By Espie Angelica A. de Leon
Animation filmmakers from Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines including Avid Liongoren, director of the animated movie “Saving Sally”, have been picked to participate in Animation du Monde, a workshop being conducted in Manila for the first time by French animation experts.
The other participants are Cris Dumlao of Toast and Brew Animation Studios in the Philippines, Diandra Pramestisari Pololessy from Indonesia, Irwan Junaidy, Jerrold Chong, and Irvin Tan from Singapore.
Established by France’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival and the Annecy International Animation Film Market (MIFA), Animation du Monde is currently being held at the Alliance Francaise de Manille in Makati City until February 22.
Animation du Monde participants engage in one-on-one and group sessions on storyboarding, storytelling, production, financing, and pitching.
“It’s very important when you want to meet the producer, to be able to pitch the right way and to tell the story the way the producer wants to listen to it,” said Geraldine Bache, MIFA head of projects with over 20 years of experience working with the likes of Tim Burton, Peter Lord, and Ray Harryhausen.
“The goal of Animation Du Monde is to tell them that in animation, there are many techniques – like clay animation and pixilation. You can also use traditional animation but turn it in a new technologic way,” Bachet added.
Bachet is among the panel of experts mentoring the six participants. The others are filmmaker, artist, and storyboard writer Claire Fouquet and 2010 Cannes Film Festival Palme ‘d Or awardee and 2011 Academy Awards nominee Ron Dyens.
Through these activities, Liongoren and company will get acquainted with trends and best practices in animation, gain opportunities for funding and co-production deals, and groom themselves for the global film market as well.
Liongoren revealed that unlike the average live action movie, animated films take years to make and don’t have A-list stars to help in the promotion. Therefore, he looks forward to learning the business side of animation.
The participants will pitch their projects at the end of the workshop and the panel will select one project for the 2019 Annecy International Animation Film Market in France. The biggest and most prestigious in the world, it is a platform for animation producers to pitch their ideas to international co-producers and investors.
Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson and CEO Liza Dino commented: “It’s ironic that animation industry has been around in the last 30 years. But it’s been primarily a service industry. The projects are coming from the biggest animation companies in Hollywood, Europe, and we do the in-between production – coloring, stenciling, etc..”
Given the world-class talent of Filipino animators, many of whom work in the biggest studios abroad, Dino said the country should instead be producing its own animation content.
Animation du Monde, which opened on February 18, also features networking sessions and film screenings.
The workshop was organized by the Embassy of France in the Philippines and Singapore and the Alliance Francaise de Manille in cooperation with the FDCP, Animation Council of the Philippines, DTI’s Export Management Bureau, and DICT.