Bub­bling Up

Animation Magazine - - Spotlight -

FDeep lineup of tal­ent and pics con­firms Pix­e­latl’s El Fes­ti­val as Mexico’s premier toon event.

ew an­i­ma­tion events have grown as rapidly or be­come so sig­nif­i­cant so quickly as Pix­e­latl’s El Fes­ti­val in Mexico. With its fourth edi­tion ap­proach­ing Sept. 9-13 in Cuer­navaca, a re­laxed town known as the “city of eter­nal spring” south of Mexico City, the an­i­ma­tion, comics and videogame fes­ti­val last year at­tracted more than a thou­sand par­tic­i­pants and 2,500 screen­ing at­ten­dees.

And it’s look­ing to build again this year, with a ro­bust lineup of guests, events and screen­ings.

Key­note speak­ers in­clude VFX leg­end Phil Tip­pett, The Lit­tle Prince di­rec­tor Mark Os­borne, comic-book cre­ator Noelle Steven­son, and Michiru Ya­mame, mu­sic com­poser for Castl­e­va­nia. In­die an­i­ma­tion icon Bill Pymp­ton and U. K. comics writer Leah Moore will teach master classes, with work­shops set with the likes of screen­writer Rob Ed­wards and The Book of Life di­rec­tor Jorge Gu­tier­rez.

More than 70 pro­fes­sional guests over­all will at­tend, rep­re­sent­ing ma­jor stu­dios from 11 coun­tries, as well as ex­ec­u­tives from the likes of Car­toon Net­work, Dis­ney, Nick­elodeon, Dis­cov­ery Kids and Sony Pic­tures An­i­ma­tion.

But the high­light of the fes­ti­val — or­ga­nized by Pix­e­latl, an as­so­ci­a­tion that pro­motes Mex­i­can pro­duc­tions both in coun­try and abroad — is the Ideatoon Sum­mit, a con­test de­signed to en­cour­age de­vel­op­ment of an­i­mated se­ries ideas in Mexico. Open to all Mex­i­can stu­dios, pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies, an­i­ma­tors, artists, di­rec­tors, scriptwrit­ers and pro­duc­ers, the top 16 en­tries are seen by top an­i­ma­tion ex­ec­u­tives and the win­ner re­ceives a cash prize of about $ 25,000 to use in pro­duc­ing a pi­lot.

Last year, the win­ner was Mari­achi Zom­bie, which Van­cou­ver-based Atomic Car­toons bought af­ter see­ing it at the fes­ti­val. Six of the fi­nal­ist stu­dios are work­ing for some of the chan­nels that saw their projects.

Other awards are given for best in­ter­na­tional an­i­mated short, best Mex­i­can an­i­mated short and the best comic-book work.

This year’s lineup of an­i­mated fea­tures in­cludes Shaun the Sheep Movie, The Sponge­Bob Movie: Sponge Out of Wa­ter, Song of the Sea and The Book of Life.

Two com­pet­i­tive shorts pro­grams un­der the com­mon theme “That Which Unites Us” will in­clude in­ter­na­tional ti­tles such as Adam El­liott’s Ernie Bis­cuits and Mex­i­can en­tries Los Ases del Cor­ral from di­rec­tors Irv­ing Sevilla and Manuel Báez; Fuimos Col­ores by Mar­cos Al­mada and Car­los Azcuaga; Olas al Cielo, from Gil­dardo San­toyo del Castillo; and Zimbo, by Juan Jose Me­d­ina and Rita Ba­sulto.

The fes­ti­val of­fers plenty of net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing an in­dus­try din­ner and mul­ti­ple par­ties well suited to mix­ing with po­ten­tial con­tacts.

This year’s fes­ti­val will launch the As­so­ci­a­tion of Dig­i­tal Cre­ators, which looks to build a strong an­i­ma­tion com­mu­nity in Mexico and help an­i­ma­tors to find the fi­nan­cial tools they need to bring their ideas to life. [

To kick off the 2015 World An­i­ma­tion & VFX Sum­mit, An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine and An­i­ma­tion Li­ba­tion Stu­dios have once again teamed up to present the an­nual World An­i­ma­tion Cel­e­bra­tion. Two days of screen­ings, in­dus­try pan­els and guest speak­ers will be hosted by Sony Pic­tures An­i­ma­tion on its stu­dio lot in Cul­ver City, Cal­i­for­nia at the end of this month.

This year’s film se­lec­tions are culled from en­tries which have poured in from stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als from over 40 coun­tries. The fi­nal as­sem­blage cov­ers the gamut of an­i­ma­tion tech­niques and gen­res, with prize cat­e­gories for CG, Tra­di­tional, Stop- Mo­tion, 2D Dig­i­tal and Ex­per­i­men­tal films. WAC and the or­ga­niz­ers aim as al­ways to pro­vide at­ten­dees with an il­lu­mi­nat­ing look at the global in­dus­try and emerg­ing tal­ents.

The fes­ti­val is or­ga­nized into one-hour screen­ing blocks, run­ning in the Ray Har­ry­hausen Theater. These are in­ter­spersed by live pan­els and guest speak­ers in the nearby con­fer­ence room. There will also be time for so­cial­iz­ing and net­work­ing with a sep­a­rately tick­eted VIP Mixer on Satur­day night and an awards cer­e­mony Sun- day night, which will re­veal the win­ners in each cat­e­gory ahead of the Best in Show an­nounce­ment re­served for the Sum­mit ( Nov. 2-4).

Guests con­firmed for WAC at press time in­clude Butch Hart­man ( cre­ator, Fairly Od­dPar­ents), David Silverman ( di­rec­tor, The Simp­sons), James Lopez ( cre­ator, Hul­la­baloo), Robert Hughes ( di­rec­tor/ pro­ducer, Phineas and Ferb and Milo Mur­phy’s Law), Tony Ban­croft ( di­rec­tor, An­i­mal Crack­ers) and Za­hara Dowlatabadi ( an­i­ma­tion pro­ducer and co-au­thor of Pro­duc­ing An­i­ma­tion). There will also be a Judges Panel and daily pro­fes­sional Port­fo­lio Re­views, and di­rec­tor Tee Bo­sus­tow will be on hand to dis­cuss his UPA doc­u­men­tary The Bo­ing

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WAC 2014 fea­tured panel: James Lopez, Pete Michels, Mark Aguilar, Robb Den­o­van and Lee Crowe.

Guest host Michael-Leon Woo­ley in­ter­views guest speaker Dis­ney Leg­end Floyd Nor­man.

Woo­ley and di­rec­tor Amy Lee Ketchum, win­ner of the Stop-Mo­tion cat­e­gory for Two Ghosts

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