Animation festival vindicates artistic freedom of expression
Animac, the International Animation festival in Lleida, kicked off this week to run until February 25 with special guest Normand Roger
Lleida, a town lying to the west of Barcelona, raised the curtain on Animac, Catalonia’s International Animated Film Festival. On Thursday evening, the festival kicked off with the Japanese production ‘Animation for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons,’ performed by the Symphonic Julià Carbonell Orchestra (OJC). The event will run until this Sunday, February 25.
Expression with ‘total and absolute freedom’
Thursday was a day to celebrate animated films, but Animac director Carolina López also took the time to comment on another cultural event, one that was not, however, allowed to happen. López made reference to Madrid’s International Contemporary Art Festival, ARCO, which on Wednesday removed artwork by Santiago Serra featuring political prisoners.
In her speech, the director thanked everyone who made the 22nd edition of Animac possible, in which, she said, projects are shown “in a climate where everyone can present what they with total and absolute freedom.” This, she added to resounding applause, has been the case “for many years.”
“Everyone can present what they want in total and absolute freedom”
Carolina López · director of Animac
Before the projection of the iconic Vivaldi piece the mayor of Lleida, Àngel Ros, welcomed all attendees, alongside the deputy mayor and local councilor for cultural Montse Parra, and Animac director Carolina López.
The inaugural act celebrated February 22 also saw the presentation of the Animac 2018 Prize of Honor to the event’s guest of honor, prestigious composer and sound designer Normand Roger, behind soundtracks of films such as ‘The Man Who Planted Trees’ by Frédérick Back and ‘Father and Daughter’ by Michaël Dudok de Wit.
Music to generate emotion
Each year, Animac follows a theme. This 2018, the focus was on music, right down to the guest of honor, Normand Roger. At the event, Roger explained that the role of music in cinema must be to help the spectator to understand the film and to generate emotion, not to distract. He stated that even if the music is “maybe spectacular,” it “might not be perfectly suitable for the subject or the film."
A decorated history in sound
The Canadian composer and sound designer has 45 years of experience under his belt, during which he created over 200 soundtracks and worked with the best independent animators in the world, like Frédéric Back, Aleksandr Petrov, Paul Driessen, Caroline Leaf, Michaël Dudok de Wit, Regina Pessoa and Co Hoedeman, among others. The productions on which Roger collaborated have also received worldwide recognition, including 13 Academy nominations and 6 subsequent Oscars.
Even Roger’s family is in the animation business: his wife Marcy Page, who accompanied him to the opening gala, is a decorated animation filmmaker and animation producer of the National Film Board of Canada.