MONSTRA at the forefront of artistic experimentation: Abstract animation, university cinema and unmissable trainings

We can hardly believe that we are only three weeks away from the beginning of another MONSTRA. With more than two decades of existence, the best animation festival in Lisbon has become more than just a showcase of films, naturally assuming the role of a cultural dynamization agent, home of Portuguese animation and a great creative laboratory. But above all, MONSTRA is the meeting point where new sensibilities for the future are cultivated in the present.

For the curious or film-lovers, for students, beginners or experienced animators, we highlight some of the initiatives that, from 15 to 26 March, embrace risk, experimentation and artistic freedom.

MONSTRA 2023 Trainings: face-to-face with multi-award winning directors

In what is already an historical edition, the 22nd MONSTRA counts this year with a true range of illustrious Oscar nominees. Among nominees and award winners, we highlight the presence of Joan Gratz, who offers a masterclass that follows her journey from High Art to cat videos; Michaël Dudok de Wit — the only Westerner to have a film signed by Studio Ghibli —, who whill share all the tools and strategies he has learnt over the years about creativity; and the great Koji Yamamura, who tells us about his creative processes, from the beginning of an idea to the finalisation of a film.

It is also worth mentioning the unmissable animation workshop with Maya Yonesho and many meetings with key figures of Portuguese animation, such as Bruno Caetano and José Miguel Ribeiro.

Explore all the masterclasses, workshops and talks at MONSTRA 2023 and register now!

Japanese abstract animation today: the creative possibilities of point and line

This year, the festival that bears the title of “most abstract in the world” travels from Valencia to Lisbon with 16 films in its luggage. We are talking about the Spanish Punto y Raya, co-founded by Nöel Palazzo, who at MONSTRA also assumes the role of jury of the Short Film Competition, and curator of a special session dedicated to the abstract animation produced in contemporary Japan.

Leaving aside the necessity for representation and narrativity, the screening promises a feast of forms, colours, movements and sounds, from the most diverse and innovative techniques: traditional hand-drawn animation; direct manipulation on film, without camera; audio-reactive visuals; and much more.

Experimental Animation Session: 25 March, 5:15 p.m., Cinema São Jorge (Room 2)

The future of animated art is in good hands

Giving wings to the imagination is something we know we can learn, particularly, from younger people. And the power of imagination should not be underestimated — the generating principle of any transformation, it is the ability to question and invent that drives the arts, politics and the collective creation of more democratic, inclusive and abundant worlds.

These worlds are already simmering in universities. A great supporter, but above all, an eternal apprentice of university cinema, MONSTRA is always watching, with its eyes wide open, the films and stories animated by students. A unique opportunity to meet first-hand the next great talents from every corner of the world.

Atsushi Wada + New Generation (Session curated by Koji Yamamura): 19 March, 5:00 p.m., Orient Museum

Student Competition: from 20 to 23 March, every day at 4:45 p.m., at Cinema São Jorge Cinema (Manoel de Oliveira Room), and on 24 March, at 5:00 p.m., at Cinema São Jorge (Room 3)




Time Keeping Puppets: a journey into the world of Portuguese animation puppets
24 February to 23 April, at the Puppet Museum


100 years of Portuguese animation: Classics Made by Women
2 March, 6:30 p.m., at Cinemateca Portuguesa

Last days to guarantee your accreditation with special prices!