Catalan-French animated film ‘Josep’ nominated at César Awards

Feature follows life of artist Josep Bartolí who exiled following Civil War and was detained in concentration camps in France

A still from the film 'Josep' by French illustrator Aurel (image from ImagicTV)
A still from the film 'Josep' by French illustrator Aurel (image from ImagicTV) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 10, 2021 01:55 PM

The Catalan-French production 'Josep' has been nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 46th César Awards 2021. 

The film by French illustrator Aurel investigates the life of the Catalan republican cartoonist and exile Josep Bartolí

‘Josep’ follows the memories of an elderly dying gendarme who encountered the artist Bartolí in a French concentration camp after the Spanish Civil War had caused him to flee in exile. 

Born in Barcelona in 1910, Bartolí was an artist, cartoonist, and writer involved in the syndicalist movement of the early 20th century. He founded the union of cartoonists and acted as political commissar of the POUM (Workers' Party of Marxist Unification).

By the end of the Civil War in 1939, he crossed the border into France, where he was detained by the Gestapo and sent to various concentration camps. 

After jumping from a train that was transporting him to another camp, Bartolí eventually arrived in Mexico, where he met Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, before living and working in the United States. The Catalan artist passed away in New York in 1995. 

The film ‘Josep’ stars the voices of Sergi López and Sílvia Pérez Cruz, and earns this nomination on the back of winning two awards at the 26th Lumières Awards for the categories of Best Animated Film and Best Music. 

The feature has also picked up the European Film Award for Best Animated Film. 

Broadcast live, the César Awards ceremony will take place on March 12 at the Olympia in Paris and 'Josep' will compete with 'Petit vampire', by Joann Sfar, and 'Calamity, une enfance de Martha Jane Cannary', by Rémi Chayé.