Two weeks after saying goodbye to the last edition of In Motion held in Rotterdam, it’s time to share the highlights of an unforgettable experience defined by interaction, dialogue, and a huge dose of inspiration and art. The festival led by Playgrounds, which brings together famous, award-winning production designers, creative directors, directors, and many other super interesting profiles linked to visual arts and avant-garde creativity, has demonstrated to be a project more necessary than ever after having achieved great success in its London call at the beginning of September and a sold-out event in The Netherlands.
No talks focusing on theory or round tables in which participants have to stick to a specific topic that limits their freedom and forces them to follow a script. In the last edition of In Motion Rotterdam, held on October 5 and 6 in Maassilo, we have attended talks whose ultimate goal was to inspire people through personal experiences, concrete examples, and case studies. But this project is a continuation, an upgrade from the formerly known Playgrounds BLEND festival.
Being a testament to the value of personal stories and inviting essential names from the international creative and artistic scene –including BAFTA, Emmy and Academy Award winners–, In Motion celebrates the importance of thinking out of the box and generating conversations that not only focus on creative projects but also on overcoming artistic blockages, mental health or the search for opportunities and formulas not explored yet.
This year’s edition has brought together a very exciting line-up of speakers and participants, including the Daniels –Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert–, better known for their masterpiece Everything Everywhere All At Once, which got hold of seven Academy awards (including Best Director and Best Picture), and also the wonderful Kirsten Lepore, especially known for the Oscar-nominated Marcel the Shell with Shoes On and the I Am Groot series, currently streaming on Disney +. Together with other prominent guests, they’ve turned the festival into a a multisensory experience that has offered us countless stimuli in a very personal way, allowing attendees to identify with many of the experiences that the creatives have shared throughout the two days.
Breaking new ground and speaking openly about topics which are sometimes overshadowed by creative projects or awards, participants such as animator Julia Pott, illustrator, concept artist and production designer Patrick O’Keefe, or designer Lisette Appeldorn, who creates incredible headpieces for international clients including Balmain and whose talk was one of the most inspiring, did not want to miss the event and shared some of the experiences that have most marked their professional careers with the audience.
“We are very proud that leading artists/makers like Daniels, Julia Pott, Patrick O’Keefe, and David Wilson are returning to our Playgrounds events. They adopt a very open and approachable attitude towards the audience. And that works!,” says Leon van Rooij, the Director of Playgrounds, when we ask about the formula with which the speakers manage to connect in such a human way with the attendees, including lots of creative minds and many young people passionate about design and visual arts. “What was new this year was that even the most vulnerable themes in this profession were shared. Through friendship on stage directly with the audience.”
The Riot Club deserves special mention. The group of high-profile filmmakers, who met twelve years ago in England during the 2011 London Riots, manifested themselves together for the first time on stage in the Maassilo. Listening to them and knowing more about the thoughts and experiences of this group of world-renowned professionals was a real treat. They claimed the value of friendship, empathy and synergy as some of the most important tools to make the world a better place. Promoting the importance of taking care of ourselves and allowing ourselves to make decisions that aren’t always right, their comments had a huge impact on an audience that of course took note of everything they said.
Together with Studio Mals, Antfood, design activist Gyor Moore or artists like Jesse van den Berg, Giovanni Maisto Ferreira and Kanea Indigo, who discussed how they find space for queerness within autonomous and commissioned work in an extremely interesting presentation, we also had the chance to go on stage at In Motion Rotterdam. We seized this opportunity to share some insights into how we work at METAL, the differences between the printed magazine and the website, the challenges faced by journalists, editors and creative teams in the current scene, and how the artistic projects that are featured on the magazine are curated.
There was also no shortage of parties and moments of celebration through dance, music and body expression. When all the talks and round tables were concluded, and to emphasise the importance of joining forces, creating safe spaces, and feeling one hundred per cent ourselves, the afterparty led by Playgrounds left no one indifferent and put the finishing touch to a festival that we hope will be back soon. If you want to stay tuned for In Motion’s upcoming projects, you can follow them on their social media.