cinema Fontevraud-l'Abbaye

João Gonzalez/

Director & illustrator

João Gonzalez (1996) is a Portuguese film director, animator, illustrator and a musician with classical training in piano.

Recipient of a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, he did a Masters at the Royal College Art (UK), after finishing his BA at ESMAD (PT). In these institutions he made 2 award winning films, “Nestor” and “The Voyager”. In 2022 he became the first Portuguese animation filmmaker to be awarded at Festival de Cannes, winning the Prize for Best Short film in competition at the Critics Week with “Ice Merchants”, which also became the first ever Portuguese film to be nominated for an Oscar, and the second to win the Annie Award for Best Short Film. He has a big interest in combining his musical background with his practice in authorial animation, always taking the role of composer and sometimes instrumentalist in the films he directs, occasionally setting them to a live performance.


Residency project:

"Something that has always fascinated me about animation is the ability to create something from scratch. This means that we are able to dictate the rules of the reality where our film is gonna take place, and that opens doors to a series of infinite stories (or non-stories) that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

My main inspiration for my films is always trying to “answer” to an image or scenario that comes from my subconscious, either while dreaming, falling asleep or sometimes daydreaming. What particularly interests me in this medium is to find a way of using those surrealistic and bizarre scenarios as metaphors to talk about topics that touch me or concern me, also in a therapeutical way putting me more at peace with said topics.

This new film started with me trying to understand and solve a mysterious dream that I had when I was very young, involving a lady in a wooden house in the middle of a forest, and several phone booths."