Spanish Animation Wins Big at the Quirino Awards With Gongs for ‘Robot Dreams’ ‘Jasmine & Jambo,’ ‘Sultana’s Dream’

The seventh edition of the Quirino Awards, an annual event dedicated to promoting animation in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, saw Spain win five of the 10 awards on offer. Housed in the Teatro Leal, in the Canary Island’s Santa Cruz de Tenerife, an eclectic and, at times, musical gala concluded an upbeat Quirino Awards.

Pablo Berger’s first foray into animation, the Oscar-nominated “Robot Dreams,” continued its charge, winning awards for best feature film and sound design. A first Neon pick-up at Cannes last year, the film has won plaudits just about everywhere, described by Variety as a “sweetly sorrowful buddy movie .”

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For the second year running, best series went to Spain’s “Jasmine & Jambo – Season 2” by Silvia Cortés. Series leads Jasmine and Jambo are music-obsessed and reside in Soundland. The series effortlessly educates through music-infused plots for kids, produced by Catalan company Teidees Audiovisuals in co-production with Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals. It continues to be a joy.

Brazilian Marcus Vinicius Vasconcelos won short film for “Lulina and the Moon.” Lulina, a young girl, grapples with the fear that can come from the impending arrival of a sibling into the world. Her drawings of these fears come to life and, in a beautifully Jungian way, show they are not so frightening after all.

Stop motion rose to the occasion, with Colombian-Belgian Paola Cubillos’ “The Leak” winning best school short film. In it, we are without word or time: a woman folds clothes, a girl hides, and the routine repeats, but they do not see each other until a water leak punctuates their shared presence in this almost Samuel Beckett-like piece. Mentored on this project by Annecy winner Emma De Swaef (“The Magnificent Cake”), Cubillos is a talent to track.

Chilean Oscar winner Gabriel Osario (“Bear Story”) took home best commissioned animation with the Punkrobot and Lucasfilm-produced “In The Stars” episode of Disney+’s “Star Wars Visions” series. “They [Lucasfilm] gave us complete freedom; they really wanted us to tell our story and do our own thing,” Osorio told Variety.

The Quirino Awards are named after Italian-Argentine animation pioneer Quirino Cristiani, who created the first-ever animated feature. It was fitting that an honorary recognition award was given to his grandson and great-granddaughter.

Led by worldwide recognition of Pablo Berger’s “Robot Dreams” and bolstered by the strong showing at this year’s Quirinos, Spain continues to grow as an animation focal point.

It begs the question, why? Six takeaways, announcements and trends from Quirino:

Spain, an Animation Force to Reckon With

Spain is asserting itself as an animation heavyweight, bolstered by strategic regional and national policies that channel incentives and substantial funding into the sector, integral to the country’s Audiovisual policy. This investment strategy has led to significant growth in animation, a fact highlighted as Spanish productions clinched half of the awards on offer. The enhancement is supported by increasingly generous tax breaks, now up to 54% in the Canary Islands, along with specialized audiovisual schemes that vary regionally. This support is markedly elevating the quality of Spanish animation, signalLing its burgeoning clout on the international stage.

Spain’s animation sector is claiming more global accolades and tonight’s awards reflect that. However, its tax incentives reveal a skew towards foreign co-productions, which access easier to work rebates while Spanish production use tax credits.

Regions like the Canary Islands and Bizkaia sweeten the pot further, with credits reaching up to 70% in the Basque Province and caps as high as €18 million ($19.4 million) per TV episode in the Canaries, making these areas particularly attractive for international projects. The emerging industry is fired up by regional assistance, but the current framework may disadvantage more ambitious Spanish productions, potentially stifling homegrown innovation and risk-taking toward high-budget animation.

