"Freedom of Expression" is the theme that, within the scope of the 50th anniversary of the 25th of April, will cross the editions programme.

The guest country is Ireland and, therefore, the most prestigious studios in one of the main places in Europe dedicated to animated cinema will stand out. One of them being the Cartoon Saloon, which celebrates a quarter of a century this year and will be the subject of an extended retrospective. Its co-founder, Tomm Moore, will be present during the festival for a masterclass, as will Aidan Hickey who is another illustrious member of Irish animated cinema.

We also highlight the national premiere of a co-production with the Portuguese Animanostra - the feature film "They Shot the Piano Player", by Spaniards Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, who will also be at the festival. Or the Oscar nominees "Robot Dreams" (in preview at MONSTRA), by Pablo Berger, and "Our Uniform", by Yegane Moghaddam. And the Portuguese short films "Look", by Nuno Amorim, the award-winning "Cold Soup", by Marta Monteiro, "Páscoa", by André Ruivo, "The Girl with the Occupied Eyes", by André Carrilho", "A Rapariga que caminhava sobre a neve", by Bruno Carnide, and "Alma's Condition", by Sara Naves.

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In its commitment to the exhibition space, MONSTRA is once again associated with the Puppet Museum. The exhibition - from 15 February to 7 April - is called "Three Families" and shows the backstage of a trio of animated feature films about very different families all from different European countries: "No Dogs or Italians Allowed", by Alain Ughetto, "The Family Portrait" (in competition at MONSTRA), by Lea Vidaković, and "With Each Passing Day...", by Emanuel Nevado.

For the full schedule and more information please visit www.monstrafestival.com. You can also follow the festival on social media https://www.facebook.com/festivalmonstra/ or https://www.instagram.com/festival_monstra/.