“Ice Merchants” (The Ice Merchants) the short film by João Gonzalez
João Gonzalez's most recent short, Ice Merchants, was selected for the Cannes Film Festival's International Critics' Week (Semaine de La Critique), which is celebrating its 61st edition this year. The short will have its world premiere as one of 10 films competing in the section, becoming the first Portuguese animation to be selected for the program.
After the award-winning animated shorts Nestor and The Voyager, Ice Merchants is João Gonzalez's third film and his first as a professional director, produced with the support of the Portuguese Institute of Film and Audiovisual.
Ice Merchants centers on a father and son who, every day, parachute from their home high on a sheer cliff to take their mountain ice to the market in the village below.
As Gonzalez explains in the director's note, “One thing that has always fascinated me about animated cinema is the freedom it offers us to create something from scratch. Surreal and bizarre scenarios and realities that can be used as a metaphorical tool to talk about something that is common to us in our most "real" reality.
In addition to serving as director, art director and animator (with the help of Polish animator Ala Nunu), Gonzalez was also instrumentalist and composer of the soundtrack, with the participation of Nuno Lobo in the orchestration and a group of musicians from the ESMAE. The sound design is by Ed Trousseau, with recording and mixing by Ricardo Real and Joana Rodrigues. A Portuguese, Polish, French and English team worked on the coloring.
The European co-production was produced by Bruno Caetano at Cola - Coletivo Audiovisual in Portugal (colaanimation.com), in co-production with Michaël Proença of Wild Stream (France) and Royal College of Art (UK).
Ice Merchants is distributed by the Portuguese Short Film Agency (agencia.curtas.pt).
Cannes Critics' Week will run from Wednesday 18 May to Thursday 26 May during the 75th Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28). The selection also includes the animated short It's Nice in Here, a fictional memorial to a young black boy killed by a police officer. The film is directed by the director / artist Robert-Jonathan Koeyers (animated by Brontë Kolster) born in Curaçao and resident in Rotterdam. Joseph Pierce's rotoscopic scale of adaptation Will Self (France / United Kingdom / Belgium / Czech Republic) will have a special screening. (semainedelacritique.com)
Gonzalez has a great interest in combining his musical background with his practice in auteur animation, always taking on the role of composer and sometimes instrumentalist in the films he directs, occasionally accompanying them with live performances. João Gonzalez was born in Porto, Portugal in 1996 He is a director, animator, illustrator and musician, with a classical piano background. With a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, he earned his master's degree from the Royal College of Art in London after finishing his degree at ESMAD (Porto). In these institutions he directed two films, Nestor and The Voyager, which together have received more than 20 national and international awards and more than 130 official selections at film festivals around the world, screened in qualifying events for the Oscars and BAFTAs.