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jun 05, 2018

Brazil at the spotlight in the 2018 Annecy Animation Festival

We might be living in the golden age of Brazilian cinema. Brazil-based filmmakers are producing more than ever – and the world has recognized the quality of their productions. One of the highlights of the industry is the animation segment, where Brazil has indisputably thrived. In addition to its animation, the country’s musical references will also be in the spotlight during the 2018 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, one the industry’s most important.

Here is what the festival’s artistic director, Marcel Jean, told the international press about Brazil’s animation film industry: “For the last three years in a row, Brazilian animation has carved out its star status in the Annecy’s skies. We want to show how this important territory is a powerful spring of creativity, to show how Brazilian animators have drunk deep from these waters to establish an unusual and striking expression.”

Brazilian animations took home Annecy prizes for three straight years, between 2013 and 2015. It began when “Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury” won as Best Feature Film. Then, in 2014, “Boy and the World,” which would also be nominated for an Oscar, won as Best Feature Film and snatched the Audience Award. In 2015, “Guida” won the ‘Jean-Luc Xiberras Award’ for a first film.

This year, eight Brazilian productions were selected to the festival’s competition – between short films, TV series, commercials, and one feature film. 
In fact, 2017 was the best year for animation cinema in Brazil since 1995. Seven feature films were launched – and 25 more are in production. Brazilians are also producing more series, with production hiking from 2 to 44. That’s where quality meets quantity.
The Brazilian presence at the event has also substantially increased, from 10 company delegations to a record 40 in 2018. All of the companies are members of partnership programs headed up by the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).

The Annecy Festival, however, is not the only festival to recognize Brazilian filmmakers. Director Carlos Saldanha was nominated for an Oscar in 2018 for his animation “Ferdinand” – two years after “Boy and the World” was nominated for the same category. In the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Carolina Markovicz’s “The Orphan” snatched the Queer Palm, a prize awarded to LGBT-themed motion pictures. 
Brazil is also one of the highlights of the DOCTV CPLP Festival, a documentary festival for Portuguese-speaking countries. A total of 192 Brazilian productions applied for the festival, up by 38 percent from 2017.

Moreover, Brazilian animated series have made a splash in channels like Cartoon Network and Discovery Kids. Some titles, like “Earth to Luna” or “Fishtronaut,” have already been sold to over 150 countries.
Such recognition is the result of combined efforts by public and private actors. In May 2018, Brazil’s Ministry of Culture announced BRL 705 million in investments in the audiovisual industry. Overall, investments will amount to BRL 1.3 billion.

This year, Apex-Brasil took a record 77 companies to the South by Southwest Festival. They reportedly signed 1,654 contracts, amounting to USD 115.9 million. The country’s presence was marked by the hyped-up Be Brasil Lounge, with street art by renowned artist Kobra, traditional Brazilian barbecue, and a series of talks between business owners and digital influencers – both from Brazil and abroad.