Young director from Porto wins Annie Award for Best Short Subject

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Filipa Brito

João Gonzalez continues to win international awards for his film "Ice Merchants". This weekend won the Annie Award, considered the "Oscar of animation", in the category of Best Short Subject, during the 50th edition of the most important awards of animation cinema in the United States, a ceremony that took place during the early hours of Sunday in Los Angeles, and received, also yesterday, the audience award at the International Animation Film Festival - Anima, in Brussels.

The young director from Porto sees, thus, crowned a year of enormous success with the short film of 14 minutes: Cannes Festival, Curtas de Vila do Conde, Guadalajara, Melbourne, Chicago, St. Louis, Alcine, BendFilm, Anim'est and Spark, 41 other awards and special mentions and more than 90 official selections at festivals around the world, an already historic scenario in Portuguese cinema. It's only missing the Oscar for best animated short film, to be delivered on March 12, in an unprecedented nomination for a Portuguese production.

“If you count the days in a row, [Ice Merchants] took about a year, which is short for an animated movie. With the pauses and pandemic it took two years", revealed João Gonzalez, in a recent interview with Porto.

“Portuguese animation cinema, in particular, is one of the strongest in the world. Sometimes we feel that there is more dissemination internationally than in our country”, added the young director.

"Ice Merchants", the third film by João Gonzalez (previously directed "Nestor" and "The Voyager", also already awarded), is about loss and family ties, between a father and a son, and has as its starting point the image of a house on a mountain, perched on a precipice. Told without narrator or dialogue, only through drawn images and music, it is co-produced by Cola Animation with the United Kingdom and France. The film is currently being shown in Portuguese cinemas.