Toons Invade Annecy

The Annecy Int’l Festival of Animation in Annecy, France, today got under way along the shore of lake Annecy in the French Alps. The picturesque setting provides the backdrop for one of the largest showcases of animated film and television projects from around the world. This year’s special guest of honor is stop-motion animation legend Ray Harryhausen. Other highlights include a tribute to Korean Animation.

Features in competition this year include Bill Plympton’s new Hair High (Plymptoons/E.D. Distribution, U.S.), José Pozo’s El Cid: The Legend, (Filmax International/Sogedasa – Spain), Baek-yeop Sung’s Oseam, (Mago21 Co. Ltd./Cinema Service Co. Ltd, Les Films Du Préau – South Korea), Daniel Robichaud’s Pinocchio 3000 (Cinegroupe Animation Inc., Animakids Production, Castelao Prods./Filmax Animation — Canada) and Maurizio Forestieri’s Toto’ Sapore e la magica storia della pizza (Medusa Film, Lanterna Magica Srl./Lanterna Magica Srl. — Italy.

Among the films screening in exhibition is Folimage’s La Prophétie des grenouilles (Raining Cats and Frogs) from director Jaques-Rémy Girerd. The hand-drawn charmer was widely embraced at last year’s festival when audiences were treated to a preview of the first six minutes. The entire film screened today.

Last year’s Grand Prix winner was the short Atama Yama (Mt. Head) from director Japanese Koji Yamamura and Yamamura Animation Inc., while the winning feature film was My Life as McDull from director Toe Yuen and Lunchtime Prods. of Hong Kong. Another big winner last year was Adam Elliot’s short film, Harvey Krumpet (Melodrama Pictures), which won the Special Jury Award, the Jean-Luc Xiberras award for a first film and the Audience Award, then went on to win the 2003 Academy Award for Best Short.

Animation Magazine Online is in Annecy, so keep reading for updates from one of the world’s biggest animation love fests.