Salvador Simó’s Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles picked up the prize for best animated feature at the 32nd European Film Awards. The awards were presented this evening in Berlin, Germany.
A Spanish-Dutch co-production, Buñuel is rooted in the true-life story of film director Luis Buñuel’s expedition to the poverty-stricken Las Hurdes region of Spain in the early 1930s. The filmmaker intended to depict the region’s poor living conditions, albeit through the lens of surrealism, the movement in which he’d made his name. In the event, he and his team staged some of their footage, with a view to exaggerating stereotypes about the locals.
Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles is animated in a 2d style partly inspired by Fermín Solís’s graphic novel of the same name, on which it is based. The narrative is interspersed with live-action clips from the original documentary. Animation was mainly handled by The Glow Animation Studio, which is based not far from Las Hurdes; the studio was founded by Simó and the film’s producers, Manuel Cristobal and José María Fernández de Vega. Other companies involved in the production are Sygnatia, Submarine, and Hampa. The film is distributed by GKIDS in the United States.