'Hayop Ka!' — The First Filipino Competing Film in Annecy

Filmed Here
October 08, 2021

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, JUNE 16, 2021 — The first Filipino Netflix animated film, “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story” by Avid Liongoren, has been selected to compete in this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France from June 14 to 19. 

The first Filipino film selected to compete in Annecy is an adult-comedy about a cat sales lady named Nimfa, voiced by Angelica Panganiban, who gets caught in a love triangle with two canines polar opposites from each other, Iñigo and Roger, voiced by Sam Milby and Robin Padilla, respectively. The film also stars Empoy Marquez and Arci Muñoz.

Established in 1960, the Annecy Festival has become the biggest and most anticipated prestigious annual festival for animation that aims to showcase the world’s best animated content and bring together industry professionals — from animation studios to aspiring young talents — from all over the world. Since 2017, the Philippines through the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has led the Philippine Delegation to Annecy to showcase our growing animation service and content sector.

In 2018, the FDCP led the Philippine Delegation to Annecy to create a global track for  Original Filipino Animated content.  The FDCP chose Liongoren to bring his project “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story” to Annecy to represent the Philippines and look for co-production partners. In 2019, the same project was the only animation project selected in the first-ever edition of First Cut Lab Philippines co-organized by FDCP and Tatino Films.  

“From being a First Cut Lab project, to Netflix, and now in Annecy, ‘Hayop Ka!’ has certainly come a long way. The Philippine film industry is beaming with pride to showcase the unexplored potential our Filipino animators possess. We are excited to see them flourish in the global arena and inspire more Filipino animators to continue creating masterpieces,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

Liongoren, a veteran in the Philippine advertising industry, directs both live action and animated productions, and has self-produced several short films as well as his first feature, “Saving Sally,” in 2016. He is also the founder of Rocketsheep Studio, which co-produced “Hayop Ka!” together with Spring Films. 

“Hayop Ka!” was nominated for several awards in the recently concluded 4th Eddys, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film’s unit is composed of producers Manny Angeles, Liongoren, and E Del Mundo, executive producers Joyce Bernal, Piolo Pascual, and Erickson Raymundo, screenplay by Angeles and Paulle Olivenza, art direction by Jether Amar, and editing by Liongoren, Angeles, and Amar.

Music is by Len Calvo, sound by Wapak Sound Studios, and production design by lead animators Stephanie Atento, Kevin Makasiar, and Anne Shirley Sy, lead designers Geri Kristen Cruz, Ariel Mantaring, and Joshua Panelo, production head Hermie Cabrito, and project managers Franchesca De Castro and Patty Pura. 

In an interview with Jerome Gomez of ABS-CBN News Channel (ANCX.ph), Liongoren commented on the reality of local animators. “There have been less than 10 animated feature films in the entire 100-year history of Philippine cinema, and we want to continue adding to that,” he said. “While also hoping that little by little, someday, Filipino animators can be known as not just service providers, but creators as well.”

For more information on “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story” in Annecy, visit www.annecy.org/programme.