Ciao, I'm Céu D'Ellia

I know how to direct your eyes



Céu D´Ellia

animation film director & narrative visual artist

Céu D’Ellia is an Italian Brazilian, fluent in English, Portuguese, and French.

His professional experience, in Brazil, the United States, France and England, is in all areas of animated film production, working as a screenwriter, animator, designer, director and producer. He began his career directing and animating commercials for the biggest advertising agencies in Brazil, for which he won important awards.

In 1988 he released his first experimental short film, FAREWELL, which received many awards and was chosen by the Clermont-Ferrand Festival in 2004 as one of the most outstanding Brazilian shorts of all time.
He began his international career in 1989, working in London, on animation clips and on the animated feature FIEVEL GOES TO THE WEST, produced by Steven Spielberg.

Céu is passionately involved in environmental issues, which emerge as a theme throughout his work. Awarded the Rockefeller Foundation VITAE Art Scholarship in 1994, he began researching environmental themes since 1990. In 1996, he received the international scientific award Hopes for The Future for a Sustainable World, through IUAPPA/IAS, for proposing a set of ethical principles in the relationships between mass communication, culture, and the environment.

From 2009 to 2012, with the support of the São Paulo Municipal Department of Culture, he created and directed NUPA, a center to encourage the development of Brazilian animated cinema, producing films with content based on socio-environmental issues.

From 2019 until today, he has developed METRÔTOON, a communication campaign, through animations, illustrations, and visual design, for the São Paulo Metro. The subway operation involves 7.8 million passengers per day, and the campaign carried out by Céu is considered, according to a survey carried out with users, one of the most efficient actions carried out since the service was founded.

Other highlights are animation supervision for A GOOFY MOVIE (Disney, Paris, 1994-95), the comic album ZU KINKAJÚ (2013), the independent animated short LOVE WILL RESCUE YOU (2015), about trafficking (slavery) of children in Burma and Thailand, and art direction, directing consultancy, and episode direction for P. KING DUCKLING (LAP & UYoung, NYC, 2015-17).

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    Ploc Monsters sold in a single month
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    The year in which Céu was honored as an artist at the ANIMA MUNDI festival
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    Projects successfully realized






advertising artist

His professional career began in Brazil in 1979, directing and animating advertising, institutional and informative films. He also created characters and illustrations for several campaigns. Since then, he has been producing award-winning works for clients such as: Banco Itaú, Carrefour, Cinemark, Coca-Cola, Flix, Fuji-Films, General Motors, Gessy Lever, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, among others.




experimental animation moviemaker

In 1988, he completed his first experimental animated short, Adeus (Farewell). Intended for an adult audience, the film generated controversy, but also received national and international awards. Sixteen years after its release, it was chosen by the acclaimed Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival as one of the 25 best short films ever produced in Brazil. And in 2018, by ABRACCINE (Brazilian Association of Film Critics), as one of the 100 essential Brazilian animated films. As in other experimental films that he would produce, he experimented in Farewell with narrative, editing, animation technique and visual innovation.




international animation filmaker

Céu moved to London from 1989 to 1991, where he worked as designer and animator in commercials for UK TV and music videos for MTV Japan. He joined Spielberg´s animation studio as animation supervisor working for Amblimation, a company that would be renamed Dreamworks a couple of features later. Since then, Céu has worked with other studios and artists in many productions: Disney Studio, Dudok de Wit, Joanna Quinn, Little Airplane, Matthew Kelly & Uli Meyer, among others. Céu has also lived in Paris, Rio and New York City, and currently moves between São Paulo and Brussels.




story artist

His interest in ecological themes, children and cultural matrices motivated him to create stories and characters for children. In 1994 he received his first research grant, the VITAE Grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Over the years, inspired by his travels in the wild regions of South America and his experiences with indigenous people, Céu created characters such as MãmMãmBugé Yandu, Nana Banana and Zu Kinkaju, featured in pilot films, comics, and documentaries.



Little Airplane

episode director & art director

From 2015 to 2017 Céu worked as Episode Director & Art Director in New York City, at Little Airplane Productions. He also provided consultancy in animation and direction, fully participating in the first season of the TV animated series for children, P. King Duckling. The series, 52 x 13, was released in November 2016 at Disney Jr. According to Eurodata TV, in December 2016 the show was already among the ten most popular programs for children in the USA television.



Anima Mundi

honored artist

In 2014, the International Animation Festival in Rio, Anima Mundi, chose Céu D’Ellia to be one of the 2014 Honored Artists. The others were Bob Balser (Yellow Submarine), Eric Goldberg (Aladdin) and the Guillaume Brothers (Max & Co).




art and culture promoter

NUPA (São Paulo Animation Center), an animation production house fostering a free school-studio center, was created, and directed by Céu, along almost four years. The center was at CCJ Youth Cultural Center, in the suburbs of São Paulo. It provided an opportunity for students without money to become animation professionals. Its production was quite successful, with all film content discussing and developing awareness about social-environmental issues in São Paulo




award for scientific paper

Motivated by concern for children and environment issues, as well as his experience of how consumer habits are influenced by advertising and film entertainment, Céu wrote a paper with a proposal for ethical principles for mass media communication. In 1996 it won the Hopes for the Future for a Sustainable World award, from IUAPPA/IAS. Initially with ten principles, after tests were conducted, Céu summarized it to only three: Eco Efficiency, Biophilia & Key Question.





At the time Céu started to work, there were no animation schools in Brazil. Even the English Bibliography was quite short. He is a self-taught artist who learned mainly from frame-by-frame observation of old super-8 films. In 2008, Céu received a bachelor’s degree from Braz Cubas Brazilian University, with recognized merits for knowledge. But even before that he was working as a Guest University Instructor in Santa Maria (design,1993), the ECA-USP University of São Paulo (introduction to animation, 2002) and PUC, Catholic University of São Paulo (in the semiotics postgraduate course 2007, 2011 and 2012).





Since 1985 Céu has dedicated part of his time to volunteer in social causes. Besides personal aspects involved, Céu believes that such activities contribute to his experience improving the application of human values and emotions in his work. Céu started working with health care activities for poor families in rural areas of Brazil. From 1994 to 2003, he participated in an ecological NGO, and from 2001 to 2014, in an NGO that develops activities to stimulate self-esteem and the positive potential of children at social risk.

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