ALBUQUERQUE – Instituto Cervantes of Albuquerque is hosting an animated cartoon workshop titled Pequeños Dibujos Animados (PDA), or Little Animated Cartoons, facilitated by the prominent Spanish artists Mario Torrecillas and Juan José Sáez and film director Juan Antonio Bayona. PDA is an international audiovisual project that was started in Barcelona by Mario Torrecillas. Since then, it has traveled to Jordan, the Czech Republic, Algiers, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Poland, China, and now the United States. The artists will work for two weeks with 15 Hispanic children between the ages of 6 and 12, teaching them how to tell a story through cartoons. The end result is a short animated film in which the children share their dreams, their anxieties, their lives, and the world they inhabit.

Mario Torrecillas is a screenwriter, author of the books The Child’s Education Program, PAI: Project for the Activation of Intelligence, and a writer for the series Letters and Numbers and Adventures with Gogo, among others. He has also published articles in magazines including Ajoblanco (White Garlic) and Qué Leer (What To Read). He was the screenwriter for the film Touching Bottom, directed by Manuel Quiroga Xose Galician, and a co-writer, with show choreographer Cesc Gelabert, on Useless, which opened at the National Theatre in Catalunya in 2000. Since 2001 Torecillas has been a regular contributor to the film reviews section of El Periódico de Catalunya. He has worked on an advertising campaign on gender violence for The Petit Agency Committee, and currently has two comics pending publication: The Son and Holy Christ, both by the publisher Glénat.

Juan José Sáez is a prolific author, creator, and illustrator of comics. He has successfully published several best-selling comic books with Mondadori and other publishing houses. Throughout his career he has worked with a number of advertising campaigns, including design for Nike. He also has designed for and collaborated with musical groups, newspapers, and magazines. Sáez produced the television series Arròs covat (Stale Rice), which was awarded the Premio Ondas in 2010. His books include Dentro del sombrero (Inside the Tall Hat), Buenos tiempos para la muerte (Good Times for Death), Viviendo del cuento (Living from the Story), El Arte, conversaciones imaginarias con mi madre (Art, Imaginary Conversations with My Mother), and Yo, otro libro egocéntrico (Me, Another Egocentric Book).

Juan Antonio Bayona is a Spanish film director who has been active in the film, music, and television industries since the late 1990s. He is best known for the acclaimed horror film The Orphanage (El Orfanato), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2007, and earned him the award for Best New Director at Spain’s 2008 Goya Awards. Bayona was one of the many candidates to direct The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. His latest projects include the movies Hater, written by Glen Mazzara and produced by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Johnson, and The Impossible, with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

The Instituto Cervantes is a public, not-for-profit institution founded by the government of Spain in 1991 to promote Spanish language teaching and knowledge of the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world. It is now the largest international Spanish teaching organization and has more than 70 centers on 5 continents. The National Hispanic Cultural Center, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Hispanic art and culture at the local, state, national, and international levels.