ANNECY – Brazil’s “Beyond the Legend,” Venezuela’s “Karetabla” and Chile’s “Witches’ Business” are among the thirteen animation projects selected to participate at the 5th Bridging the Gap (BTG), a Canary Island-based intensive animation workshop.
Since its first edition in 2015, Tenerife animation lab Bridging the Gap has promoted fifty international feature films and animation series. One of them, “Homeless,” competes at this week’s Annecy Festival in the new Contrechamp showcase. Produced by Lunes CineTV, and Juan de Dios Larraín at Fabula, the Chilean feature is directed by José Ignacio Navarro Cox, Jorge Campusano and Santiago O’Ryan.
Marília Feldhues’ feature debut “Beyond the Legend” will be the second animated feature directed by a woman in Brazil after Mariana Caltabiano’s “Brazil Animated” in 2011, and the first animation feature to be made in Brazil’s Pernambuco region. A 2D project about a sacred book gathering Brazilian folklore and legends, it’s penned and exec-produced by Ulises Brandão.
In spite the political turmoil in Venezuela, several projects have been submitted from the country. Among them “Karetabla” has been chosen and is being developed by a collective, Mecha, a new industry trend in the region, according to the event organizers who add the use of animation as a tool to promote social changes is also trending.
Targeting adult demos, “Karetabla” follows the misadventures of three neighborhood youths who begin their transition to adulthood in the midst of a chaotic, unchanging, and violent city: Caracas.
Made for children, “Witch’s Business” is a 2D 11-minute 13-episode series following little witches Effy and Mai who are banished from their Magiworld to a decaying terrestrial world. There they will live with their aunt Escabiosa, who is illegally offering black magic services to humans. Endless adventures will teach the young witches that the only way to maintain a delicate balance between their magic and life on earth is by using “real magic” from both worlds.
At the lab industry experts will offer strategies for producing, distributing and selling animation projects through a wide range of training activities, as well as networking and tailored advice. Participants will also have the chance to present their projects to industry professionals and decision-makers.
The thirteen projects include four features and nine TV series. Projects were chosen from a total of 97 submissions from sixteen countries. Eight projects come from Latin America, four from Spain and one from the Philippines.
The Canary Islands is building as an animation hub, thanks to its attracting animation talent and companies, and also the strengthening of links between Latin America and Europe. Two efficient tools to do so are a 40% tax rebate for foreign shows animated in the Islands with a $224,000 minimum spend in the islands to qualify, and a Zona Especial Canaria (ZEC) fiscal zone allowing companies launched in the Islands to pay just 4% in corporation tax.
With all the selected projects at BTG this year, it’s noteworthy that out of the four Spanish projects, two are being developed by Tenerife talent; in a third case, Danish director Niels Andersen Dolmer has moved to the island to build up “Lily & the Fishboy.” The Canary Islands seem to be building its own IPs now.
BTG is organized by animation professionals including its founders Guadalupe Arensburg, head of animation and shorts at Movistar+ and Quirino Awards promoter José Luis Farias. It is backed by the Cabildo de Tenerife local government via Tenerife2030, as well as INtech Tenerife and the Tenerife Tourism Area, with the collaboration of Spanish agency Cooperación Española.
Bridging the Gap – Animation Lab (BTG) will take place on Tenerife, July 14-20
“Beyond the Legend,” Marília Feldhues (Brazil)
“Bululú,” Federico Gutiérrez Obeso (Mexico)
“Islands of Fire,” José Miguel Pérez Alonso (Spain)
“Risue,” de Mario Forero (Colombia)
“Alphabesties,” Neema B. Ejercito (Philippines)
“The Call of Mystery,” Víctor López Aguado (Spain)
“Cowbots,” Alfio D’Antona (Argentina)
“Crako & Koshan Show,” Esteban Erazo, Paul Morales (Ecuador)
“Hallow Hollow,” Pablo Cortina (Spain)
“Karetabla,” Carlos Zerpa (Venezuela)
“Lily & the Fishboy,” Niels Andersen Dolmer (Spain)
“Negocio de brujas,” Alejandra Jaramillo (Chile)
“Ori & Gen,” Javier Ignacio Luna Crook (Argentina)