“Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles” is the first feature film by our production company, THE GLOW.

The famous documentary “Land Without Bread” by Luis Buñuel, was filmed in our region, Extremadura. In 2009, Fermín Solís created the graphic novel “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles”, based in the shooting of the documentary.

The movie adaptation started as an independent project, a 2D animation short film directed by José Mª Fdez de Vega and produced by The Glow. However, this short sparked a desire to find funding for a much larger and more ambitious project: an animated feature film. Both the short and the feature are aimed at an adult audience, and combine traditional 2D animation with images from Buñuel’s original film.

In 2015, we secured the first investors and co-producers for the feature film, and the production started in 2016 in Almendralejo (Extremadura, Spain). 2016 also saw the creation of The Glow Animation Studio, to provide our company with all the equipment and facilities we needed.

Within our studio, we handled all the stages (development, production, and post-production), while coordinating with all other co-producers that joined the project.

A team of more than 200 professionals contributed to the film. We worked with some of the most prestigious animation schools in the world to welcome artists and apprentices into our production: Goebelins (France), The Animation Workshop (Denmark), U-Tad, Harvard…

The production stage for the feature was completed in 2018, and it premiered a few days later at the Animation is Film festival in Los Angeles, where it won the Jury Award.

Throughout 2019 we focused on a promotional campaign, along with our distributor and sales agents.

The 2019-2020 awards season was an amazing experience, and it helped us become one of the companies to watch in the animation industry, both for our own productions and as a service provider.

Development

Stills

“Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles” in the world

Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles is a project that was born in Extremadura, traveled the world, and then ended its journey back in Extremadura again.

For a production company from Extremadura, producing a feature film in the same region where Buñuel filmed “Land Without Bread” back in 1930 was no small feat.

After a complex production process spanning over 2 years and involving 4 production companies, one of them from the Netherlands, the film finally premiered at the “Animation is Film” Festival (Los Angeles, California) in October 2018, winning the festival’s Jury Award.

In 2019 it premiered in Spain, at the Festival de Málaga, taking home three awards. It also earned awards at Festival Chilemonos, and the Jury Award at Annecy, the world’s most prestigious animation festival.

On May 2019, “Buñuel and the Labyrinth of the Turtles” arrived in theaters in Spain; in France and Belgium on June 19, in the US on August 16; in Russia on September 12, and so on and so forth until it reached 40 different countries.

In September 2019, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Spain preselected “Buñuel”, along with Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory”, and Alejandro Amenábar’s “While At War”, to contend at the 92nd Academy Awards in the International Feature Film category. This was the first time an animated feature was ever considered for this category.

In December, it won the European Film Award for 2019’s Best Animated Feature Film in Berlin.

Also in December, it secured 4 nominations at the Goya Awards (Best Animated Film, Best New Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score).

OIt was nominated to the Annie Awards as well, in the category of Best Independent Animation Film.

In late 2019, it joined the race for the Oscar again, this time in the Best Animated Feature Film category, since it qualified to be considered for the award (although ultimately it didn’t get nominated).

The nominations and awards kept coming throughout January 2020 in different festivals, culminating on January 25 with the Goya award for Best Animated Film.

On top of all the praise for the film, it also managed to reconcile Las Hurdes, the region of Extremadura where Land Without Bread was filmed, with Luis Buñuel.