FICM profiles: interview with Christian Arredondo, GOBELINS fellowBy: Gabriela Martínez @GabbMartivel
Christian Arredondo is originally from Celaya, Guanajuato, México. After studying communication, Christian decided to follow his true vocation: drawing and animation. Currently he is one of the three Mexican winners of the ANIMEXICO scholarship granted by Guillermo del Toro, along with Cinépolis support, to study the Master of Arts: Animation of Characters and Animation of Animated Cinema at GOBELINS, l’ecole de l’image, the best animation school in the world.
The Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) had the opportunity to talk with Christian Arredondo, who told us about his career and the artists who inspire his own works.
FICM: Tell us a bit about your career.
Christian Arredondo: My career has been somewhat eclectic. I didn’t study animation, in fact I studied communication about ten years ago. I always liked to draw, but I started to take it seriously after I graduated, so I followed in that. I thought there was no animation in Mexico, so I made murals, painted and made restorations, until I signed up for a diploma to study character animation.
Advised by one of my professors of the diploma, in 2015 I went to Guanajuato to make an animated short film, called Tauromaquia. It took me a lot because I did it alone. I registered my work in other festivals, so I started meeting people and started working on other short films to finance my own work.
Then I moved to Querétaro where I worked in a studio called Imagination Films.
I’m currently working on another short film of mine called La frontera.
FICM: What motivated you to apply for the ANIMEXICO scholarship?
CA: It was because I listened to Cécile Blondel, the Head of International Relations at GOBELINS, on a podcast. She talked about the scholarship and I realized that I fulfilled all the requirements they asked for and the scholarship matched what I was looking for. In addition, Cécile made the whole process sound very easy.
Then I thought it was a great opportunity and it would have been sad if I didn’t apply. Sometimes I thought maybe I didn’t have the level to enter school, but I still decided to apply.
FICM: How do you feel about winning the scholarship?
CA: It’s very strange because I thought that when I got the news that they had accepted me, I would be jumping, but rather I thought about the pile of things I had to do. This is definitely an honor, but also a great responsibility because it’s a great privilege and you have to live up to it.
FICM: What do you prefer, the 2D or 3D animation?
CA: 2D, I think I like it more because I enjoy drawing a lot. I think the process is funnier.
FICM: Does Guillermo del Toro inspire you in any way?
CA: Yes, a lot. I think he is someone who motivated me to get into animation. The animation allows the use of fantastic elements and I felt that there were no such things in Mexico, but when I saw that del Toro’s work followed this line, it motivated me a lot. It gives as a kind of hope, it’s exciting.
FICM: Is there any other artist that inspires you?
CA: Yes, as far as the drawing is Jean Giraud “Moebius”, also Francisco de Goya. In animation, Hayao Miyazaki, Michaël Dudok de Wit, who is the director of The Red Turtle (2017). Also the cartoonist Hugo Pratt.
FICM: After GOBELINS, what are your plans?
CA: I don’t know, I don’t like to make plans because then they don’t come out as you imagined them, but I want to go back to Mexico to open a studio in Guanajuato, where I am from.
FICM: Do you have a story in mind that you would like to tell?
CA: Yes, many. I have one in mind based on the relationship with my girlfriend about a man who must imperiously climb a mountain.