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Latino Film Institute's Latinx in Animation and Netflix Announce LFI Spark Animation Grant Fellows

25/04/2024

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Latino Film Institutes Latinx in Animation and Netflix Announce LFI Spark Animation Grant Fellows

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25 April 2024

United States

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The Latino Film Institute (LFI) today announced the second cohort of the LFI Spark Animation Fellowship through LatinX in Animation (LXiA), one of its five signature programs. Sponsored by the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, this initiative provides emerging Latinx animation filmmakers with financial support, mentorship, and other invaluable resources to support them in the completion of an animated short film.

Each LFI Spark Animation fellow will receive a grant of $25,000, as well as mentorship from industry professionals who will present a series of panels tailored to address each stage of their film's production.

Three filmmakers were chosen to receive the grant based on the artistic merit of their submissions and the originality of their voice and vision. The filmmakers are animator Juan M. Abdo (Remember the Rats), storyboard artist Alex Avila (The Apricot), and illustrator Ana Ram rez Gonz lez (Droplet).

Left to right: Juan M. Abdo, Ana Ram rez Gonz lez and Alex Avila

"We are proud to partner with Netflix to continue championing Latino filmmakers within the animation industry. Each selected project represents a unique perspective from within the Latino community," said Diana Cadavid, Director of Industry Programs at LFI. "Were thrilled to continue nurturing the talent of our fellows and amplifying their voices."

Learn more about the filmmakers below.

Juan M. Abdo

Remember the Rats

Logline: In Buenos Aires, Argentina, a diplomat can't stand the local rats bugging him during his workday. Abroad, he finds a solution that changes the game for the rodents, but it comes at a price. A fun and quirky short film that examines a particular irony in Argentinian culture: Pigeons were brought from Paris to make the city's scene more European, but they became a plague and displaced the native Rats competing for food.

Bio: Juan M. Abdo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and graduated as a Film Director at FUC (Fundaci n Universidad del Cine) in 2018. That same year he moved to the USA to work in the film and animation industry. As an animation generalist, he has worked in many productions taking diverse roles from story development to post-production, storyboarding, visual development, Previs, layout, editing, animation, VFX and final compositing. As an animator, he understands the art form as a means to convey values and represent role models through narrative and design.

Alex Avila

The Apricot

Logline: Set against the sun-kissed backdrop of Hollister, California, in the sweltering summer of 2005, THE APRICOT unfolds as a poignant tale of tradition, family and self-discovery. Amidst the sprawling apricot farm that has been part of his familys legacy since 1975, a young boy named Alex embarks on his inaugural day of farm work. Struggling to keep pace with his seasoned relatives, Alex grapples with conflicting desires, yearning for the pleasure of playing his favorite video game.

Bio: Alex Avila is a storyboard artist with experience working in the live action and animation industries. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California Santa Barbara, with a focus on Film & Media Studies. After graduating, he got his start in the industry as a Post-Production Assistant on a reality television series for Netflix. Transitioning to the realm of freelance work, Alex delved into his passion for animation. With a self-taught mastery of 3D animation software, he continues to refine his skills as a visual storyteller.

Ana Ram rez Gonz lez

Droplet

Logline: Set amidst the vibrant and lush landscape of a lotus pond, Droplet, a tiny water droplet nestles snugly among her kin. Her tranquil existence is abruptly shattered when shes swept away from the sanctuary she calls home. Plunging into a murky, uncharted abyss, Droplet faces daunting challenges. Guided by Sparkle, the luminescent firefly, and supported by the companionship of Gilly, the steadfast fish, Droplet navigates treacherous and unfamiliar waters. Her journey transcends mere external perils; it becomes an internal odyssey, a battle against fear and self-doubt, ultimately culminating in the revelation of her latent inner strength.

Bio: Ana Ram rez Gonz lez is a filmmaker and illustrator. She attended art school in France at ESMA, in Montpellier before studying animation at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). She has illustrated picture books published by Disney, Scholastic, Chronicle Books, and HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, and is currently writing and working on illustrations for new upcoming books from Candlewick, S&S/Atheneum, and Bloomsbury.

About Latino Film Institute (LFI)

The Latino Film Institute (LFI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating infrastructure for equity, diversity, and excellence for the Latino community in the entertainment industry. LFI houses five signature programs: The Youth Cinema Project (YCP), the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), LatinX in Animation (LXiA), LFI Scholar, and LFI Spotlight Series. For more information, visit latinofilm.org.

LXiA

LatinX in Animation empowers and promotes Latinx talent working within the Animation, VFX, and Gaming industries. Through professional development and community building, LXiA develops creatives and decision-makers in the industry and cultivates a robust talent pool of skilled innovators.
LINK: https://about.netflix.com/en/news/latinx-in-animation-and-netflix-anno...
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