Independent animation is a risky project of faith
Pedro Rivero and Carlos Juarez directed and produced “Psiconautas: The forgotten children” and won the Goya for best animated picture. They point ideological excuses to underrate Spanish cinema and complain about campaigns to defenestrate animation.
Independent animation is “a risky project of faith” because it had to win prizes around the world before getting a Spanish release. They had few backups and didn’t find financing until winning the Goya for the Birdboy short film. The film is based on a graphic novel by Alberto Vazquez, who also co-directed, for not being a commercial proposal to industrialize.
Juarez wasn’t surprised about not winning the Goya because the international tour was good and the biggest handicap was the lack of visibility. Psiconautas had an “intangible value” the country should enhance in words of Rivero. The international recognition of Birdboy let them starting to write the movie script.
Psiconautas has a different premise than most of the Goya contenders because isn’t a parody “with spanishness between quotation marks” or founded by heavy-hitters of the industry. Even animation doesn’t have as presence as fiction in the Goyas, they are produced by cycles and are some of the highest-grossing productions thanks to the family-film studios like Pixar. On the other hand, animation for adults like Persepolis doesn’t impact the Spanish box-office because there aren’t big studios behind.
Faith that comes with risk
Carlos Juarez reveals the secret of escaping the animation jungle: dimentioning without becoming mad. Those actions are shared by a team who believes in the same and have ambition. Euskadi has some of the best backgrounds on Spain with the economic helps to produce. Pedro Rivero explains that risks are taken by the creators, while producers appear later in the way.
Cinema affects culture and public opinion, so politicians tend to demonize instead of taking it as an industry that generates work. Basque animation is more possible for institutions and not being a passenger trend, to the point of proposing a Sponsorship Law. Rivero jokes about the “influencer” politicians afraid of the General Society of Authors, who let phone companies downloading illegal movies instead of improving free access to culture.
To bookend, animation can deal with some themes better than fiction for letting abstraction. For example, Basque violence was always been dealt with humor in TV, while animation would approach it with a reflexive attitude.