Iam writing this note to you as I’m sitting in the airport with Jose Iñesta, CEO and director of Pixelatl Festival (which will be held Sept. 6-10 in Guadalajara, Mexico). We are both returning to our homes after two weeks of animation events — the 16-year-old Animayo Festival, which is the brainchild of Damián Perea Lezcano in Gran Canaria, and the Ibero-American Animation Quirino Awards in Tenerife, Spain. I can easily say that I have never been more certain about the health, growth and vitality of our industry worldwide.a The tireless festival directors around the world and their dedicated crews are largely to credit for this positive trend. They remind me of the early days of the Annecy Festival and MIFA, and how much the French and international animation scenes have evolved alongside the exponential growth of that fantastic event.
About 10 years ago, on a trip back from South and Central America and after printing our first issue in Spanish, I was hoping that we would see more studios and original shorts, TV shows and features from the countries in the region. I am so excited to have met people from almost all of the countries of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world, who are building co-productions and the distribution of their original content across their borders and around the world.
So much has changed in just the five years since our last anniversary issue. Of course, the magazine has also evolved with it, and I am happy to say that thanks to our wonderful staff — Ramin, Mercedes, Sheri, Jan, Susanne and Damaso, our content is more vital and more widely distributed than ever. Something that never changes for me, however, is the joy of meeting new talent from around the world at all the festivals and markets we attend, and to hear about and see their unique perspectives. This is combined with the happiness of running into old friends who continue to reinvent themselves and their studios with better technology and new, relevant content for emerging generations and methods of distribution.
As we look down the road toward the future of animation, I am confident that in five years, we will find ourselves part of an even more expanded artform that dominates and spans all industries and areas of our world. Animation is no longer “the poor step-child” of the live-action industry. It is an integral part of every film, TV show and commercial we watch. This was indeed the vision of our founder Terry Thoren back in the early ‘80s (see page 68 for his historical account).
We hope you enjoy this special issue and all of the ways we bring you the news everyday. I am so happy that Animation Magazine continues to be read and enjoyed on the media shelves of the many libraries who subscribe and, of course, by our loyal readers who receive it both in print and digital formats. And yes, we publish 10 informative and jampacked issues annually!
The habit of reading about our industry is one that should never be undervalued. Every successful executive or creative industry player can tell you this. If you are reading this issue, I know you are one of those people, and I thank you for your interest and your contributions to our wonderful world of animation.
I am sending with this issue, my very best to you after our emergence from two very challenging years! Please stay in touch with us regularly and thank you for your contribution to the creation of positive visions for our world through the medium of animation!
Jean Thoren President/Publisher