Patricia Vonne Wins “Best Animation” At The Madrid International Film Festival

Patricia Vonne is back from Madrid with the Best Animation award for “Huerta de San Vicente,” a music video and homage to Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. The Texas native, musician, actress & two time SXSW best female vocalist winner adds another award to her growing accolades. The video, from the song featured on Vonne’s album Firebird and her Spanish compilation album Viva Bandolera, is no stranger to awards. It was the “Grand Prize” winner in the Latin category for the John Lennon Songwriting contest in 2009. Vonne celebrates the win with two upcoming July shows in San Antonio and Austin. Details below.

Vonne enthusiastically states about the win, “I feel deeply grateful and honored to be recognized with this prestigious award from my ancestral country of Spain for paying homage to the dynamic spirit of Federico García Lorca & all that he represents through his life & his works.” “Huerta de San Vicente” premiered at Cine Las Americas International Film Festival and will screen from August 1–6 in her hometown for the San Antonio Film Festival.

The stunning stop motion animation was inspired by her visit to Huerta de San Vicente in Granada, Spain where Lorca wrote many of his works. Considered one of the most influential Spanish poets of the 20th century, García Lorca died tragically during the Spanish Civil War, but his spirit lives on through his art, with energy and spirit as palpable as Vonne’s own works.

Vonne has just returned from a 37 date European Tour and is now in the studio recording her seventh studio album with producers Rick Del Castillo and Michael Ramos featuring co-writes with Alejandro Escovedo, Joe King Carrasco & Willie Nile, among others.

We spoke with Vonne after her return from Madrid. Read what the lovely and talented artist had to say about “Huerta de San Vicente” and her time in Spain below.

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Can you provide a little background into your award winning video?

I wrote “Huerta de San Vicente” about the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. My ancestry is from Spain and Mexico and I am a ninth generation Tejana. I have always felt the importance of preserving my Latin cultural heritage through my music which is why all my albums are bilingual.

I collaborated with fellow San Antonio musician/artist Michael Martin who drew Lorca. Since Lorca was an accomplished pianist, I wanted the piano solo to be real hands so I also hired artist Johnny Villarreal to rotoscope over the live movement. Using stop-motion photography, I shot and edited it which took a year to make from start to finish.

How was your recent trip to Spain and the Madrid International Film Festival?

The video just won ‘Best Animation’ at the Madrid International Film Festival. I was invited by his niece, Laura García Lorca, to attend an exhibition celebrating his life at the Residencia de Estudiantes (Student’s Residence) where he studied Law, Philosophy and Literature. He also met his influential friends Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel at this progressive school. So, it all came together so beautifully. It was truly a gift from God. It felt like Lorca invited me for this special trip as payback for keeping his spirit alive.

What first attracted you to Lorca’s life and literature?

I first heard about him through my eldest sister. I am one of ten children and we’re all pretty much into the arts. So, my eldest sister was in a play that was called “Yerma.” I remember asking her about the play and why she was drawn to it and the first thing she said was ‘it was written by a Spanish poet and his name is…” When she said his name, it sounded like the most iconic name I could ever imagine. It just impressed me so much. “Federico Garcia Lorca.” It made me want to learn more about him especially because of our Spanish ancestry.

And what did you find as you researched Lorca?

I discovered he was not only a poet, but also a concert pianist, a playwright, a theater director and so much more. He was very much a maverick of his time who provided social commentary about what was going on. He helped keep the art of Flamenco alive which my sisters and I love dancing Flamenco. Ironically, he was persecuted at the end of his short life in 1936 by a firing squad at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. It was a very sad ending to his life. But, at the same time, through my animation and song, I wanted the video to be celebratory.

What do you remember most about visiting his home/museum in Granada?

In his bedroom, there was a poetry book on his desk. The curator chose me to read it. The poem was “Despedida/Farewell” which is depicted in the video. In the poem Lorca expresses the fact that when he died to leave the balcony doors open so people could see the Alhambra palace and the Sierra Mountains which inspired him.

Can you explain some of the imagery used in the video?

I drew a little figure using black sand in the animation that represents his ghost. The poems filter out the window as the balcony doors open releasing his spirit. I infused excerpts from a couple of my favorite poems of his. The poems are in Spanish and then translated to English with red ink that signifies blood because he gave his blood and he gave his passion through his poetry and I try to bring that to life with the animation.
This video was such an amazing project to work on and I’m honored it is being recognized in celebration of his life for all that Lorca represents.

Huerta de San Vicente” will screen during the San Antonio Film Festival on August 3rd at 7:00pm at the Tobin Center.

Patricia Vonne Performing in Austin, TX!
Date: Saturday July 29, 2017
Venue: One-2-One Bar
Address: 1509 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Time/Price/Ages: 8:30pm / $12 / 21+

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