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MERCANO THE MARTIAN

Argentina, 2002 (MIFF 2003, Animation Gallery)

Director: Juan Antin

Mercano's life on Mars is a peaceful one, until one day a wayward probe from Earth smashes into his planet, killing his beloved dog. Enraged, the intrepid Martian climbs into his spacecraft and heads out for vengeance, crash-landing in Buenos Aires. Ordinarily his presence would cause alarm, but Argentine society is so indifferent that nobody takes much notice—he's just another stranger with no job or money. Frustrated, he creates his own world on the internet, where he strikes up a friendship with a shy boy. However the boy's father—a businessman always on the lookout for a quick buck—discovers the alien and sees him as an untapped source of revenue.

Starting life as a series of television shorts, Mercano the Martian employs hand made drawings, 2D and 3D technology to create one of the few independent South American animated features in recent memory. Utilising humour to delve beneath the current political and social problems that have gripped Argentina, director Juan Antin has devised a film that is above all else vibrant, hilarious and unashamedly fun.

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