Among the many intriguing screenings and informational sessions planned for this year’s Annecy animation festival and MIFA market (June 12-17; annecy.org), some of the most respected names in the game as well as rising animation stars will be there in the flesh to share their insights and discuss their latest projects. The confab will offer an array of masterclasses, Work In Progress raps, conferences, keynote speeches and studio focus sessions.
This year’s Keynote Speakers include Walt Disney Television Animation’s Eric Coleman, Sony Pictures Animation’s Kristine Belson, and living legend Glen Keane, who will devote his talk to “Thinking Like a Child: Embracing Change in an Ever-Evolving Art From.” In his address, Keane will share his experiences in merging art and technology throughout his career — which has spanned 38 years in Disney’s feature animation studio and, since 2012, his own Glen Keane Productions. He will close with a screening of his latest film, Dear Basketball, a collaboration with basketball star Kobe Bryant and Oscar-winning composer John Williams. [June 13, 7 p.m., Bonlieu Petite Salle.]
Two can’t-miss projects to be highlighted in the Work in Progress program are the first-ever Godzilla animated feature from Toho Co. (Japan), and local French production The Little Vampire from Autochenille Prod. Directors Kobun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita will present a sneak peek at Godzilla, which follows the events after the titular monster deals a crushing defeat to the human race and nigh on destroys Earth in 2054 — 20 years later, the drifting space-bound survivors start reconsidering a return to their abandoned planet. [June 14, 9:30 a.m., Salle Pierre Lamy.] Little Vampire — about a precocious, immortal 10-year-old who befriends a human orphan and brings him into a world of fantasy and danger — will be introduced to attendees by director Joann Sfar and producer Antoine Delesvaux. [June 14, 11:15 a.m., Salle Pierre Lamy.]
Also on the WIP docket: The Breadwinner, Wish Dragon, Zero Impunity and more.
Robert Valley, director of the Oscar-nominated labor of love Pear Cider and Cigarettes, will present a Masterclass titled “From Graphic Novels to Animated Music Videos and Short Films.” The in-demand artist, designer, filmmaker and animator will pull from his array of ever-evolving works to demonstrate some of the key steps in moving from the graphic novel page to the animated screen. Examples will include Pear Cider as well as Gorillaz music video material created in collaboration with Jamie Hewlett. More insight on moving between media can be found at “The Art of Storytelling, from Comics to Animation” with Lewis Trondheim, Guy Delisle and Arthur de Pins.
And aspiring series creators should not miss “A Conversation with Nickelodeon Creatos Joe Murray and Robert Scull,” which will place the minds behind Rocko’s Modern Life and Bubble Guppies in the same room to discuss bringing their visions to life and the trajectory of their prolific careers in animation from the 1990s to the present — plus an exclusive sneak peek Nick’s upcoming Rocko’s Modern Life TV movie. [June 16, 4:30-5:45 p.m., Bonlieu Petite Salle.]