Paley, Plympton Nab Annecy Palmares Prizes

The 32nd edition of the Annecy Int’l Animation Festival proved to be the year of the New York indie animators as Nina Paley’s Flash-animated feature Sita Sings the Blues won the top prize for best feature and Bill Plympton’s latest offering Idiots and Angels received a Special Mention Cristal from the judges.

In contast, the TV honors had a decidedly non-American feel to them as the best production prize was givine to Francois Reczulski’s ‘L’Enfer de la Mode’ episode of the 3D TV series Moot Moot (produced and distributed by Franche Connection) about an eccentric sheep family. The best TV series award went to U.K.’s Talented Mouse (‘Catnip,’ ‘Pest Controller’ and ‘Oasis’) directed by award-winning animator Leigh Hodgkinson and produced by Slinky Pics for Channel Four. Engel zu Fuss won the best TV special for Saschka Unseld and Jakob Schuh from Germany’s Studio Soi.

The beautifully animated German feature The Three Robbers (Animation X) was the recipient of The Audience Award. Directed by Hayo Freitag, the feature was also presented at Cartoon Movie this year and will be distributed by The Weinstein Co. in the U.S.

This year’s star-studded event included several well-known animation figures in the jury including Matt Groening, John Canemaker, Richard Williams, Barry Purves, David Silverman and Ram Mohan. The features category experienced a palpable growth especially as the number of nominated titles was upped to nine (from last year’s five). Among the French event’s numerous highlights was a screening of the Israeli feature Waltz with Bashir and premieres of Doug Sweetland’s Presto (Pixar) and Chris Williams’ Glago’s Guest (Disney) as well as a classic tribute to Winsor McCay by Oscar-winning animator John Canemaker.

The MIFA market, which runs in conjunction with the festival, posted a 10 percent growth from previous editions. According to managing director Mickael Marin, over 1,900 business executives, students and aficionados attended the market this year. For more info about the event, visit www.annecy.org.

Among this year’s major category winners:

Feature Film Cristal: Sita Sings the Blues (Nina Paley, U.S.)

Feature Film Special Mention: Idiots and Angels (Bill Plympton, U.S.)

Feature Film Audience Award: The Three Robbers (Hayo Freitag, Germany)

TV Production: ‘L’Enfer de la Mode,’ Moot Moot (Francois Reczulski, France)

TV Series: ‘Catnip,’ ‘Pest Controller,’ ‘Oasis,’ Talented Mouse (Leigh Hodgkinson, U.K.)

TV Special: Engel zu Fuss (Saschka Unseld and Jakob Schuh, Germany)

Shorts Cristal: La Maison en Petits Cubes (Kunio Kato, Japan)

Shorts Special Jury Award: The Lady on the Threshold (Jorge Dayas, Spain)

Shorts, First Film: Portraits rates a Sainte-Helene (Cedric Villain, France)

Shorts, Special Mention: Berni’s Doll (Yann Jouette, France) and Morana (Simon Bogojevic Narath, France-Croatia)

SACEM Award, Original Music: KJFG No. 5 (Alexei Alexeev, Hungary)

TV Audience Award: ‘Skhizein’ (Jeremy Clapin, France)

To see a complete list, visit www.annecy.org