The Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. (ACPI) has organized a unique festival that celebrates the creativity and talent of Filipino animators. Animahenasyon 2007, the Pinoy Animation Festival, is slated for November 21 to 25 at Robinsons Galleria's IndieSine, Ortigas Center, Quezon City.
The festival aims to give professional and amateur Filipino animators a venue where they could screen their original works. "I think it is about time to give these animators a chance to show their own works," says Ricky Orellana, festival director of Animahenasyon. "After all, they have been working on other people's materials for the longest time."
He says that viewers might be surprised to discover that Pinoy animators are not just copycats of American or Japanese animation. "We have our own style," Orellana points out.
According to the ACPI, the Filipino animator must be one of the most overlooked artists in the Philippines. As diligent and creative as the Pinoy independent filmmaker but not as recognized, the local animators have, for the longest time, been looking for a chance (and in some cases, a venue) to finally showcase their originality and talent.
Strangely enough, it is the foreign animation companies that have recognized the local animators by giving them steady work for many years now. In fact, it's an open secret that some of the cartoons produced by foreign production houses employ Pinoy animators. No doubt about it, Filipino animators are talented, but the question is: when will they shine under the limelight they so rightfully deserve?
If the entries this year prove anything, it's that Filipino animators are hard to pigeonhole. "Some are in 2-D and 3-D and some used cell animation but what is really surprising is that we received entries from all over the Philippines: from Baguio to Iloilo, from Lapu Lapu to Marinduque," Orellana says.
The topics are no less diverse. Some are interpretations of local folklore and some are original stories by the animators themselves. "Even now, I expect our judges to have a hard time picking which entries to include in the final list because some of the entries are really good," the festival director states proudly.
And since Animahenasyon's goal is to spotlight Pinoy animators, what better way than to have two very successful Filipino animators from PIXAR (Toy Story, Finding Nemo) and Dreamworks (Shrek, Madagascar) to give a talk during the festival.
"Aside from the original Pinoy works, we are also inviting two Pinoy animators who have done significant work in mainstream Hollywood," says Orellana. "Hopefully, the forum will give animators a chance to discuss pertinent issues concerning not only the local industry but the international animation industry as well."
And like any other festival, Animahenasyon 2007 will hand out various awards for deserving entries. Up for grabs are the Grand Prize Award, Award for Best Regional Entry, Jury's Special Award, and Audience's Special Award, among others. But, of course, as the festival organizers never fail to point out, the real prize is that finally Pinoy animators are not just anonymous workers toiling on some cartoon series but artists in the real sense of the word.
Animahenasyon 2007 is spearheaded by the Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. (ACPI), a non-stock and non-profit organization. The members of ACPI specialize mainly in—but are not limited to—2D or 3D animation. The organization, which is recognized and supported by the Philippine government, aims to create an identity for the Philippines to be considered among the preferred countries that service the animation industry.
For inquiries, contact Mario Banzon or Laisa Gonzales at 4382983 loc. 150-151.