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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The competitive international animated film festival known as Anima Mundi returns to Rio de Janeiro on Friday, July 10th and will continue through the 15th before moving on to São Paulo, where it will run from July 17th through the 22nd.

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The film, “The Little Prince” will screen as part of the 2015 Anima Mundi International Animation Festival and director Mark Osborne will speak on July 12th, festival promotional image.

Celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year, the festival will feature screenings of over four hundred competitive and non-competitive short and full-length animated features from over forty countries, including an early Brazilian premiere of “The Little Prince.” Additionally during the festival, there will be masterclasses, forums, software demonstrations, and interactive displays.

In Rio de Janeiro, the festival will move its principal location from its previous home of Fundição Progresso in Lapa to the Cidade Das Artes, located in the Rio neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca. Additional film screenings will take place in Cine Odeon, in Cinelandia; Auditório do BNDES, in Centro; Espaço Oi Futuro, in Ipanema; and Ponto Cine, in Gudalupe.

Anima Mundi was founded in Rio de Janeiro in 1993, by Marcos Magalhães, Lea Zagury, Aida Queiroz and Cesar Coelho. The four filmmakers and animators began the festival in the hopes of raising awareness in the city about the art and craft of animation. The festival grew over the years, expanding to São Paulo and additional cities in Brazil. It is now one of the largest animation festivals in the world.

The four-hundred and fifty titles featured in this year’s festival were selected from over one thousand and six hundred entries submitted from around the world. One hundred and eight of the entries that will screen are Brazilian, while forty-two are from France; thirty are from the United States; twenty-six are from Germany; twenty-six are from the United Kingdom, twenty are from Belgium; fourteen are from Canada, and twelve are from Denmark. Additional films included in the festival were submitted from Australia, China, Colombia, South Korea, Croatia, Slovakia, Estonia, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uruguay, truly making it an international festival.

All of the festival’s films will once again be separated into competitive and non-competitive categories. The non-competitive sections include Keep an Eye on Them and Future Animator, with both sections showcasing up-and-coming animators; Animation, Of Course! featuring international films; Galley Special Program, Panorama Feature Film, and the International Panorama, featuring both noncompetitive Brazilian and international films.

The competitive sections include Galley, Feature Films, Short Films and Short Films for Children. The awards for the section include Best Short Film, Best Feature Film, Best Short Film for Children, Best Brazilian Short Film and Best Student Short Film. Jury prizes are also awarded for Best Animation Technique, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Design, Best Art Direction, Best Picture and Best Picture from the Gallery Session. New this year, there is an added category and award for Animated Advertising.

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The 2015 edition of the Anima Mundi Animation Film Festival will take place in Rio de Janeiro from July 10th through July 17th, press image.

Additionally, the American Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Sciences, certified Anima Mundi for a fourth year, making the winner of the festival’s professional jury award for Grand Prize for Short Film eligible to compete for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in next year’s ceremony.

Notable shorts during this year’s edition include; Sarina Nihei’s “Small People With Hats” (UK), Olesya Shchukina’s “The Elephant and the bicycle” (France, Belgium), Luca Fattor’s “BZz” (Denmark), Eduardo Vieira Tavares and William Figueiredo Côgo’s “Compre” (Brazil), Mark Caballero and Seamus Walsh’s “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas” (United States) and Job, Joris & Marieke’s 2015 Oscar-nominated short, “A Single Life” (Netherlands).

The three feature films vying for 2015’s Best Film award are; “Pos Esso” by Samuel Ortí (Spain), “Song of the Sea,” by Tomm Moore (Belgium/Luxemborg, Ireland/ Denmark), “Shaun the Sheep: the Movie,” by Mark Burton and Richard Sarzack (United Kingdom/ France).

As part of the festival’s forums, animation director for “Shaun the Sheep: the Movie”, Will Becher, will speak on July 14th at the Cidade das Artes with Mark Osborne, director of “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Little Prince,” a highly-anticipated film that will premiere early in Brazil as part of the festival.

Free software demonstrations will be held in the Cidade das Artes during the festival and will include a presentation of TVPaint on July 11th; an exploration of Autdodesk, with a focus on new features and using 3DS Max and Maya for 3D animations, on July 12th; a demonstration of Wacom products on the 14th; and Pond5, a discussion the creative possibilities of the use of stock media in production, on the 18th.

Additionally there will be three masterclasses held during the festival in Rio de Janeiro. Instructors will include French animator and director of “AH” and “Madagascar, um Diário de Viagem”, Bastien Dubois on the 11th; Mexican animator and creator of the television series “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera,” Jorge Gutierrez on the 12th; writer, and creative director, general manager, agency producer and director of commercials Kim Bjørnqvist on the 13th.

For a the complete list of films, screening times,events and locations, see the Anima Mundi website

What: Anima Mundi, International Animation Film Festival
When: July 10th – July 15th, screening and event times vary.
Where: Cidade das Artes, Avenida das Américas, 5300, Barra da Tijuca
Additionally screenings will be held in – Cine Odeon, Pça Floriano, 7, Cinelândia
Auditório do BNDES, Av. República do Chile, 100, Centro
Espaço Oi Futuro, Av. Visconde de Pirajá, 54, Ipanema
Ponto Cine, Estrada do Camboatá, 2300, Guadalupe
Entrance: Event and screening prices vary, see website for more information.

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