saving the king’s life or saving the kingdom from his cruel suzerainty. She will travel through the lands with the guidance of her father’s worst enemy, a wise phoenix, to understand what she is supposed to do.
Guillermo del Toro financed, backed and mentored the Amriz brothers on “Revoltoso,” a stop-motion half-hour short film featuring the use of art as a way to stand against destruction.
Feature “Cachalote” and TV series “The Pleasefixers” complete this year Animation! Focus @MIFA line-up.
Directed by Costa Rican Carlos Redondo, “Pleasefixers” offers a wide range of characters, each one representing a different social media platform: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Tinder. They work in an office trying to make their has-been clients relevant again, but they do it all wrong.
Produced by Costa Rica’s Osopez Studio, the 23-minute 12 episodes “Pleasefixers” is a show “that feels more like a comedy for adults than a cartoon. The humor is based on dark dialogue, political and social commentary, and a general message of how we seek refuge in social media to cope with a lonely and miserable existence. But with cute characters that you will want to collect,” Ariel Arburola at Osopez told Variety.
Directed and penned by Angelo Defanti and produced by his sister Bárbara Defanti at Rio de Janeiro-based Sobretudo Produção, “Cachalote” turn on solitude, caught in five different interwoven stories. It’s based on the graphic novel by Daniel Galera and Rafael Coutinho. Despite its melancholy tone, the “characters take action,” Barbara said, adding: “The black and white aesthetic carries an internal movement, constantly revealing in delicate ways the protagonist’s state of mind and reflecting the feelings of each situation. A hug can be the only thing that matters in a wide white framing, a man alone in a crowd can be hidden in a world of excessive detail, or a woman in a dark moment can reveal her inner self.”
A production company specialized in literary adaptations, Sobretudo Produção is post-producing the live-action feature debut of Angelo Defanti, “The Club of Angels.”
Underlining the build of Latin American animation Animation! coordinator Silvina Cornillón told Variety that “this year, the line-up offers such a diversity of projects coming from different countries that reflect a gathering movement in the region: Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil united by talent and original ideas.
She added: “Some time ago it would have seemed like a dream but today it is a reality. For us it is a privilege to show them in a single program in a key event for the industry such as Mifa, trying to erase borders and launching a Latin identity to the world.”