Next February 25th and 26th, Next Lab will celebrate its event at Talent Garden Madrid, thus putting the finishing touch to the second edition of its workshop, which began with its online phase on January 10th. In addition to various conferences on the latest in the sector, the event will host the pitch of the 10 finalist projects of the workshop.

The jury, which will determinate the two winning projects, is made up of five international professionals from the sector and cover different profiles. Arriving from Canada we will have Nick Ladd, VR artist and animator, founding member of the Virtual Animation community. Nick is one of the world's great pioneers of VR Quill software and has worked with clients such as Facebook, Nickelodeon, TEDtalks, Baobab ("Namoo", short film shortlisted for the 2022 Oscars) and Studio Syro ("Tales from Soda Island", series done entirely in Quill).

From France we also find Arnaud Miquel as part of the jury, Coordinator of the XR program of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. After graduating, he worked as Head of Digital Business Development at animation studio Millimages before being named Head of the Department of Films and Digital Media at the French Embassy in Indonesia. He was part of the Google marketing teams in charge of the YouTube B2B strategy, and he moved to Annecy in early 2018.

This jury is also made up of Carmen Córdoba, one of the participants in the last edition of Next Lab and creator of the short film “Roberto”. Since its premiere in 2020, this debut has received more than 140 national and international awards and more than 320 selections. She currently directs and produces "Roped", the project with which she participated in Next Lab in 2021. A traditional animation short film that has the support of the ICAA and the Community of Madrid, and that received the Movistar+ Award for the best short film project in Weird Market 2021. At the same time, she directs the traditional animated feature film “A World of Their Own”, in development phase and produced by Nico Matji from La fiesta P.C.

From the communication sector we find Manuel González, director of the Zoom Net (TVE) program since 2006, a weekly format that brings the world of technology, culture and digital art closer to viewers. Graduated in Audiovisual Communication from the University of Seville, his career has been linked to the audiovisual world and digital and technological content. In addition, he has carried out VR projects related to art and fashion.

To finish, the jury is made up of Úrsula García, Director, Executive Producer and Co-founder of the production company The Frank Barton Company, one of the reference studios in the direction and production of animation works for advertising. She previously worked as a Visual Effects Producer at El Ranchito. Some works from this period were “Captain Alatriste: The Spanish Musketeer” with Viggo Mortensen, “Goya's Ghosts”, directed by Milos Forman, or “Che: Part One” and “Che: Part Two” by Steven Soderbergh.

The event will begin on February 25th with a day of conferences and space for networking, and Nick Ladd will be precisely one of the speakers at this edition with "Masters of VR Animation: Nick Ladd", a conference in which we will learn more about his recent work in addition to the Virtual Animation collective.

Another of the most outstanding activities will be the masterclass “New technologies for storyboarding and animatics”. There are new tools that make the storyboard and animatic process much richer, creative and efficient, and better connected with the rest of the production phases. This demo-talk shows this workflow in action. Daniel M. Lara will do a live demo and then he will be accompanied by great professionals like Enrique Gato and Daniel Martínez Peixe, among others, to tell us about their experiences.

On Saturday morning it will be the turn of the finalist project pitches where they will show the piece they have made and all the work and progress experienced in the workshop. More details of the program will be announced shortly and the deadline to obtain accreditation for this benchmark event in the field of animation production, which focuses on the use of disruptive technologies in the virtual environment will be opened.

Next Lab 2022 has the main sponsorship of the Community of Madrid, through the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports; the sponsorship of Creative Europe MEDIA, DeAPlaneta Entertainment and the General Directorate of Cultural Industries, Intellectual Property and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Sports; the collaboration of Enisa, Annecy Festival, ICAA and Weird Market; and the support of Tangram Solutions, Welaw, Pixel Cluster Madrid, Clan VR, Real o Virtual and Mr.Cohl.

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