Let alone animation outsourcing, in Hollywood and in countries like Japan and South Korea, film animation is already a well-established industry. In the Philippines, the industry is slowly catching up but still needs a steady and growing fan base, more original works, and consolidated efforts by the workers and the major industry players.
Animation festival called Animahenasyon, the only festival of its kind in the country, is putting up a platform that can explore the many opportunities available in the lucrative film animation business.
According to Michael Kho Lim, Animahenasyon Philippine Animation Festival over-all director, the festival itself would like to highlight not just the capability of the Philippines as animation service provider but also to stress that Filipinos have the capability to produce original animation content.
“Last year, we had a very successful run in Naga City, and now the festival is returning to Manila for our fifth edition,” Lim told the Standard Today.
The festival director furthered that Animahenasyon is a growing annual film event. From a few hundreds of attendees in the previous editions, thousands of participants are expected to grace the event this year with almost 150 entries competing for the various categories in the student and professional divisions.
The annual festival and competition began in 2007 with goals including: to create greater awareness of the Philippine Animation Industry and its contributions to the global entertainment business; and to tap locally-produced contents for promotion in animation markets here and abroad. At the same time, master classes that discuss and set direction for the development of the animation industry are also conducted throughout the festival week.
Organized annually by the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI), Animahenasyon will run from Nov. 22 to 25 at the Eastwood City. The event also coincides with the 25th anniversary of Toei Animation Philippines, Inc. (TAP), which is co-hosting the event.
“We have always been known to service animation for other countries and Toie [Animation Philippines] is a living testament to that. And also because of Toie, we are expecting more attendees this year,” festival over-all director Lim said.
Capping the whole festival is the closing ceremony and awards night slated Nov. 25 at the Eastwood City Open Park. Emerging artist
Apart from the screening of competing animated entries, Animahenasyon 2011 will feature some of the works of the festival’s first Outstanding Emerging Artist in Animation awardee, Ramon del Prado.
The 29-year-old New York-educated animator and graphic artist is part of the team that founded Tuldok Animation Studios Inc., a non-stock non-profit organization whose goals are to produce original films and create projects that can support the organization’s operations. Part of Tuldok and Ramon’s thrust is to open the eyes of the youth to the possibilities of animation going beyond entertainment and medium of expression, and as a possible career option as well.
“What we are trying to do now is that we exploring all the possibilities to make animation a sustainable industry. We are very optimistic that with right people and with the right material, we can build more awareness since the local industry is just in its exploratory stage,” stated Ramon.
Ramon also shared how most of us can recognize Dragon Ball-Z or Mickey Mouse but are unaware of folklore characters such as prankster Pilandok or the giant Amakan.
“We feel that we need to bring this disappearing part of our culture to the future in animated form,” Ramon stressed.
The animator’s first animated film is entitled Egg, an undergraduate thesis (and a collaboration with other two thesis mates), features a talking chicken egg misplaced in a balut den. Some of his other works are entitled The Jerk, a shorts which shows a man uncaringly kicking dogs on the street, and Pasintabi, a 40-minute animated feature.
Ramon’s Tuldok recently completed a project entitled from Lines to Life: An Introduction to Animation. It is a set of seven instructional videos introducing the public to animation. The DVD is being distributed for free to state universities and public schools.
Harnessing digital medium
Last week, a group of young individuals launched an online microcimena festival at the Powerplant Cinema called The 180 Microcinema Festival. They call it microcinema because the film entries must run for only three minutes or less. The competition is open to any amateur and professional filmmakers.
According to its officials, through digital platforms and social media, “This online international festival encourages, empowers, and promotes creative expression and web-based discourse by showcasing original voices to foster a dynamic online filmmaking culture.”
Launched in 2009, The 180 Microcinema Festival encourages filmmakers to ‘Spin the System’ with 180-second cinematic experiences embracing non-traditional and unorthodox approaches to production and distribution, utilizing the web, mobile devices, and emerging digital platforms to reach a global audience.
During the course of the festival’s previous edition, its Jury Panel, headed by Jeremy Segay (Selection Committee, Director’s Fortnight—Cannes Film Festival/Consultant to Festival Paris Cinema, France) evaluated 87 films in the Narrative, Experimental, and Documentary Categories, while viewers in 72 countries voted online to determine the Audience Choice awardees.
Interested parties can submit their entries by visiting the festival website http://www.180cinema.net.