Animayo 2021 Celebrates ‘Art of Resilience’ in Virtual Program

Spain’s first and only Oscar-qualifying animation festival Animayo recently detailed the program of its 16th edition — kicking off its virtual phase this week — in a VR press conference. Organizers are going all-out for the Gran Canaria-based festival’s most global and ‘techno-humanist’ edition ever, welcoming auteur creators like Bill Plympton and speakers from major studios like Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., LucasFilm, Universal and The Jim Henson Co.

Appearing in real-time as VR avatars, Animayo’s director-producer Damián Perea as well as a cohort of Canarian politicians, members of the media and representatives of this year’s robust speakers lineup attended the virtual briefing. Encarnación Galván, Councilor for the Culture Area of ​​the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council, pointed out: “Last year was spectacular. A year in which we all gave up on the possibility that this creative and educational meeting could be held, it turns out that it reinvents itself and does so with a greater scope of participation and speakers.”

Perea noted, “Last year we were the first festival of animation, visual effects and video games in the world carried out on a 100% virtual platform with avatars. This was the venue, that’s why we wanted to make the presentation here … It was a super interesting edition and we achieved the milestone of 40,000 participants in the world. A lot compared to previous editions in which we had around 15,000.”

Within the early crisis of the global COVID-19 pandemic, when practically all cultural programming was suspended under government mandated precautions, the ever avant-garde Animayo responded with the most cutting-edge audiovisual culture as a resource, achieving overwhelming success

Perea announced the main programming of the 16th edition, divided into three phases, will continue until October. Following the in-person phase (including the film competition and special screenings) held in Las Palmas May 5-8, the virtual phase will start this week. In collaboration with Roomkey, the 100% virtual Animayo platform is a real-time experience with virtual reality that without the need for VR glasses featuring customizable avatars. With advanced 3D technology, 100% virtual spaces, real-time voice tools, quick connection to the system, and interaction and intercommunication capabilities between the avatars.

In mid-May, Animayo will deploy the bulk of its programming in the online phase, which will allow the participation and online viewing (live and delayed) through the Animayo website of up to 21 master classes, six workshops and film screenings. The cutting edge technology will make it easy for new talents to learn and be inspired by 65 special speakers: directors, producers, animators, VFX supervisors or illustrators.

Animayo’s Virtual Phase (May 13-15) will feature nine live-streamed virtual panels / debates, a networking area for professionals and meeting point area for subscribers.

Virtual Panels (time zone: UTC / GMT +1)

