On June 14, 2024, within the framework of Annecy, the largest International Animation Film Festival, the Armenian ReA Fest (ReAnimania Int. Animation Film Festival of Yerevan), represented by its Founder Vrej Kassouny, and Spanish Next Lab Generation, represented by its Director Jose Luis Farias Gomez, signed a memorandum of cooperation.

Next Lab Generation is a platform to experiment and incorporate new technological tools in animation, virtual reality and video games, digital content bridging art with technologies. Through various events, workshops and research projects throughout the year, it seeks to advance audio-visual content using cutting-edge technologies such as VR, AR, AI, and XR.

The memorandum of collaboration signifies the mutually beneficial partnership between the two entities, pooling their efforts, resources, and expertise to advance innovation in the animation industry and foster effective and prospective collaborations between professionals in the field operating in different parts of the world.

As per the memorandum, Next Lab will be annually presented at ReA Festival, becoming a partner of MarAni (Market of Animation), and ReA Festival will reciprocate by being annually presented at NEXT Lab as a partner. Under this collaboration, NEXT Lab will facilitate workshops, lectures, and masterclasses on VR and AI at ReA’s Marani platform, encouraging the creation of animated movies using VR techniques and technologies. It will also support MarAni by contributing content and assisting in the development of its animation innovation strategy in the upcoming years, providing advisory services and suggesting guest speakers.

Kassouny Vrej, Founder of ReA Fest, emphasizes the significant role and importance of cooperation for the development of animation film art in Armenia. “This memorandum of collaboration is a groundbreaking step for both ReA Fest and Armenian animation film art. From now on, within MarAni  (Market of Animation), founded last year, we will integrate new animation technologies through close collaboration with NEXT Lab.

Through this memorandum, we will not only initiate workshops but also exchange professionals, giving participants from both sides the opportunity to pitch their projects to international producers. This means we are expanding our reach from local borders to international platforms. The collaboration with NEXT Lab is just the beginning. We plan to establish further memorandums and contracts with international organizations in the future, making MarAni one of the most important regional markets for animation, transforming it into a more powerful platform.”

From now on, the head of NEXT Lab, Jose Louis Farias Gomez, will be invited to take the stage at the MarAni forum to present NEXT Lab and its software offerings. Participants at NEXT Lab’s pitching sessions will receive free accreditation for ReA Festival’s next edition and access to its CoReAct co-production platform for international pitching. Likewise, participants at ReA Festival’s CoReAct pitching sessions, whose movies will utilize VR and disruptive technology, will receive free accreditation for NEXT Lab’s next edition.

Referring to the cooperation between Armenia and Spain, Jose Louis Farias Gomez states, “From NEXT Lab Generation, we are very happy to establish this bridge between Armenia and professionals not only from Spain but also internationally, who are passionate about improving their projects through new and disruptive technology. It is very exciting that this link specifically connects Spain and Armenia, and through these countries, we are developing innovative projects that are gaining global attention.”

ReA Festival (“Reanimania” International Animation Films and Comics Art Festival of Yerevan) stands as one of the most prestigious and leading festivals in the region. Founded in 2009 by the renowned Armenian political cartoonist, painter, and animator Kassouny Vrej, the festival has significantly contributed to the development of animation art in Armenia, achieving unprecedented success in the field.

The mandate of ReA Festival is to celebrate the vibrant community of animation films, producers and animation artists in Armenia, in the Southern Caucasian region and not only.

Since its inception as the ReAnimania Int. Animation Film Festival of Yerevan, the event has attracted more than 40,000 spectators/audience, over 130 sponsors, 230 industry judges/juries, 70 speakers, and many other significant educational and business leaders within and outside the film and animation community.

 

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