MONSTRA Festival

20 years! A MONSTRINHA of half a million spectators!

What I know is that during life we have missons…
and we will only be truly happy if we can say…
I’ve tried!

(Teresa Saldanha Santos – 15 years – in antologia atrevida ed.2015)

We’ve tried and we’re accomplishing it. That’s all we can say about the MONSTRINHA challenge.

Twenty years ago, when we started the MONSTRA festival in Teatro Taborda, the children and youngsters were a big deal. To bring the youngest the very best, something different and challenging in the animation cinema produced around the world was our goal. That’s how MONSTRINHA was born. It is a festival inside another festival. A festival for the youngest that grown ups also want to be part of.

In 2019, the unflagging MONSTRINHA reached more than 27 thousand children, youngsters and families only in Lisbon and more than 40 thousand in the rest of the country and the world.

In these 20 years, half a million children, youngsters, teachers and families have watched movies, have done workshops, have participated in masterclasses with the label MONSTRINHA in Portugal and in 140 other cities in the 5 continents.

For 4 consecutive years, MONSTRINHA has been the cover’s illustration of the Sunday edition of the most popular newspaper in South America, El Carin, which is seen by half a million readers weekly.

It cheers us, not the numbers, but the opportunity we have to share with the world the knowledge, the art and the encounter with thousands of children. They are the most attentive public, the most human of humans (and how precious is that nowadays!), and especially they are the more open minded to difference, the arts, the world and others in general.

In this “accountancy”, we don’t forget the thousands of teachers, parents, directors, and all the people in MONSTRA’s team that helped to nourish these MONSTRINHAS and make them reach their public.

Although she’s 20 years old now, MONSTRINHA keeps being irreverent, young and fresh. Just like in some old cartoons, I think we can say:

This is only the beginning, folks. 

Fernando Galrito | Artistic Director of MONSTRINHA