  • Animation Panel, presented by MIA (WIA_Spain); Woman in Animation | May 13, 4 p.m. (in Spanish). Speakers: Myriam Bellesteros, director, producer and President of WIA_Spain (Lucky Fred, Sandra Detective De Cuentos, Lola & Virgina, Meme Y El Sr Bobo, La Superrabieta, La Leyenda De Un Hombre Malo, Mi Mejor Amiga Y Cenicienta Swing); Paloma Mora, producer and Vice President of WIA_Spain (Sex Symbols, Critical Line, Selection Process, Critical Line-Pollution, The Diary of Bita and Cora, The Kabul Camel, La Ballena Y La Gambita, Bita and Cora); Tania Palma Rodriguez, producers and Vice President of MIA (Sex Symbols, Critical Line, Proceso De Selección, Trazo Crítico-contaminación, El Diario De Bita Y Cora, El Camello Kabul, La Ballena Y La Gambita, Bita Y Cora); Marta del Valle Canencia, 3D animator, Treasurer of WIA_Spain (Die Young, Runner Heroes, Wonder Park, Snow Queen); Dune Blanco, visual and creative project development / Founder of WIA_Spain (PINY Institute of New York, Bento); Marta Gil Soriano, 2D artist, animator, Boared Member of WIA_Spain (Clito, Koati: Jack’s Children, Upstairs, On estaves tú?, Obsolescence, Pop up, Impromptu, Catacric Catacrac.
  • Spanish Talent Panel I. Young Spanish talents in the animation and VFX industry, presented by U-tad University of technology and digital art. May 13, 5:30 p.m. (Spanish). Alfonso Especo, Character FX Lead Artist, Animal Logic (The Magician’s Elephant, Wonder Park, The Lion King live action); Alex Rivas, Digital VFX Compositor, El Ranchito (Game of Thrones). Macarena Gil, Storyboard Artist, Arcadia Motion Pictures (Robot Dreams); Paula Benedicto, Animator, Walt Disney Animation Studios (Frozen II, Wonder Park, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, Woody Woodpecker).
  • VR Panel. The Extended Realities leading the digital change: fields, companies and research. May 13, 19:00h (Spanish). Sponsor: U-tad. Laura Raya, Director of Postgraduate Programs and Virtual Reality Projects; Edgar Martin Blas, CEO & Creative Director; David Pinto Fernandez, Researcher at the CSIC / Professor of Electronic Circuits and Parallel Computing at U-tad; Raul Boldu, Mixed Reality Skill Center Manager at ACCIONA; Pedro Sanchez, Plain Conceptos, Partner Microsoft Mixed Reality.
  • Panel of Female Animation Directors. Female directors who leave their mark on the history of animated cinema. May 14, 16:00h (English). Jean Thoren, President/Publisher, Animation Magazine; Joanna Quinn, filmmaker (Dreams and Desires: Family Ties, The Canterbury Tales, Whatever It Takes, Famous Fred, Britannia, Elles, Body Beautiful, Girls Night Out); Signe Baumane, filmmaker, artist, animator (Rocks in my Pockets, My Love Affair with Marriage); Michaela Pavalatova, animation director (Words, words, words, Repete, Carnival of animals, Tram, My Sunny Maad).
  • Panel of Oscars Nominees with Platino Industria. The path to the Oscars of Ibero-American animation. May 14, 19:00h. (Spanish) Paul Vaca, Executive Producer at Alterego and animation advisor at Platino Industria; Sofia Carrillo, director (La Bruja del Fósforo Paseante, Cerulia, El Corazón del Sastre, La Casa Triste, Prita Noire, Fuera de Control). Juan Pablo Zaramella, independent animator (El desafío a la muerte, El guante, Luminaris, Onión). Elvi Cano, Executive Director of EGEDA in the U.S. and the Talent Manager of The Platino Awards for Ibero-American Cinema; one of People en español‘s 25 most powerful women of 2018. Erwin Gomez Vinales, President, Fundación Chilemonos (Rokunga, el último pájaro).
  • Entrepreneurs Panel. Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs. May 15, 4 p.m. (English) Sponsor: Roomkey. Don Stein, CEO; Jack Saba, Founder, Public Speaker, Advisor; Asra Nadeem, Public Speaker, Advisor, Investor.
  • Spanish Talent Panel II. Young Spanish talents in the video game industry. May 15, 5:30 p.m. (Spanish). Sponsor: U-tad. Álvaro Abad, Gameplay Programmer. Splash Damage ( Khara, Racal Revolt); Pablo Lafora, Mission Designer. Black Forest Games (Destroy All Humans!); Roberto Padron, Intermediate Level Designer. Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, SpongeBob: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, HOME, Khara); Beatriz Arevalo, Game Artist. Tequila Works (Khara).
  • Panel of Ibero-American women in the audiovisual industry. Women in Animation: creation and production of contemporary stories. May 15, 19:00h. (Spanish). Sponsor: Platino Industria y Egeda México. Adriana Castillo, General Coordinator and Manager of Institutional Relations, Platino Industria & Egeda; Rita Basulto, DoP (Lluvia en los ojos, Eclosión, El octavo día, La creación, Zimbo, Desierto adentro, Jaulas, Mutatio, Los Aeronautas, Tío). Catalina Bernal, director, producer and screenwriter (Inti y el Ladrón de Leyendas, Eliodoro de Varonia). Romina Savary, President of APA and member of RAMPA (Red Argentina de Mujeres de la Animación). Ursula Garcia, director-producer, The Frank Barton Company.

