‘Tito and the Birds’ Director Gustavo Steinberg on his Animation Debut

Variety | 5/14/2018 | Jamie Lang
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“Tito and the Birds” has been buzzing around Annecy for years now, and will premiere there in June. Just last month, France’s Indie Sales announced it had picked up the international sales rights to the film, which fits nicely into a catalog that includes other arthouse-mainstream hybrid animated projects like “My Life as a Zucchini” and “Another Day of Life.” This week. the film is in Cannes hosting market screenings looking to secure international distribution.

The film is an impressionist-inspired examination of fear, and how it can infect society. In it, Tito and his friends must harness the power of pigeons to fuel his father’s invention, which may be the only way to cure to a pandemic of fear sweeping across their world.

Producer-director - Gustavo - Steinberg - Variety - Film

Producer-director Gustavo Steinberg talked with Variety about the film, the state of animation in Brazil and what’s next for Tito and his birds.

With films like “My Life as a Zucchini,” “Loving Vincent” and “The Breadwinner, are we seeing a convergence of arthouse and mainstream animation?

Animation - Animation - Annecy - Everybody - Film

I don’t come from animation, and I started learning about animation going to Annecy and talking to everybody there. I would say I wanted to make a beautiful film, but something more marketable and fun. People would tell me: “No, you can’t do that.” It was as if arthouse had to be tense and difficult. It wasn’t until we started to show the project that people became convinced. But I agree, more and more there is a convergence. It’s a middle ground. I think there is a bigger space; at least I hope there is, for something that is more sophisticated in terms of looks, but at the same time is interesting and fun.

What do you think are the contributing factors to this period of growth in Brazilian animation?

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