NAYOLA, the digital art book of the movie, shares with the reader a nine-year journey through the creative process of developing and producing this animated feature movie.

The digital book is organized into twelve chapters that initially refer the reader to the process of adapting the script, based on two literary works written by two renowned African writers. First, a short story, written by José Eduardo Agualusa, an Angolan writer, then a play, written by José Eduardo Agualusa and Mia Couto, a Mozambican writer. By accessing the links in the digital book, the reader can read the short story, then the play and finally the script. Understand and enjoy the way in which two plots emerged in the script, one based on the play, and the other on an original journey – exterior and interior – of the main character throughout the movie. Few books on cinematographic creative processes give the reader so many possibilities.

Being a movie set in Angola, a country in southern Africa, taking place in the final phase of the rather unknown Angolan Civil War, and in the first years of peace that followed the book shares with the reader information about these two consecutive wars that lasted 40 years. Ancestral Angola, its colonial period and the present. The way in which the history, culture, peoples, languages, and ecosystems of this beautiful country were incorporated into the movie, in a visual and sound narrative, poetic and dazzling.

Afterwards, the digital book reveals to the reader how a fiction with strong roots in Angolan reality was created. It describes the importance of the repérages carried out, the long development phase associated with detailed investigations into all aspects of the movie. From African masks to geomorphology, flora and fauna, to the customs and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the desert, from popular music to the hip-hop movement, the matriarchal structure of Angolan society to the intervention of women in the Civil War. Professional and amateur Angolan actors, poets and musicians, recorded the voices of all characters in Luanda. The reader can see interviews with the three voice actors that created the voices of the three protagonists of the movie through links available in the digital book. Six excellent Angolan musicians composed and performed the songs that make up the movie soundtrack. The script incorporates memories, poems and songs by the Angolan voice actors. The reader will be able to see and hear them through links available in the digital book.

The digital book is profusely illustrated and, many hyperlinks, allow the reader to consult from the first graphic studies of the characters and backgrounds, to their final version, colour tests, animation tests, the storyboard and the animatic. The reasons that led to the choice of the animation techniques used in the movie are shared with the reader: the plot in the Past in 2D and in archival footage, the plot in the Present in 3D, oneiric sequences in animated painting.

Finally, the producer and co-producers tell the reader about the work processes of this international co-production that involved five countries, Portugal, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Angola, and more than 100 collaborators.

We believe that the digital book will be very interesting for film students and professionals, especially animation cinema, animation movie fans and spectators in general.

These stories, people and places that inspired us; we hope they inspire you too.

Virgílio Almeida (Screenwriter)
José Miguel Ribeiro (Movie director)


   Review: Nayola – A Journey Through the Creative Process at radix (in spanish)