A new kind of film festival intended to bring the many and varied visions of animation into the spotlight kicks off tonight in Los Angeles and runs throughout the weekend. Dubbed “Animation Is Film“, this showcase of world-class animation from yesteryear classics to contemporary, cutting-edge films aims to bring the powerful medium into focus for a whole new generation of fans, young and old and everything in between.
We’re thrilled to host the exclusive premiere of the trailer for Virus Tropical, a black-and-white animated film from director Santiago Caicedo that adapts the graphic novel memoir of Colombian-Ecuadorian cartoonist Power Paola. The film will be making its World Premiere at the festival on Saturday, October 21st at 7:00pm and a Q&A with Caicedo will follow after. This film follows Paola from her very earliest beginnings and the film brings that moment of conception to life in a very earnest way, which also brings me to this content warning: Recommended for ages 14+, Virus Tropical contains frank depictions of nudity, sex, childbirth, and recreational drug use. It’s an excellent example of the power of animation and a stark reminder that, no, it’s not just for kids.
And here’s the film’s official synopsis:
Adapted from the graphic novel memoir by Colombian-Ecuadorian cartoonist Power Paola, Virus Tropical is a thoughtful and deeply affecting coming-of-age story that begins on the night Paola is conceived – in a stylized but anatomically complete sequence that sets the tone for the film’s matter-of-fact exploration of sexuality and family – and ends with her striking out on her own as a young adult. Over the intervening years we accompany Paola, the youngest of three daughters raised by a mostly single mom, as she gropes and fumbles her way through friendships, new schools, clunky romances, and various domestic dramas. Scrappy DIY black and white animation and lo-fi Latin-indie score lend a lovingly idiosyncratic charm to a film that brings forth a unique and utterly refreshing girl’s POV perspective. By the end you have formed a gentle intimacy with this family and are happy to have spent time together.