By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The international animated film festival known as Anima Mundi returns to Rio de Janeiro for the 25th edition on Friday, July 14th and will continue through the 23rd before moving on to São Paulo from July 26th through July 30th.
This year the festival brings international guests, workshops, courses, chats and a program with 470 titles from 45 countries, including seventy Brazilians. Organizers explain that the attractions are for professionals, amateurs and all lovers of animation.
The theme of this year’s festival is celebrating 100 years of animation, as the first record of animated film in Brazil is from 1917, O Kaiser, an animated cartoon by the Rio de Janeiro cartoonist Álvaro Martins.
One of the founders of Anima Mundi, Marcos Magalhães, said that besides the competitive part of the festival, animations were selected that marked their 25th anniversary with historical films.
“We have the 25th anniversary of the festival, we have taken films or they have been awarded at the festival or they really have been very marked in people’s memories,” Magalhães explained to a government news agency.
“We have the centenary of Brazilian animation, in which we asked two film archives of the cities, the MAM [Museum of Modern Art] in Rio de Janeiro and the Cinemateca Brasileira in São Paulo, for them to select some of their treasures from the collection of animations.”
Magalhães said that Anima Mundi is the main platform to promote animation in the country, leading to the formation of the Brazilian Association of Animation Cinema (ABCA) in 2003.
He is also credited with the formation of a generation of directors and audiences of short and feature films, for adults and children, with different themes, techniques and backgrounds.
“Animation is a very empathetic thing, right? We see Felix Cat, who was one of the first, still recognized, Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, Snow White, is a movie that is almost current, you show to a child nowadays and she does not notice the difference in a modern movie,” he said.
“So it’s something that is very much in the memory of people, everyone is very fond of animation and since the first festival we felt this, we had touched a very sensitive vein, that people wanted to see animation and, more than that, people wanted to make animation.”
Over 25 years, Anima Mundi has received an audience of 1.2 million people according to organizers, and exhibited more than 9,000 films, from seventy countries, and created about 120,000 animations in their workshops.