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Fly by worlds of new stories and exciting festivities with the Benilde Animation Festival

Open a storybook of various animated short films and fun events with the Benilde Animation Festival!

By Renee Aguila | Wednesday, 9 August 2023

Benilde culture and events are as lively as ever with the Benilde Animation Festival, a four-day event from July 4 to 7 held on the 12th floor of the Design and Arts Campus (DAC). Organized by the Benilde Animation Program and Animotion, the festival had an art market, film screenings, roundtable discussions, and industry talks to celebrate the art of animation. 


The festival opened on July 4 with the art market in the DAC Cafeteria. Students passing by could register at the cafeteria’s entrance to enter the art market and buy merchandise from exhibitors. These ranged from stickers, prints, button pins, crocheted items, and more. The art market was available for all days of the festival, with whole-day and half-day schedules.


Into the rabbit hole of stories and fantastical experiences

On the second day, students witnessed a round table discussion and film screening after the art market’s half-day schedule. The round table discussion featured conversations on the history of the Philippine animation industry with animation practitioners such as Mr. Nonoy Dayao, Ms. Dynes Fabian, Mr. Nelson Caliguia, and many more.


After the round table discussions, students were treated to a film screening. The animated films were all works from Benilde’s animation students. The stories showcased ranged from fantastical narratives to emotional pieces that are sure to capture any audience’s hearts. One must also note that there were also finalists announced on the Benilde Animation Festival’s page for the awarding of some of the best-animated films in this year’s festival. Some of the finalists included the works of ID 118 students such as Not So Rush Hour by Gwen Baclor, It’s Just a Cupcake by Frankie Aldana, Binhi by Mitzi Lim, and Seeing Green by Jean Chirstain Timbol among others. 


Taking inspiration from the characters behind the world of animation

On the third day of the festival, there was an Industry Talks segment that guested some alumni and notable professionals in the animation industry. Some guests included Ms. Dani Rayos, who specializes in motion graphics design, and Mr. Niel Lim, who has been lending his animation skills to NGOs such as UNICEF and Love Yourself PH. 


Following those two speakers, Mx. Kaila Mendoza took part in the Industry Talks. They are known for their introspective and experimental comics. Next is Mr. Jeremy Sanchez, who has worked on various television series, commercials, comics, and games, being familiar with multiple creative mediums. 


Additionally, Mx. Meryl Ang was also featured. They are known for their specializations in character design and story development. Lastly, Mr. Alex Somes shared his experiences and knowledge on various local and international projects as a storyboard artist, background artist, matte painter, illustrator, and concept artist.


As Industry Talks ended, there was one final major event for attendees to witness, which was the awarding ceremonies from the animation film festival held in the afternoon. Winners of the film festival were given prizes for their hard work and efforts. 


Closing the chapter of  this year’s stories and events

On the final day of the festival, all that was left was wrapping up the last day of the art market, with several students making last-minute purchases of art merchandise. Nearing the event’s end, the organizers of the Benilde Animation Festival thanked its partners, exhibitors, and attendees for making the festival’s face-to-face run a success, wrapping up this year’s festival. 


Animation is truly an art form, not just a “genre for kids.” It can be a powerful medium to tell unique stories that can impact the lives of others, perhaps inspiring them to create positive change as well. Certainly, attendees are to look forward to next year’s Benilde Animation Festival, with a new set of animated films to be inspired by and events to take part in. 


For more information and updates on the Benilde Animation Festival, you can follow the Benilde Animation Festival Facebook page and Animotion’s Facebook and Instagram pages.