After wandering the lands and seas from Japan, MONSTRA finally arrives in Lisbon to make the Portuguese capital more animated, poetic, and plural than ever before. The 22nd edition of the Lisbon Animation Festival starts today, 15 March, putting an end to the long wait for the great programme that celebrates the history and the stories of Japanese and Portuguese animation.

Today, the proposal is for a short but immense itinerary: from the National Society of Fine Arts to the Cinemateca Portuguesa, we cross the street, countries, and decades in time, starting from the “Traces of Movement” in Raimund Krumme’s body of work to an illustrated journey of 100 years of animated cinema made in Portugal.

Tomorrow, Thursday, 16 March, already in the cinemas, a monstrous opening ceremony promises to whet the appetite for the various sessions and competitions of the festival. Then, all you have to do is enjoy the 12 days of MONSTRA in non stop motion — and if you don’t know where to start, below are some tips on what not to miss in this first week!

Four continents connected by the Portuguese language and by animation cinema

This year, our usual section Anima BR becomes Anima CPLP. Celebrating diversity and contributing to the artistic internationalisation of Lusophony, MONSTRA and the Mission of Brazil to the CPLP bring to the public a programming dedicated to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, with special sessions of short and feature films, debates, and musical performances starring Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe, in addition to Brazil and Portugal.

On Sunday, experience a monstrous Father’s Day at the cinema

19 March is Father’s Day in Portugal — and no present is better than a full day of entertainment and fun. On Sunday, children and their parents can come to the cinemas to discover the magical universes of the Family Programme Competition, MONSTRINHA Baby or even the Japanese “Ponyo” and the French “Little Nicholas – Happy As Can Be”. If the children are not so young anymore, MONSTRA is also the right place to celebrate with the family: “Sky Crawlers” and “Akira”, at Cinema São Jorge, and the sessions “Masters of Japanese Animation” and “Atsushi Wada + The New Generation”, at the Orient Museum, promise an unmissable range of anime for fans and those curious about Japanese cinema.

Learn with MONSTRA: workshops and masterclasses with the best in the world

The first week of MONSTRA already kicks off with several trainings that bring guests from all corners of the planet. This Friday, Koji Yamamura leads a masterclass at the Orient Museum about his journey in the film industry, just before accompanying us on a guided tour to his exhibition, shown at the same institution. The following day, Saturday 18th, Rádio Zig Zag will prepare a special workshop for kids, who will be encouraged to imagine a story worthy of cinema only from sounds and music.
On Monday, the 20th, a handful of meetings give us the chance to learn from Bruno Caetano, director of the iconic “The Peculiar Crime of Oddball Mr. Jay” and producer of the great “Ice Merchants”; Cátia Peres, expert on Hayao Miyazaki (co-founder of the legendary Studio Ghibli); and Ilan Nguyen, who offers us a brief, albeit assertive and surprising, overview of the history of Japanese animation.
On Tuesday 21st, the Oscar-winner Michaël Dudok de Wit reveals everything he has discovered during his career about creativity, while Joanna Quinn & Les Mills tell us about the process of making their films, with a sprinkling of criticism and humour. On the same day, and extending until the 23rd, do not miss the very special Daumenreise Lisboa 2 workshop, with the brilliant experimental director Maya Yonesho. Register now!

Check out the full programme and grab your tickets! We are waiting for you, from 15 to 26 March, at the MONSTRA circuit in Lisbon.