Animac makes Lleida animation capital of the world

The International Film Festival of Animation in Catalonia has celebrated its 18th birthday by presenting 235 pieces under the leitmotif of 'hybrid’. The mix of real images and animation has been the main theme in the 2014 edition. The presence of special guests Czech director Ji?í Barta and British BAFTA nominated Chris Shepherd, Walt Disney’s Alices Wonderland, Michel Gondry’s Lécume des jours and a conference by The Amazing World of Gumball's creators have been the main components of this year’s festival, which was organised by Lleida City Council.

The opening session of the 2014 Animac Festival, in Lleida (by L. Cortés)
The opening session of the 2014 Animac Festival, in Lleida (by L. Cortés) / ACN /Guillem Jané Casals

ACN /Guillem Jané Casals

February 24, 2014 08:06 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The International Film Festival of Animation in Catalonia celebrated its 18th birthday by presenting 235 pieces under the leitmotif of 'hybrid’. The mix of real images and animation was the main theme in the 2014 edition. The presence of two special guests, British animator Chris Shepherd and Czech stop-motion animation master Ji?í Barta, was the high point of the current edition. Along with a retrospective session included the projection of pioneer works such as Walt Disney’s Alices Wonderland (1923). Michel Gondry’s latest feature film, Lécume des jours (2013) –known internationally as Moon Indigo– was the icing on the cake. The festival took place in Lleida during four days and has showed projections, conferences, workshops, networking and live music at the three venues: the Llotja, CaixaForum Lleida and the Cafè del Teatre.

Animac 2014 has offered a selection of the most recent international animation, 235 works including films, short films, television and internet pieces. There were four official sessions of short films, sessions of hybrid animation films, two sessions of Future Talent, four sessions dedicated to Polish animation, Petit Animac sessions targeted at children and family audience and a selection of commercial productions of television animation.

Retrospective session

In a classic session Walt Disney’s first attempts of integrating live-action and traditional animation was shown with Alices Wonderland (1923), and other pieces starring Lewis Carroll’s emblematic character. Spectators could also watch the short slapstick films of Charley Bower, one of the most original visual creators of his time.

Michel Gondry, one of the most original animation directors

On Saturday evening Michel Gondry’s latest film, Lécume des jours (The Foam of the Day, known internationally as Moon Indigo) was projected in the Llotja venue. Starring Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou and Gad Elmaleh, the film is an adaptation of the surrealistic novel by Boris Vian. Gondry uses different animation techniques and absurd architectures integrated in real image, a trademark of the French author.

Two special guests: Chris Shepherd and Ji?í Barta

British animator Chris Shepherd (1967, Liverpool, UK) is a mutant and multidisciplinary artist, one of the most irreverent animators from the UK. A special session made a retrospective of his filmography –including The Ringer (2013), his last short film– and after that the author did a masterclass on his own work.

Animac also welcomed the exceptional Ji?í Barta (1948, Prague), one of the masters of Czech stop-motion and hybrid animation, who offered a special master lecture about his professional trajectory. Besides, Barta presented his last film Yuki Onna (2013), a Czech-Japanese co-production in which he introduces digital techniques to integrate live action and wax animation.

Behind The Amazing World of Gumball

Ben Boquelet and Mic Graves are the creators of the British TV series The Amazing World of Gumball, an award-winning series that has become the first big success of European studio Cartoon Network. They joined Animac to give a special lecture on Gumball’s creative process and its use of mixed animation: 2D, 3D, live action and even puppetry. Unaired episodes from the upcoming 3rd season were screened for all audiences.

More Animac 2014 highlights

During these four days of festival other exceptional guests have been in Lleida, such as musicians and animators Péter Vacz and Joseph Walace, Catalan videogame animators Marc and Xavi Terris, experimental filmaker from Lleida Antoni Pinent, Polish animator Piotr Szczepanowicz, Colombian animator Santiago Rocha, Guillermo García Carsi, Pocoyó maker, Japanese abstract animator Maya Yonesho or the last Cartoon d’Or winner Irish director Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly.

Animac by night

One of the novelties of the 2014 edition has been the special sessions of short films and live music every night at Cafè del Teatre venue. On Saturday night Catalan Mamut Cinema, specialised in cinema and live music sessions, performed with Georges Méliès projections.


2014 edition of Animac repeated last year’s record figure of 23,000 spectators. Carolina López, the Director of the festival, considered it “a great success”.