Pedro Serrazina: 'Animation Is the Ultimate, Multidisciplinary Artform of the 21st Century'
The news came in three weeks ago. 6 years after the death of Cinanima founder and festival director Antonio Gaio (in 2015), Cinanima Festival has now a new artistic director.
Pedro Serrazina, both an established animation director (his 1995 'Estória do Gato e da Lua' was awarded at the Cinanima festival, among other festival participations and awards) and a University professor at Universidade Lusófona (which hosted the Society for Animation Studies 2019 conference), is the new Artistic Director of CINANIMA – Espinho International Animation Film Festival.
The festival statement was clear enough, highlighting both continuity and expansion/enhancement at the same time: "Upon reaching its 45th edition, CINANIMA thus marks a path of change towards the future, but in harmony with the festival's identity and the entire philosophy that characterized it from the beginning and which is now enhanced and expanded with the vision and personal and professional experience of Pedro Serrazina".
Pedro Serrazina, Vera Neubauer and Riho Unt at Cinanima Festival 2018
Already the first initiative came up with animaScapes, a symposium initiative to bridge both theory and practice, sometimes two separate world; a call for entries has already been published.
Talking to Zippy Frames, Pedro Serrazina himself intends to dig deep both into our common social practices and the issues that affect us all via the medium of animation, which he calls it "the ultimate, multidisciplinary form of the 21st century".
He sees the Cinanima future both as a theatrical event but also a continuing practice of dialogue with both practitioners and audiences alike, "celebrating a practice of animation that expresses itself through multiple formats".
The new Cinanima horizon seems to be a broad and informed one, reaching both Portugal and the international terrain; this, of course, is not something new to Cinanima festival (which has a long history of international co-operations). Yet, this notion of 'engaged community' that Serrazina proposes rings closer to what audiences and animation professionals would need in an online, sometimes too fragmented world to comprehend and ultimately get involved.
The statement of Pedro Serrazina in full
It is a great honour and a huge responsibility to take charge of the artistic direction of CINANIMA, one of the oldest animation festivals in the world, this year celebrating its 45th anniversary.
In the complex context we live in, and without forgetting its mainstream, entertainment role, it seems more relevant than ever to promote animation as an artform that reflects upon issues that affect us all. In practical terms, at a time when online platforms pose huge competition to traditional film festivals, it is crucial that CINANIMA develops as a cultural event, expanding its activities beyond the traditional screen.
We aim to dedicate more time to debate sessions with the creators, inviting practitioners and audiences to share unique moments, celebrating a practice of animation that expresses itself through multiple formats: site-specific, expanded animation exhibitions and installations, in-presence events that counterbalance the multiple offers of the digital world.
In complement to various “rebellious” animation screenings, this November the festival will host its very first symposium, animaScapes, embracing diversity and celebrating socially-aware and activist animation.
As I take this new role, it is my wish and intention to reinforce CINANIMA’s identity as a platform for engaged professionals and audiences alike, for students and enthusiasts, to share and discuss our inspirations, our hopes and dreams; to foster an engaged community, both in Portugal and internationally, that understands animation as the ultimate, multidisciplinary artform of the 21st century.
The 45th CINANIMA Festival takes place 8-14 November 2021 in Espinho, Portugal.
Cinanima Festival 2019