Portugal, 1996. João Gonzalez is a film director, animator, illustrator, and musician with classical piano training. After completing his BA at ESMAD (Portugal), he went on to earn a Masters degree at the Royal College of Art (United Kingdom). During his studies, he created two award-winning films: Nestor  and The Voyager.

In 2022, João made history by becoming the first Portuguese animation filmmaker to win at the Cannes Film Festival. His short film, Ice Merchants, received the Jury Prize for Best Short Film in competition at Critics Week. Ice Merchants went on to achieve further acclaim, becoming the first Portuguese film ever nominated for an Oscar and the second to win an Annie Award.

João’s artistic vision blends his musical background with his passion for auteur animation. He often composes the music for his films, sometimes even performing instruments himself. In some cases, he even creates his films with live musical performances in mind.