Animayo On Line Phase, from May 17: There will be 21 master classes of various audiovisual categories (available from May 20 for subscribers, ages 16+); six workshops; special online screenings of short films by Bill Plympton, Latin American cinema and shorts made by Universidad La Salle – Singapore, commissioned by Raúl García; In Memoriam Tribute to Ángel Izquierdo; and online exhibitions.

Master Classes (time zone: GMT)

  • An exclusive look into an independent production: Making of My Love Affair with Marriage. English. Signe Buamane (Rocks in My Pockets).
  • Bill Plympton’s Imaginary. Sponsor: Plymptoons. Bill Plympton (Your Face, One of Those Days, Plymptoons, How to Make Love to a Woman, Guard Dog).
  • Michaela Pavlátová: My life in animation. Michaela Pavlátová (Words, words, words, Repete, Carnival of animals, Tram, My Sunny Maad).
  • From Walt Disney to Pink Panther. A life journey with Bob Kurtz. English. Bob Kurts, Founder Kurtz & Friends (animation director, Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Carlin on Campus, Honey, I Blew Up the Kids, George of the Jungle, The Pink Panther).
  • My Time in the Star Wars English. Craig Miller, screenwriter, executive and advertising producer (The Real Ghostbusters, The Smurfs, G.I. Joe, Flash Gordon, Trollz)
  • Animation — Future Indefinite? Max Howard, producer (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Iron Giant, Space Jam)
  • Creating Creatures with Bobby Chiu. Sponsor: LightBox Expo. Bobby Chiu, artist, Co-Founder (Alice in Wonderland, Niko and the Sword of Light).
  • Storyboarding for Animation. My life and work from Mexico DC to Hollywood. Lila Martinez, storyboard artist (American Dad!, The Simpsons, The Chicken Squad, Brijes 3D, On Air, Ducks).
  • The Wonderful World of Joanna Quinn. English. Joanna Quinn, filmmaker. (Dreams and Desires: Family Ties, The Canterbury Tales, Whatever It Takes, Famous Fred, Britannia, Elles, Body Beautiful, Girls Night Out).
  • Making of Ella Bella Bingo. English. Sponsor: ELAMEDIA. Frank Mosvold, producer, filmmaker, writer, editor; Johnny Smith, screenwriter; Rob Sprackling, screenwriter; Atle Blakseth, character designer.
  • Pascal Blais, 38 years in the industry of animation: Just the beginning! Pascal Blais, head of animation (The Old Man and the Sea, The Old Lady and the Pigeons, King Kong vs Godzilla, 1917, Dr. Dolittle, Ghostbusters, Afterlife, Sonic, Cruella, 100% Wolf).
  • The Art and Science of Video Games. Sponsor: U-tad. Francisco Javier Soler (“Maki”),creative director and project director (Adventure Park, Pirates of the Seven Seas, Sports City, Gifted, In-Zero, COPS, Pyro Studios Technology Team, Commandos Strike Force, Commandos 3: Destination Berlin, Commandos 2: Men of Courage, Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty).
  • Narrative in VR. Sponsor: U-tad. Jorge Esteban Blein, VR creative art director (Makina).
  • Virtual Reality: How to change the world from a profession. Sponsor: U-tad. Laura Raya ,Director of Postgraduate Programs and Virtual Reality Projects. Part of The Human Brain Project, a flagship project of the European Commission. CicerOn VR: Speech Coach, Chair of Accessibility together with Indra and Fundación Universia.
  • XR project creation process. VR, augmented reality, mixed reality and 3D web. Sponsor: U-tad. Edgar Martin Blas, CEO & Creative Director; Tuenti-Telefónica, campaigns for Intel, Tradecorp, Listerine, Movistar, Inditex, El País, Iberdrola.
  • My Career as an Animator. Tips & Tricks. Sponsor: Skydance. Cecile Brossette, lead character animator (Sing 2, Pets 2, Despicable Me 3 , Minions, Pets , Despicable Me 2, The Lorax, Monster in Paris).
  • Set Dressing: The Invisible Actor. Sponsor: Skydance. Esther Encabo, final layout supervisor (Blue and Malone, Just the Beginning, Wonder Park, Amila’;s Secret, Blackie & Company, Onion & Pea); Dalia Gutierrez Aranda, final layout lead (Wonder Park, The Lion King, My Little Pony); Jesus Garcia Guijarro, final layout artist (Mercury Corp); David Martinez Gomez, final layout lead (The Lion King, Maleficent 2, The Witches, Sherlock Gnomes).
  • Grease Pencil Resources. Spanish. Sponsor: Pepe School Land. Daniel Martinez Lara, director, Pepe School Land (Alike, Hero, Planet 51, Mortadelo & Filemon: The Big Adventure).
  • Direction and production of Blue & Malone: ​​The 10 points learned applicable to other short films Sponsor: Esdip. Abraham Lopez, animation director, Goya winner; ESDIP (Blue & Malone, Dragonkeeper, Deep); Manuel Carbajo, Director of Production, ESDIP (Blue & Malone, Just the Beginning. Fallin, I Wish…, Road to Prohibition, Posdata, Chase).
  • Carolina Pérez Richard master class: Digital distribution. Sponsor: AWE Media. Carolina Pérez Richard, Partner & CEO, AWE Media.
  • Can I Really Make Animated movies? Sponsor: U-tad. Jose Antonio Rodriguez Diaz, Academic Director of U-tad (Planet 51, Happily Never After, Futbolín, The Smurfs, The Legend of Smurfy Hollow, Smallfoot).
  • Graphic humor and animation in the Spanish state – Garabatos. Sponsor: Esdip. Emilio de la Rosa, animated film historian, producer & director, ESDIP Art School (300,000 Dollars, The Lord of the Endless Coat, Just the Beginning, Hara!, Origami, Hi I’m New!, Old Emil, Road to Prohibition).

