In my quest to spread the gospel of independent animation - and hopefully make a few bucks - I decided to take up an invitation to visit Lima, Peru and the Imagina Festival. In Peru, animation is still a very small industry, and my dream is to be like Johnny Appleseed, travel around and nurture young artists who have talent and ambition to get them into the industry.
Lima is a beautiful tropical city with an amazing food culture - even my hotel's tiny kitchen turned out great breakfasts - and I ordered a tuna fish sandwich sandwich from the hotel that was the best tuna sandwich I ever had.
As for the festival, it's only in its 5th year, but they had a strong following of art students. The events were held at the lovely Telefonica, which is part library, part art gallery and part screening room. The staff was exceedingly generous and helpful to me.
As I prepared for my big Master Class event, I wasn't sure how many people would come, but as usual I set up a table at the entrance to the cinema to hawk my merch, and the kids just kept coming in. The line was around the block, it was a capacity audience, over 500 fans! Whew!
The class was a big success and I had promised to give everyone a free sketch, as is my custom. But the guards said they had to close the Telefonica at 10:30, so many people didn't get their drawing - I was very disappointed and so were the fans.
I was bowled over by the size of the audience. How could this be? I don't remember selling my film to Peruvian channels, so did everyone see my films on the internet? I asked a couple of people how they saw my work - apparently in the 1990's there was a channel called Locomotion that showed a lot of animation on a show called "SPLAT". Someone said that a third of their programming was made up of my animated shorts.
Then, for some reason, they cancelled the channel and then there was a large demonstration in front of the network headquarters, demanding the return of Locomotion. Who knew that animation was so revolutionary? But unfortunately it seems "SPLAT" was never renewed. Anyway, that explains my popularity in Peru.
So, if you have a film, send it to Imagina and I want to thank everyone there for showing me such a good time!