Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Isabel Coixet Among First Ibermedia Next Funding Winners

Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, Spain’s Isabel Coixet and Chile’s Bernardita Ojeda, director of “Petit,” feature among the first recipients of funding from Ibermedia Next, a pioneering attempting to fund development on pioneering new IPs which yoke large artistic ambition and cutting edge tech.

García Bernal and Luna’s Mexico-based label La Corriente del Golfo co-produces one of the 14 winning submissions, “El Origen De La Experiencia,” which offers a VR immersive experience of Mexican mysticism and trance culture. Both will also voice characters.

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Coixet is set to direct “Sophia (Sofía),” with Milena Smit, star of Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers.”

Bernardita Ojeda, director on milestone Chilean toon series such as “Petit,” the International Emmy-nominated and Quirino Awards winner, produces two titles.

Also in the mix is Portugal’s David Doutel, whose shimmering, mottled social realist mood piece “Garrano,” proved a standout at Annecy and Sundance, and UniKo, producers 0f “Unicorn Wars.”

Projects win a total €2.1 million ($2.2 million9. The prestige of simply being selected out of 104 projects may be as important. In general, titles show a massive bet for European open source programs,  Blender being used on 12 of the 14 winners. Titles run a gamut of teasers (35,71%), pilots (28,57%), shorts (14,28%), prototypes (14,28%), VR installation (7,14%) and other VR experiences (28,27%).

Funding was sourced from the E.U.’s Next Generation funds, while tghe scheme have bee supported by both the Quirino Awards and La Liga de la Animación Iberoamericana. Spain has led Ibermedia Next, especially by its ICAA film agency, which has created a bridge between Europe and Latin America. .

The 14 titles funding winners:

‘Candida Foresta,’ from Antaruxa, Bernardita Ojeda Producción Gráfica, Audiovisual EIRL, Estudios de Animación ICAIC (Spain/Chile/Cuba)

Lead produced by Spain’s Antaruxa (“Valentina”), and co-produced by Cuba’s ICAIC Animation Studios (“Vampiros en La Habana!”) and Bernardita Ojeda. An artisanal look of 2D, 3D watercolour style, inspired by A Coruña-based painter and illustrator Perrilla (Talía García), with the idea of using a plug-in ASP and an open source tool working with Blender.

Candida Foresta
Candida Foresta

“Città Dolente. The Mirror,” from Ibrido Studio and Ojo Raro (Italy, Argentina)

Yoking 2D, 3D, stop-motion and photogrammetry, an adult-skewing VR decent to Dante’s Inferno, laced by Indigenous people references. Italian VR specialist Ibrido produces with Argentina’s Ojo Raro, behind “The Employment,” a 2009 Annecy Fipreci winner, and 2023 Annecy competition short “Carne de Dios.”

“Lucido,” produced by Cola Quente CRL, Delirium VR, Dinamita Animación SAS, Studio Kimchi, Robin Studio, Ourus Animation (Portugal, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Italy, Dinamarca)

A VR auteur piece anthology backed by classic animation production houses billed as an “experience for the senses” using Tilt Brush  and Médium to prototype and “paint” a universe with Blender for animation and interactivity via Unity.

“Lo Obscuro Del Fuego,” from Agrup Lab, Pulsación Creadora Films, Polar Studio SC (Spain/Mexico)

Aiming for an immersive museum show, and playing off a documentary base, the history of Mexico’s drug cartels, using trad animation, VR for the pilot and IA to bring recorded content near to animation.

“El Origen De La Experiencia,” produced by De Cornelius Films, La Corriente Del Golfo (Spain/Mexico)

Spain’s Cornelius, behind “Mironims” and “Irene and the Invisible Earthquake,” teams with Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal’s La Corriente Del Golfo for a project that plumbs Mexican mysticism and trance culture via VR, using 2D, cut out, stop motion and IA, integrated with Blender.

“Pink Noise,” backed by La Mola Films SL and Bernardita Ojeda Producción Gráfica y Audiovisual (Spain/Chile)

Humor-laced feminist ethics and transgressive aesthetics, using IA to create new expressive tools as it portrays iconic women in history, led by Marie Curie. Technical achievements will be shared in a thesis at Spain’s Rey Juan Carlos U.

“El Rastro de tu sangre en la nieve,” produce by Hampa Studio and Cine Tornado (Spain, Mexico)

Billed as the first animation adaptation of Gabriel García by Márquez, by México’s Elías Nahmías and Gonzalo García Barcha, one of his sons. They’ll use Blender, Grease Pencil, and IA for motion capture, analysis and photogrammetry.

El Rastro de tu sangre en la nieve
El Rastro de tu sangre en la nieve

“Sophia (Sofía),” by Atlántika Films, Rudo Company, Ambiro Producciones (España, Argentina, Peru)

Directed by Isabel Coixet, with art direction from Argentina’s Jesica Bianchi, blending animation, thanks to Blender, Unreal o Boticelli and real images, in a work staring Milena Smit and turning on mental health problems.

“Tierra Milagrosa,” BAP Animation Studios, Anarquía Visual (Portugal/Guatemala)

Portugal’s David Doutel, joint writer-director of the sensational Sundance-selected short “Garrano,” figures among the creators on a title which combines post-pro machine learning and non-pro actors, under-represented communities and Mayan texts.

“Titán Tofu,” from UniKo Estudio Creativo, Mattegraphics (Spain, Ecuador)

Presented at Ventana Sur’s Spanish Screenings on Tour after development via NextLab Generation as an animated adventure comedy series for 3-6s “set in a curious world where Titan, Pepe y Tofu, somewhat disoriented creatures, confront daily the biggest discovery of their lives: Inner feelings.” Stop motion, put through Blender, Unreal and AI for style transfer in dialog and textures.

Titan Tofu
Titan Tofu

“Urke,” Bígaro Films, SMC Studio (Spain/Mexico)

The history of the Iberians, an ancient Indigenous people of Spain, focused around Urke, the young Iberian girl who fascinated Hannibal. Conceived as a multi-season TV series, directed by Aitor Herrero. A suggestive, coloured aesthetic using blender to multiply formats from 2.5D to VR.

“Un Viaje Peligroso. La Historia De Pepi,” Noon Films SLU (Spain/Bolivia).

One of the most ambitious of Ibermedia Next titles, focused on the suffering of children from the Holocaust to the Spanish Civil Wa attempting to mould experiences to users, who can connect to an IA interface. Backed by New York-based investor Deirdre Towers, employing different art style thanks to Spain’s María Medem, Argentina’s Carlos Scolari, and Bolivian animation director Matisse González.

Un Viaje Peligroso
Un Viaje Peligroso

‘Il Viaggio Di Guaman,’ from L&C, Desfase Films, Producen Bolivia (Italia/Bolivia/Peru)

A documentary and art exhibition delving into the history of the Incas, in collaboration with Blender Foundation, and Grease Pencil, mixed with IA.

“Vigilados. La Prisión De Koira,” from Tourmalet Films, Apus Estudio, Pudoctopus Entertainment Spa (España/Chile/Perú).

A spinoff from the feature film project, involving creatives such as Colombian director Diego Guzmán and Chilean director Javiera Risco, migrating from propietory software such as Maya to open source Blender and Grease Pencil, with IA generating references and integrating animation.

Vigilados. La Prisión De Koira

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