Under the Sign of the Gaze!

A Fixed Gaze. Rebellious, amazed, surprised, stunned, speechless. Savoring everything it sees.

Gianluigi Toccafondo placed a sliver of transgression, but also of enchanted ingenuity, within the gaze of the MONSTRA 2017 illustration. A gaze that transports the entire history of Italian animation, which we will discover in this 16th edition of MONSTRA.  The Italy of the ironic Bruno Bozzetto, of the classical and the innovative Giannini and Luzzati, of the irreverent Guido Manulli and Cavandoli, but also of Enzo D’Alo, Gianluigi Toccafond, Roberto Catani, and the new generation; Simone Massi, Ursula Ferrara, Magda Guidi, Donato Sansone and Mauro Carraro, among many other masters of Italian animation.

This will be, once again, a festival replete with new gazes, due to the international, European and national premieres which we will present through different competitions, retrospectives and special programs. Particularly, Ma Vie de Courgette, Louise en Hiver, Molly Monster, Window Horses, Revengeance and 25 de Abril, to name only a few of the feature films. In the competitions, we also showcase 130 films competing as shorts or student films and, of course, the Vasco Granja | SPA awards, where we can find the most recent Portuguese productions, including a showcase of the world premiere of Joana Toste´s latest film.

There is also MONSTRINHA, full of eyes with which to see every detail of every film. In the special programming for schools, we present, once again, an eclectic program with more than thirty films, both in their international versions or dubbed in Portuguese. Films which will be seen, will delight, will be discussed and voted on by the thousands of children who participate annually in this “festival within the Festival”. For families, MONSTRINHA also includes a large group of artistic works, both shorts and features, capable of enchanting big and small alike. For the teachers, we will host the third biennial for trainers, and international animation workshops. With the participation of experienced international and national educators, this is a forum for exchange and for learning the methodologies and ways of using animated film as a teaching tool.

Still under the sign of the attentive gaze, of knowledge and learning, MONSTRA offers these courses: workshops and master classes withsome great international masters, such as Jean-François Laguionie, Gianalberto Bendazzi, Ted Siger, Claude Barras, Andrea Martignoni, Juan Pablo Zaramella and Ed Hooks, a master of acting for animation, among others.

Of the five MONSTRA exhibitions, in which we can contemplate and discover the back stages of animation, some highlights are: at Museu da Marioneta an exhibition commemorating 20 years from one of the great French studios JPL Films. A voyage into the world of animation with puppets (stopmotion), with “plateaus” and characters of an extraordinary creative and artistic precision. And at Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes the exhibition “Fotogramma Per Fotogramma” gathers together original films, drawings, illustrations, puppets and storyboards from some of the best Italian directors.

On the loose in Lisbon, MONSTRA once again brings to Camões Square, the World´s Smallest Cinema. “Dressed” in the Italian style by our friends at Ateliers de la Halle | Arras (France), the 15-seat room will fill dozens of times to present a program laden with animated short shorts.

At the Ideal and City Alvalade cinemas, we will highlight sections dedicated to DoKAnim, the animated documentary, to TerrorAnim, suspense animation, to historic retrospectives and to Experimental Cinema, the latter featuring a brilliant program put together by Vera Newbauer from Britain.

This year, ClipAnim will be curated by TIM. The Xutos e Pontapés helmsman presents some magnificent and diverse choices, not only for their style and artistic esthetics, but for their rhythms and musical genres.

In this 16th edition, we premiere MONSTRA Triple X, a “very” special program, dedicated to sensual animation cinema.

However, this festival will be marked by the stereoscopic and innovative gaze of Virtual Reality. An immersive journey into the world of animation produced for VR, featuring world renown specialists, such as Rachid El Guerrab, project manager for ©Google Spotlight Stories, Tim Ruffle, director at Aardman Animation, Luke Ritchie, Head of Interactive Arts at Nexus Studios and the Portuguese Rui Guedes, founder of Ground Control Games. An immersion which will allow for experiencing fascinating journeys into the world of creation, movement and manipulation of objects and forms within a virtual environment.

Welcome to yet another MONSTRA, organized by a great team, with lots of passion, love and affection. A MONSTRA composed of multiple gazes, different points of view and countless senses. A MONSTRA to Gaze Upon, See, Feel, Touch and Captivate.

A MONSTRA whose importance lies in the “interstices” of the images… where the essential is invisible to the eye.


Fernando Galrito

(Artistic Director, MONSTRA)