Mundos Digitales is the International Conference on Animation, VFX, & New Media held in Spain each year. The Mundos Digitales Animation Festival is held during the first week of July in A Coruña. Some of the most renowned professionals in the fields of animation, special effects and videogames attend each year. The festival features all kinds of activities related to digital animation, such as conference talks, workshops, and competitions. The program also includes a special session highlighting some of the most innovative techniques and projects in the field. Each year its ambitious program brings together a wide range of key speakers from film, television, and research. This year fxguide will be attending and our Mike Seymour is speaking on digital humans in virtual production.
We sat down with the festival director of Mundos Digitales, Manuel Meijide, to discuss the conference. In addition to being the festival director, he is the owner of ILUX Visual Technologies, which was founded as a spin-off of the University of A Coruña, to develop and market advanced visualization systems and new media.
FXG: When did Mundos Digitales start? And why?
Manuel Meijide: Mundos Digitales was born 18 years ago, as an activity inside the courses of Animation and New Media which was being taught in the University of Coruña. I used to attend events in this field such as SIGGRAPH, Imagina, or 3D Festival, and I wanted to show the students the state of the art in 3D animation and VFX through conferences given by outstanding professionals. Something which started as a one-off event in 2001 ended up repeating itself every summer without interruption, until this year when we celebrate our 18th anniversary.
FXG: How many people attend each year?
Manuel Meijide: In the first years we were a very limited group of students and local professionals which would be at most around 100 attendees. But each year since then this number has grown – by approximately 30% each year, until it became the most important Spanish event in this field. This year we have around 1,500 attendees, and are becoming more and more international each year and still growing.
FXG: What are some of the highlights for this year?
Manuel Meijide: It is difficult to highlight one conference in our program because all of them are important to us, from both big and small studio talks. But if we have to give some highlights for this year then I would have to mention our Keynote speaker, Jerome Denjean, VFX Supervisor of Blur Studios. He was in charge of the anthology of short-films for Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots. We would also have to mention the special production session about Paramount Animation Studios Wonder Park, and an afternoon we have planned which is dedicated to Visual Effects for commercials, with international companies such as Framestore, Metropolitana, and Serena Digital. We also have Mike Seymour’s presentation talking about digital human and virtual production and, of course, as a closing act of the festival, our special session on Game Of Thrones, given by the four VFX Supervisors from El Ranchito, who won the Emmy Award this year.
FXG: There is one unique feature of the conference that I wonder if you could explain please: the “coffee with..” part of the program?
Manuel Meijide: In Mundos Digitales, we consider networking as one of the main aspects of the event, because during the event it is easy to connect with a huge variety of key attendees and speakers. This is why we usually program a specific activity called “Coffee with” which is a private meeting with some of the speakers or celebrities participating at Mundos Digitales. At “Coffee with…” you have the opportunity to get to know professionals of the industry more closely while having a coffee with them. You can ask questions, raise your doubts or even comment on your ideas for a project in a much more informal and close way.
FXG: Where are most of the attendees from? Is this servicing the local community or all of Europe?
Manuel Meijide: Even though we try to keep Mundos as an international festival to give a global view of some of the most important projects of the year, for us, national production is essential. There are many good studios in Spain which, in many cases, work for foreign productions. But each year we notice a growth in the number of international attendees and we would like it to keep growing for the next years.