Tenerife-born composer and conductor Diego Navarro will write the soundtrack for Elio Quiroga’s upcoming animation feature’ ‘Winnipeg, El Barco de la Esperanza’ (‘Winnipeg, Seeds of Hope’).

The project will unravel the extraordinary odyssey of 2,400 exiled Spanish refugees who crossed the world in search of a new life in Chile at the end of the Civil War aboard the SS Winnipeg steamer. The famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, together with his second wife Delia del Carril, played an instrumental role in making this journey happen. In dark times, when thousands of Spaniards were forced to flee the country to save their lives and were housed in refugee camps, the voyage of Winnipeg became a symbol of hope and future.

‘Winnipeg, El Barco de la Esperanza’ was born as a project on the initiative of producer Toni Marin Vila, who became interested in the original graphic novel written by Laura Martel. He thought this was a story that should be adapted into an animated film, due to its historical and emotional importance.

The feature film, from which Laura Martel herself has adapted her original graphic novel, is a co-production between Chile (El Otro Film), Spain (La Ballesta and 3 Doubles) and France (Marmitafilms). The project will have as executive producers Marianne Mayer-Beckh, who has produced works such as ‘El Príncipe’, ‘Dry Martina’ and ‘Rara’, Toni Marin Vila, who has to his credit artistically and commercially successful works such as ‘Wrinkles’, ‘Caracremada’, ‘Bicicleta, Cullera, Poma’ and ‘Boi’, and Beñat Beitia, an experienced graphic creator and artistic director of animated productions such as ‘Black is Beltza’, ‘Papá, Soy Una Zombie’ (‘Daddy, I’m a Zombie’) and ‘Cher Ami’, among others. Co-producer Darío Sánchez commands the Canarian company 3 Doubles.


Diego Navarro (‘Corporation: Earth’, ‘The Photographer of Mauthausen’) himself is no stranger to scoring for animation, having previously worked on projects such as ‘Puerta del Tiempo’ (2002) and ‘Capture the Flag’ (2015).

Navarro explains, ‘I am really so excited with this new project I will be scoring, and it is fantastic to be involved from an early stage of the production. It will be the third animation feature I score. It is a special genre that I love, because it gives you the chance of having no limitations from a creative point of view. My first feature, ‘Puerta del Tiempo’ (‘Time Gate’), was an animation movie and ‘Capture the Flag’ has been one of the biggest successes of my career. In this case, the approach will be different since the movie will tell true facts related to a hard episode of the history, but with strong intimate and emotional touches. Very much looking forward [to] “Winnipeg, seeds of hope”!’

‘Winnipeg, El Barco de la Esperanza’ has won the Liga de la Animación Iberoamericana (The Ibero-American Animation League) in its special call for 2020. The yearly event is organized by Animation! Ventana Sur, together with the Ibero-American Animation Quirino Awards (Tenerife) and Pixelatl Festival (Mexico), in collaboration with Annecy International Animation Festival.

The project was successful in competing with 38 other entries, of which there were five finalists and one winner. ‘Winnipeg, El Barco de la Esperanza’ will be presented in the special program La Liga in Focus in the virtual edition of Annecy Festival’s MIFA market and will receive an award accreditation that will give the audience access to all the events of the online edition (MIFA Pass).

Pre-production is expected to start at the end of the year, with the premiere scheduled for 2023, the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Neruda, and it is expected that various professionals and animation studios will join the Canary Islands, Catalonia, Madrid, Euskadi, Chile and France for the various phases of the film’s creation.