Cuba: A workshop encourages families to play with animation

Workshop participants say they can learn about animation as a family. Photo: taken from Facebook

A video about this experience was recently presented to the Animation Studies of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry

By IPS Cuba

HAVANA TIMES — After evaluating the results of the first “Family Animation” workshop, Cuban filmmaker Ivette Avila says she will organize another one soon, to continue involving children and their families in cinema, in a collective effort.

“We already have a list of other families who wish to take part in the next editions”, specifies the promoter of the project and creator of the ANIMALUZ Academy, which promotes and contributes to the learning of animation techniques by children from their most young age. Things like stop motion, as well as other movie-making possibilities.

According to Avila, also a director of children’s television programs in Cuba, members of her family had shown interest during the workshops she normally teaches at ANIMALUZ, so that she would organize a course for children aged 5 for the first time. at 7 years old.

Taking up this new challenge, Avila joins forces with Professor Yoandra Reyes. They undertook “a more personalized approach” with each participant. Thus, the workshop took place at the end of July, as the Animation Studios of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry, “to create a film together, using stop motion animation with modeling clay,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

About 20 children participated, accompanied each day by different family members, including fathers, mothers and grandparents. “Everyone worked together, really creating a joint effort as a family,” Avila assessed.

Ivette Avila, the founder of ANIMALUZ Academy, is on a mission to organize other family animation workshops.

Dreams created in family

The project received support from the independent production company Cucuruchowhich provided materials, while the NGO British Council Cuba provided materials such as colored pens and modeling clay, she explained.

She also explained that these entities are also producing a TV series called “Learning animation: Galaxia K”. This collective project has been successful in bringing animation back to Cuba for a while now, she says.

In contrast, she explains, the “Family Animation” workshop is based on “work using different animation techniques, and they succeeded in creating very simple animations on paper, including optical illusions, also called flip book”. The children then understand what animation is, how one can create movement or an illusion of movement, that it is not just a drawing.

As for modeling clay, Avila pointed out that they were able to create their own characters, “with a bank of expressions that reflect different moods.”

She also shared that they did the exercises from the first two episodes of the “Galaxia K” series: one devoted to optical illusions and the other to animation with plasticine.

“We have feedback from family members saying they haven’t played clay in 40 years, the grandparents were very motivated and involved. It was a very beautiful creative process. Children and adults were creating together on the animation table. I was particularly satisfied to see that,” said the filmmaker.

play to learn

According to Yeniris Gonzalez and Daniel Burguet, the parents of Lilith Burguet, it was a “very positive” experience and they think the workshop is “perfect” with its objective. “With the security and confidence of their elders, the children approached these activities which were new to the majority, and they were much more relaxed, as if it were a big game.

They saw “that the kids really had fun and the parents also learn these animation techniques and get the basic tools they need to continue the game at home.”

They highlighted the opportunity the workshop gave them to create little stories, “and it united the work of the children and the parents, because it made us think together”.

Meanwhile, Tamara Rosello, Julian Gonzalez’s mother, noted that the workshop offered “an exercise that required a lot of patience and discipline because it not only teaches the child to assess their skills, but it also teaches them to respect the work of others.

Animations to follow

A recent ANIMALUZ Academy Facebook post invited young people and adults interested in the world of animation to participate in the ICAIC Animation Studios Open Day on August 16, 17 and 18.

About 40 participants were to receive lessons from Arturo Palacios, Andrian Zarabozo and Ivette Avila, who confirmed that the workshop film “Family Animation” was scheduled as part of a program of other activities.

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