Catalonia’s Animac 2024 Champions Unprecedented Diversity and Accessibility Initiatives

Short Summary:

Animac 2024, organized by the Lleida City Council in Catalonia, presents its most diverse and accessible edition, focusing on physical, intellectual, and sensory accessibility. The festival introduces sign language in conferences, subtitles for the deaf, relaxed sessions for those with autism, and workshops on diverse themes, including LGTBIQ+ identities and climate change. It aims to ensure cultural access for all, reflecting the animation industry's shift towards greater diversity.

The International Animated Film Festival of Catalonia, Animac 2024, hosted by the Lleida City Council, has announced its most inclusive and accessible iteration to date, emphasizing diversity across all facets of its programming. Under the banner of "Diversity," the festival is set to implement a range of accessibility measures tailored to accommodate physical, intellectual, and sensory needs, thereby reinforcing the universal right to cultural participation.

In a groundbreaking move for the festival, sign language will be provided at selected conferences, including a notable session led by Enrique García of the ONCE Foundation focusing on accessibility within video games. Efforts are also underway to identify sessions that will be subtitled for the deaf audience.

Animac has scheduled two relaxed sessions, "Animac Tranqui" and "Pequeño Animac Tranqui," specifically designed to create a welcoming environment for attendees on the autism spectrum. These sessions will feature adjustments such as lower volume levels, increased lighting, and a detailed introduction of the content by the ANIMAC team. The films selected for these sessions have been carefully chosen for their gentle transitions, thematic relevance, and minimal visual impact.

The festival's commitment to diversity extends beyond accessibility, with a series of workshops and conferences aimed at exploring various societal themes. These include discussions on migration, environmental issues, feminism, LGTBIQ+ identities, and non-violence. Highlights include the Mianima project, which supports female-directed animation projects, and sessions addressing climate change and non-violence in children's animation.

Animac 2024 will also feature collaborative efforts with organizations such as the Down Lleida Foundation and a workshop led by animator and activist Emilio Martí focusing on LGTBIQ+ identities. Additionally, the festival will include a "Lila/Rainbow Point" within the Animacrea space, offering programs and brochures adapted for easy reading, along with the use of pictograms to guide attendees through the event spaces.

This initiative underscores a broader trend within the animation industry towards embracing diversity, reflecting a wide range of human experiences, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. Through these measures, Animac aims to set a new standard for inclusivity and accessibility within the cultural sector, making the festival a pioneering event in the world of animation.