Portugal’s creator-driven animation industry shines as Annecy’s country of honor

Lisbon: For good reason, Portugal is this year’s Country of Honor at the Annecy Animation Festival. A decade ago, new government financing structures were put in place that have helped create a young and vibrant industry that has earned critical and awards praise around the world, including the country’s first-ever Oscar nomination.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Portugal’s burgeoning animation scene is its incredible diversity. Local artists are competing in the biggest festivals around the world with traditional 2D animated work, stellar stop-motion, mixed-media titles and, increasingly, sharp CG animation of a quality that would have been impossible just a few years ago.

According to Fernando Galrito, artistic director of Monstra Festival, “In my opinion, the absence of a strong ‘aesthetic school’ imposing plastic guidelines, technical, aesthetic, or narrative rules, allowed for a variety of artistic approaches and creative freedom that led to a great conceptual diversity.”