An extensive program dedicated to Canada, an exhibition on the Aardman studios, another on Abi Feijó and Regina Pessoa, and more than 500 selected films make the 18.º Festival de Animação de Lisboa, known as Monstra.
This year’s program was presented today at the Cinemateca Portuguesa in Lisbon, with programmers Fernando Galrito and Miguel Pires de Matos to unveil one of the bets for the current edition: Canada is the country in the spotlight, which means a programming with more than 150 films, four exhibitions and more than a dozen guests, including the pair Amanda Forbis and Wndy Tilby and the director Caroline Leaf.
Canada’s choice follows the 105-year hitch of the birth of Norman McLaren, the historical name of the animated film, and the 80th anniversary of the National Film Board of Canada, a public institute that funds and produces animated films.
“They are very experimental, give great creative freedom to their authors, it is a studio that promotes animation cinema as an art and not as a commercial activity. It is this legacy of freedom and artistic creation and experimentation, in the sense of innovation and experimentalism, ” explained Miguel Pires de Matos about the institute.
In this 18th edition, which runs from March 20-31, the festival will feature seven feature films in the international competition, winning films and screened at international festivals such as Mamoru Hosoda’s ‘Mirai’, nominated for the Oscars, Funan ‘by Denis Do, winner in Annecy, and’ Tito e os aves’, Brazilian production by Fustavo Steinberg, André Catoto and Gabriel Bitar.
Monstra received this year’s entries of 84 Portuguese films, all short films, with 14 selected.
“In the last two, three years, when we see the Portuguese competitions in Portugal, in the case of the Monstra, the quality of animation has gone up a lot. Twenty years ago there were two or three very important names. There are more studios now, present us in Portugal and then follow the normal circuit of animation festivals around the world and win prizes, “recalled Miguel Pires de Matos.
Although the Portuguese official competition has not been announced yet, it is known that ‘Agouro’ by David Doutel and Vasco Sá and ‘Entre Sombras’ by Alice Guimarães and Mónica Santos are selected.
Referring to the Portuguese animation, Monstra will dedicate an exhibition at the National Society of Fine Arts to the 25 years of joint work of Abi Feijó and Regina Pessoa, two reference names of national cinema.
At the Marionette Museum, as the Monstra has already announced, there will be an exhibition – which opens today – dedicated to the British animation studios Aardman and Peter Lord, one of the founders, will be in March at the masterclasses festival.
The Monstra’s long line-up also includes concerts such as what Congolese-Canadian musician Pierre Kwenders will give at Cinema São Jorge with a live performance by António Jorge Gonçalves and the performance of musicians from the Lisbon Superior School of Music, who will interpret ‘Vivaldi’s Four Stations’ with students from Japanese universities running an innovative sound and image synchronization program.
The Monstrinha – with animation cinema chosen for the youngest, schools and families – has already more than 12,600 registrations.
“Monstra is characterized by not being a festival that has only one type of films. It is addressed to many different audiences. Who likes the most familiar or children’s films has Monstrinha, has the history of cinema, who likes to know the what is happening in the animated film can see the competition, ” he listed the programmer.
In 2018, the Monstra had more than 62 thousand spectators and participants, of which 20 thousand were children.