Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sunrise for the country's animators

(Published Nov. 17, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

“The festival never had a theme, there’s no focus, as long as it’s Filipino,” said Michael Kho Lim, executive director of Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. (ACPI), which is organizing the 7th Animahenasyon festival.

“It’s very free, so we get really diverse competition entries,” Lim told the Inquirer. “But there was a time when ‘heroes’ coincidentally became a theme because several entries featured superheroes [or fantasy heroes]. Normally, we get themes like family, education, or Christmas.”

The annual Animahenasyon— the name merges “animation” and “imagination”—features industry luminaries, contests, and exhibitions. Animahenasyon 2013 will be held from Nov. 19 to 22 at the West Visayas State University in Iloilo City.

“The first time we held it outside Manila was in 2010, in Naga. The objective is to tap regional animators. Iloilo is part of the next wave … emerging cities that have a large pool of animators,” Lim said.

The competition is open only to Filipinos. The categories are student and professional, and each entry will be “time-based,” or limited to a fixed number of minutes.

“We hope to generate original content. When we speak of mainstream features, there are very few—‘Dayo’ (2008) and ‘RPG Metanoia’ (2010). We don’t want to be known as just an outsourcing destination.”

For the “conference,” the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom will provide exhibition materials. “It will showcase their content so Filipinos will see different styles and executions,” Lim said.

Director general Ricardo Blancaflor of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines will discuss copyright protection and how animators can earn from their works.

Ilonggo visual artist and animator Liby Limoso, will present a special project. “He preserved the oral myths and traditions of the sugidanun (epics from Panay Island) and animated it,” said Lim. He will discuss the process.”

Lim expressed optimism for the animation industry, but noted the persistent challenges: “Filipinos are very capable. [Animation] is considered a ‘sunrise industry.’ What it needs is government support. The Filipino audience is also our concern. Colonial mentality is still a problem,” he stressed.

(For details on Animahenasyon 2013, call 817-2727 ext. 108 or visit

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