Today (June 15) marks the premiere at the Annecy Animated Film Festival of home is somewhere else, an animated documentary from directors Carlos Hagerman and Jorge Villalobos of the Mexico-based animation studio Brinca Taller de Animación. Here, Hagerman (pictured left) and Villalobos (pictured right) share their thoughts on the potential impact of animated documents on audiences of all ages, the growth of the documentary market through of animation and why it was the right choice for the theme. of your movie.
When we were kids, going to the movies was the most wonderful way to spend an afternoon. A lot of the images we were delivered with were fantastic animation rides from Disney and other animation studios. And today, while other children may not be able to relate to our experience watching various animated classics in a 900-seat movie theater, projected on 35mm prints, animated films still have the ability to change children’s lives. everywhere.
Think, for example, of wolf walkers — a film produced by Cartoon Saloon and Mélusine Productions that talks about the importance of protecting family and the environment, all in a stunning visual style — or Pixar’s Ratatouillea film about following our dreams, no matter the circumstances.
Animation is a wonderful tool for translating challenging life lessons into a digestible format that children and adults alike can benefit from. That’s why we decided to animate a documentary about immigration and the challenges young people and their families face as a result.
Because animation doesn’t look like “reality”, anything can happen. Sometimes words or even facial expressions cannot capture the feeling of a moment. That’s where artists come in to help represent the impact of a decision: after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
We take it very seriously when creating home is somewhere else, our animated documentary about the experience of four young characters living as part of undocumented families in the US We chose to build a different world for each of the stories based on the psychological characteristics of the character’s narrative. Against the backdrop of these animated worlds, we chose to use the real life conversations of these families as the core of the emotional journey. That is why this film is a documentary, and it is from the contrast of real voices and free graphic performances that it derives its unique narrative power.
Through the use of animation, we were able to create meaning from the dramatic contrast of children’s illustrations and the overly mature stories these children have to share, such as a father’s arrest, a sister’s isolation, or a young man’s deportation. . Animation allowed us to create a familiar storybook element to our documentary that reaches a wide audience and helps educate and build compassion.
We want to reach a new generation that is hungry for change, so we are adjusting the model with which we deliver this information. We don’t want to preach to converts: instead, we set out to create a vehicle that, by its very design, could be used by teachers and parents to present an experience that could help children empathize with, support, and even love their peers. , neighbors and friends who look different from them.
This film can be more than just a documentary at a film festival: it can be a tool for learning at home, in the classroom, and in theaters. For us, our younger years served as a time to solidify our personal beliefs and understand our social identity; We hope that our film, and its use of the cinematic language of animation, can do the same for millions of other young people across the country.
home is somewhere else is produced by Brinca Taller de Animación in association with Shine Global, directed and produced by Carlos Hagerman and Jorge Villalobos with producer Guillermo Rendón, and executive produced by Carolina Coppel, Andrew Houchens, Mariana Marín, Susan MacLaury and Albie Hecht.