Online Workshops sponsored by U-tad (space is limited; time zone GMT)

  • 360 ° video for VR. Immersive recordings: cinematographic techniques in 360 / VR video. Monday, May 17. 4-8 p.m. Spanish. Alejandro Báguena, professor at the ‘Expert in Development for Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality’ at the U-tad University Center. CEO and Creative Director at Onirica VR.
  • Character Design: Learn to Draw with Your Mind. Wednesday May 19, from 4-8 p.m. Spanish. Isaac Jadraque, professor in the ‘Degree in Animation’ at the U-tad University Center; character designer and visual development artist.
  • Art for Videogames: Construction and set up of a diorama in Unreal Engine & Game Environment Art.. Thursday, May 20, 4-8 p.m. Spanish. Beatriz Arévalo, professor in the ‘Master in Art and Visual Design of Videogames’ at the U- tad University Center; game artist at Tequila Works.

Online Workshops sponsored by ESDIP_School of Art

  • Animation of 3D characters: Blue & Malone, ​​giving life to Mortando. Tuesday, May 18, 4-8 p.m. Spanish. Álvaro Rebollar, 3D animator at ESDIP_School of Animation.
  • 2D character design: Character creation workshop. Design your imaginary friend. Friday, May 21, 4-8 p.m. Spanish. Nacho Subirats, 2D traditional illustrator and animator at ESDIP_Escuela de Animación.

Online Exhibitions

  • “Fragments of an Animated Genius” Exhibition on the work of Raúl García: 40 years behind a pencil, from The Flintstones to Extraordinary Tales to Roger Rabbit, The Lion King and the genius of Aladdin. García, born in Madrid, was the first European animator to enter Disney Studios and is a member of the Oscar Academy.
  • “Animayo Poster Expo” A collection of the best works submitted to the Animayo Poster Contest that the festival runs annually, that the winner becomes the image of the following edition.

More information and registration at




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