Convinced of the cinematographic talent that exists in the lands of Guadalajara, Guillermo del Toro has teamed up with the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) to create a unique space in Mexico that turns that city into the Latin American capital of animation and that promotes, train and connect your animators internationally. Its about International Animation Center, which was colloquially baptized as El Chucho’s Workshop. (In Guadalajara dogs are called « chuchos », hence the logo of the place that this text illustrates). In exclusive, the Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker explains in his own words what this place is and will be for Mexican cinema.
From left to right: Karla Castañeda, Rita Basulto, Luis Téllez, León Fernández, Sofía Carrillo, René Castillo and Juan José Medina.
“Guadalajara currently has 15 international quality animators. Each one helps each other but in a very baroque way. Everyone starts their projects from scratch and build a space to work that is later lost. The workshop emerged as a need to build the ideal space so that they can work individually and collectively ”.
Learning, connecting and cultivating talents
“El Taller del Chucho can be sustained by bringing international projects of stop motion animation and puppet manufacturing to the city, replicating the model used by studios in Europe. I believe that in this way we train better-trained people, project local talent and distinguish Guadalajara as the capital of animation ”.
“There is a lot of ingenuity in Guadalajara. Here, miniature tricks, armor, and skeletons are made to cheer. There are highly trained people who want to help it grow. «
Allies and financing
“The activities of the Taller del Chucho have as context the impulse that the FICG has given to animation. In 2019, the first award was given to the Best Animated Feature Film, along with the now traditional Rigo Mora Award for the most outstanding animated short film. We also brought the Quay brothers to the ShadowMachine studio (BoJack Horseman); Rodrigo Blaas, Pixar animator who works with me at Trollhunters; and Carolina López, one of the strongest European animation coordinators in the world. All of them helped us start the training and the master class workshops. ”
“The design of the workshop was done under the supervision of the ShadowMachine people. We also brought animators and production people from other countries to guide us in doing a front-line studio. ”
“The workshop will be very open to young people and talents already existing in Guadalajara. Even we will try to co-finance them or help them to produce or raise the money they need. It will not be 100% financial support but it will help make the production path easier. ”
“El Taller del Chucho has no investment from any foreign group. It is a mixture of cultural support with the University of Guadalajara. We will seek to be self-financing and independent of me, economically. I am simply creatively involved. And I will help to the best of my ability to raise funds for projects, contacts and rapprochement with the people of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc ”.
« The idea I have is to create things independent of government entities. That alternatives are presented that can be sustained and that can exist beyond six years. Culture moves at the six-year level in Mexico. Some presidents support it more than others. And it is a very random swing. Both scholarships [otorgadas en el FICG y en el FICM], like the Taller del Chucho can give Guadalajara government independence. Counterbalance the federal culture; a positive and purposeful one that yields benefits ”.
“For me the important thing is to create initiatives. When Rigoberto Mora and I started there was no film festival in Guadalajara. And under the tutelage of Jaime Humberto Hermosillo we did it. There was no film school and we formed it. There was no animation and we made it up. The best thing is that all that is still alive. ”
Status and first activities
« Construction is almost complete. We have the opportunity to put local talent on the international catwalk. I hope that next year we can already put together the film I’m writing with Karla Castañeda or develop the feature films of any of the animators who will be working there. ”
“One of the first activities of the workshop will be to bring a small but symbolically important part of Pinocchio. It will take a few minutes but enough to allow us to link this film with the workshop. I took great care that the number was sufficient but not so large that the resources were not compromised, and that they were better devoted to training and developing the artistic vision of our animators. ”
« I think the work, the biography of everyone passes. What remains is what one leaves for people to follow. I produce first operas because Bertha Navarro produced Cronos for me. If she doesn’t exist, I don’t exist. She cared that there were young people leading. And she held out her hand like a cinematographic mother. And I try to do the same. I did it with Bayona, with Muschietti, with Jorge Gutiérrez. And I do the same with the Taller del Chucho, hoping that one day it will start to germinate. ”
· Also read: Animated cinema in Mexico: The future is here (Special)
Arturo Magaña Arce Passionate about seeing, writing, reading, researching and talking about cinema in all its forms. I am a Star Wars fan, I know all the chapters of Friends by heart and if you ask me about Mexican cinema, there is no one to shut me up. Editor at Cine PREMIERE.