Quirino Awards 2024
Quirino Awards 2024

Producers Need Support Too

At this year’s event, a Residency for Executive Producers was announced. Slated for its inaugural session in Tenerife in May 2025, this residency aims to fortify co-production and co-development ties across Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. “We want to have a mix of senior producers with younger, talented producers. We want to provide a place where they can exchange ideas, exchange worries, fears, etc,” Quirino Awards executive producer Jose Luis Farias told Variety. The program will cover a broad spectrum of crucial topics, from funding and technological innovation to mental health in the animation workspace. “It’s [mental health] is an issue now in our industry that sometimes you have problems, and you don’t know how to face it,” Farias emphasized. Endorsed by the Tenerife Council and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the residency builds on Quirino’s mission to tackle industry challenges and enhance collaborative networks year on year.

RTVE Pushs Animation

Further support was apparent from Spanish public broadcaster RTVE, which launched the RTVE-Quirino Talent Award, offering emerging talent a €25,000 ($27,000) prize to develop short film projects poised to expand into series or feature films. Targeted at Spanish producers collaborating with Ibero-American talents, the award underscores RTVE’s growing commitment to animation. The winner will premiere their project in May 2025 on RTVE and at the 8th Quirino Awards. Additionally, RTVE announced a partnership with the University of Salamanca to enhance a master’s degree program focusing on the commercialization and marketing of children’s and youth audiovisual content.

Pub Broadcaster Collaboration

Mutually beneficial collaboration was the order of the day at the third Meeting of Ibero-American Public Television Stations, hosted by RTVE. Joining them were Canal IPe (Peru) and TV Cultura (Brazil), among many others, who converged to discuss programming, acquisition, and co-production strategies for animated content. Incentives and strategies may sometimes differ, but the benefits of collaboration far outweigh the risks and there was broad agreement on the safety-in-numbers benefit of collaboration. This year, they introduced a novel feature: presenting projects and series from each station. It’s a strategic alliance hoped to raise the quality and reach of animated programming across the Ibero-American region through the budget boost certain co-production partnerships can bring.

Innovation or Failing Better

Last year, the Ibermedia Next Fund awarded 14 innovative projects that were in attendance this year to share their successes and shortcomings. Many were highly ambitious, and the bar set was “innovative.” One such project was “Urke,” a collaboration between Spain’s Bígaro Films and Aupa Studio and Mexico’s Sísmica Studio. “What we proposed was ambitious and experimental. As one can imagine, bridging the gap between traditional 2D workflows to VR has several technical and artistic hurdles. Using AI and programmatic innovations, we are building tool sets that will help remove some of that friction, thus allowing audiences to revisit and explore some of the elements that go unnoticed once the show is out the door,” Sísmica Studios CCO and producer Asdrubal Rivera shared. “Our research so far has been focused on what’s most likely to succeed or teach us enough to contribute to pushing these technologies forward. Ibermedia Next’s backing has enabled us to innovate at a scale that would not have been possible had we been doing it alone. This has been a huge boon for us.” he concluded.

Co-production and Politics

It was clear that geopolitics is a key anxiety. Where Uruguay and Brazil are seeing a surge, Argentina and Mexico fear a rollback. The cyclical shift of political goodwill towards animation and culture more generally may be met, or at least mitigated, through closer collaboration between countries across Ibero-America.  European money connecting to more projects in Latin America, and vice versa through co-productions, does create a slight but crucial buffer to any single country riding out an administration myopic to the value of supporting diverse cultures.



“Robot Dreams,” (Pablo Berger, Spain,France)


“Jasmine & Jambo – Season 2,” (Silvia Cortés, Spain)


“Lulina and the Moon,” (Marcus Vinicius Vasconcelos & Alois Di Leo, Brazil)


“The Leak,” (Paola Cubillos, Ecuador, Belgium, Colombia)


“In The Stars,” (Gabriel Ocorio, Chile,US)


“All The Best,” (Pablo Roldan, Argentina)


“The Many Pieces of Mr Coo,” (Nacho Rodriguez, Spain)


“Sultana’s Dream,” (Isabel Heguera, Spain, Germany)


“Cold Soup,” (Marta Monteiro, Portugal, France)


“Robot Dreams,” (Pablo Berger, Spain)

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