In 2019, Lisbon will receive the 18th edition of one of its greatest film festivals: MONSTRA! A celebration dedicated entirely to the amazing world of Animation! As a member of the craft, I feel honored, to share with you, all about this wonderful festival, taking place in a wide variety of venues all around the capital and with entertaining categories to rival all others! Let’s get animated!
Like other, previously mentioned, festivals, such as DocLisboa, MOTELx or IndieLisboa, the competition section is the most important, and MONSTRA knows it! It provides a variety of competitions, besides the International Feature and Short Film Competitions, such as a price for Student Films, that help the newcomers get part of the spotlight, a Supershort Competition, and a national category for Portuguese creators to shine.
MONSTRA also prides itself on having a strong international reach! That is clear with the Guest Countries that are featured every year. The festival provides retrospectives on famous and important animator or studios from the respective country, as well as an overview of said guest’s footprint on the animation landscape, which is also very interesting for students, who are thinking on studying abroad. It’s a good way to get to know what type of work can be done in other places. There are also some sessions dedicated to Japanese creators. As anime is gaining more and more of an audience every year, the festival decided to follow the trend and offer anime sessions and Japanese retrospectives.
A big focus of the festival is the appealing nature of animation to a younger audience. Most people see animation as an art form dedicated just to kids, and, though I believe that is far from the truth, it’s undeniable that children love animation! And MONSTRA provides special sessions, workshops and events just for kids and families, creating a sub-festival of sorts, the Monstrinha. But there is also good educational content for adults! Since, MONSTRA makes use of its international power and invites veteran animators to provide insightful and outright incredible talks, workshops and master classes.
There is so much more to MONSTRA, that I advise you to just check their website and take a look at all it has to offer, because, besides competitions, workshops and retrospectives, there are also sporadic sessions, or special themed screenings. This is all in the Anim category, where horror and adult content, documentaries and film anniversaries, experimental and tribute animations, and much, much more can be found! And don’t forget the extra content, such as exhibitions (like the one on Museu da Marioneta), parties and lots more.
Cover picture by master animator Gianluigi Toccafondo, for the 2017 edition of MONSTRA.
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