Ibermedia Next Fund Launches, Aiming to Take Animation to New Tech Level

In a bid to boost the animation sector across Latin America, Spain, Portugal and Italy, Ibermedia has opened a call for applications for Ibermedia Next funding, a scheme designed to take animation in the region to a new technological – and artistic – level.

Providing a much-needed boost to creators and producers who are eager to explore the cutting-edge possibilities of new technologies, the

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initiative, presented Friday May 12 at the Canary Island Quirino Awards, is offering grants of up to €150,000 ($163,500), alongside a support programme valued at up to €95,000 ($103,550).

This ambitious initiative aims to empower producers and creators to explore new technologies in a framework of cross-border collaboration, which is the essence of all Ibermedia funding.

The new scheme is backed by several key partners, including the Quirino Awards for Ibero-American Animation and the Ibero-American Animation League, which already have a significant presence in the region’s animation sector.

Additionally, the program receives financial support from the Next Generation Funds of the European Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience plan, specifically through the Spain AVS Hub of Europe plan, launched in March 2021 to plow €1.62 billion ($1.77 billion) into Spain’s audiovisual sector, much through credit facilities and tax breaks.

The call for applications, which opened on May 12, will run until Aug. 21. Projects eligible for funding include prototypes, teasers, pilots, short films and videoclips, as long as they meet the minimum duration of five minutes and employ new technological tools for animation or open-source tools in their development.

José Luis Farias, executive producer of the Quirino  Awards and one of the architects of the fund, told Varietyhe’d like the applicants “to revolutionise the way that they make animation.”

Víctor Herreruela, coordinator of the Ibermedia Technical Unit supports this idea hoping that funding will “stimulate what is to come, we are not closed in terms of tools or technologies. In fact, this is the first time in Ibermedia’s history that experimentation will be favored through formats made for demonstration-only purposes.”

The scope of what constitutes new technology is intentionally broad to encourage creative innovation.

In the presentation at Tenerife’s Quirino Awards, which prize animation from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, Herreruela highlighted the initiative’s goal to address the unique challenges faced by digital animation projects in the region.

By supporting Ibero-American and Italian companies working in a digital content, Ibermedia Next seeks to establish a solid network of contacts in the sector and provide a platform for showcasing their work.

A key component of the initiative is the Ibermedia Next Plaza platform, a free online tool designed to facilitate connections between industry professionals. Companies and producers can register on the platform to connect with counterparts in other member states of the Ibermedia program. Herreruela highlighted to Variety the importance for the sector of “weaving a network of contacts…to facilitate cooperation between different agents, creators, producers and professionals.”

In addition to financial support, chosen projects will receive a comprehensive package of training, consultancy, promotion, and networking opportunities. Beneficiaries will have the chance to participate in promotional activities at Ibero-American Animation League events, such as Mexico’s Pixelatl festival, the Quirino Awards, and Ventana Sur’s Animation! in Buenos Aires, as well as other industry gatherings.

Ibermedia Next’s innovative approach has chosen the current industry moment because “it is an industry that is ready to take one step further…The Ibero-American audiovisual panorama is in constant transformation and our initiative will contribute to promoting formats that have traditionally been left out of the classic lines of the program,” said Herreruela.

Ibermedia Next presentation

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