Residency of Mariana Guerreiro Ferreira, presented by Imaginaria - International Animated Film Festival in partnership with Kaboom Animation Festival & Cortoons Gandia Festival
The town of Conversano lies in the heart of Apulia, where the Imaginaria International Animated Film Festival took place between 21 and 26 August. This picturesque town became the canvas for the week-long residency and background for the animated short film that explored the nuances and transformations of traditional regional tales.
Before arriving in sunny southeast Italy, I travelled north to visit the Kaboom Festival in Utrecht, where I had two intense days at the Industry Days. This set the tone for the project in which I followed different lectures about the technical aspects and production of animated films and series, having the chance to talk with various artists about inspiration and their processes.
Back in Italy, the project aimed to bring forth the female voices often marginalised in historical narratives and give a unique perspective to an already twisted Apulian legend. Each day of the residency brought forth a new layer of discovery, as we navigated between the labyrinthine streets, capturing the unique city style, uncovering a different story at each turn and, with it, a new voice.
The close proximity between festival locations made it possible to interact with different artists who helped with their knowledge and craft, such as Aurelia Leone, who provided the faces of the short film’s protagonists. As the week drew to a close, the warmth of Conversano’s cafes and piazzas inspired a female-centred story set in the 16th century at the time of the Lord of Conversano, Giangirolamo. His foul behaviours led to the invention of many stories about him, almost none of them true, inspiring yet another story now in the 21st century. The last stage of the residency provided an opportunity to travel all the way to Gandia, Valencia. Since Cortoons Festival has a long relationship with the local high schools, it was clear that they had to be included in this programme. There, I had the chance to delve into the process of an animated project, focusing on this residency project and emphasising the collaborative nature of animation. As the lecture concluded, the students had the chance to look at the project’s puppets.
With the short film in its technical phase - animation and post-production - the tone was set for the remaining stages. The project will draw to a close next year with the presentation of the film at the XXII Edition of the Imaginaria Festival.