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Roc Espinet

“I’m a big fan of 2D, keeping a handcrafted look and strong emotions, like in Ghibli movies. Having said that, I always want to complement it with a contemporary narrative concept and bold and crazy camera movements,” Catalan animator Espinet says. He’s a regular collaborator of Alberto Vázquez (“Unicorn Wars,” “Birdboy”) and has worked as an animator and layout artist for HBO (“Deadly Class”) and Amazon (“Niko and the Sword of Light”).

A pick-up from Latido when in in development, “Girl and Wolf” is Espinet’s debut feature, currently in pre-production and based on Espinet’s eponymous graphic novel. Produced by Sygnatia Films and Hampa Studio, it tells the story of an innocent girl who grew up in a medieval orphanage besieged by wolves. Espinet is also developing “Colossal Jane,” set up at Nexus Studios, a comedy series “where musicals, ghost hunting, Kung Fu and womanhood meet in a super energetic way,” he enthuses.

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Roc Espinet Courtesy of Roc Espinet

Juan Carlos Mostaza

A computer engineer by training, Valladolid-born Mostaza found in 3D animation and VFX the perfect arena to develop his skills. Mostaza’s seven shorts – which include “Reflejos,” “Down the Wire,” live-action “Amandine,” and “Casitas” – have collected multiple kudos. He founded his own production label, The Cathedral Media, alongside Pablo López, working out of it as a VFX supervisor and commercials director.

Like many filmmakers of his generation, Mostaza uses the same style and storytelling strategies in both live action and animation. Fond of thriller and adventure films and professing admiration for Spielberg and Fincher, he is finishing his short, “Hamburg Manor,” a whodunit mystery story “in the purest Agatha Christie style but with an unexpected twist that brings it to [the world] of today.” He’s also looking for co-production partners for a detective mystery series “with a very rich and innovative transmedia universe,” he announces.

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Juan Carlos Mostaza Courtesy of Juan Carlos Mostaza

 Noelia Muíño

“I look up to classics such as Miyazaki, but I also get inspired by the minimalism and freshness that artists like Rosalía have brought to music, for example. I try to take an honest look at myself, what I enjoy, what troubles me… and let that speak in my stories,” she explains. Galicia-born and an NYU graduate with an MFA in Filmmaking, Muiño has directed three live-action shorts (“Monte Bravo,” among them) and served as video editor for The New York Times and as a previs artist at Skydance Animation.

Muiño is developing her first feature, “Into the Woods,” a fantasy adventure movie following a girl living in a Galician village in the ‘90s who takes care of her brother Pablo, who has Down syndrome. The project received a Special Mention at this year’s Madrid animation event, Next Lab. Muiño is also developing a TV series, “Puma Blue,” a project which received a mentorship grant from Spain’s Assn. of Women Cineastes (CIMA) in partnership with Netflix.

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Noelia Muiño Courtesy of Noelia Muino

Núria Poveda, Marina Donderis, Marina Cortón

Valencia-born animators, Poveda, Donderis and Cortón, are stop-motion specialists, trained in Valencia and Barcelona. “We feel comfortable doing something close to our life experiences. Stop-motion is a technique that brings us together and furthermore, it allows you to make mistakes, given its artisanal nature,” they say.

The three animators snagged two prizes at the 6th Animarkt stop-motion forum in Lodz, Poland for their short, “Interns,” produced by Leticia Montalva and Pablo Muñoz’s Pangur Animation, a Valencian animation production and services outfit. Previously, “Interns” received plaudits at Weird Animation. Humor-laced, “Interns” touches on three friends who break free and face the challenges of growing.

As animators, they have worked on musical video clips (Donderis), the Citoplasmas-produced children musical show “The Bubeats” (Cortón), and TV On’s kids short “Bita and Cora” (Poveda).

“The animation we like is the following: Comedy-drama-comedy…, just like life itself,” they argue.

Diego Porral

Since he graduated from prestigious French film school, Gobelins, Madrid-born Porral has served as an animator at “Love Death & Robots,” working with Titmouse, “My Father’s Dragon” (Cartoon Saloon) and Salvador Simó’s multi-awarded “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles.”

Considered by many as one of the best 2D animators in Spain, his own shorts include “A Day in the Park,” “Blind Eye” and Animayo winner, “Leopoldo el del Bar,” among others.

“I’ve always been interested in realistic 2D animation that is somewhat overacted. Animation gives you the opportunity to exaggerate certain emotions and movements, and I like that, wrapped around an extreme volumetric and detailed-oriented style, bordering on insanity,” Porral explains. He added: “Titles like Juanjo Guarnido’s ‘Freak of the Week’ or Sergio Pablos’ ‘Klaus’ are good examples of what I mean. They all sit in that big gap between Sylvain Chomet’s hyperrealism and Chuck Jones’ extreme cartoons.”

Porral is now working on a big international TV series, which will be announced shortly.

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Diego Porral Courtesy of Diego Porral