Taking place June 13-18, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival (accompanied by the MIFA market, June 15-17) will once again offer the very best in animation from around the world, showcased through features, shorts, TV projects and student works in and out of competition, masterclasses, speaking sessions and many more specialized events. The festival organizers have released the full program for 2016, which you can explore at www.annecy.org. Here are some of the highlights:
Feature Films in Competition
Take in the finest gems of feature animation vying for the coveted Cristal — and try to guess which will be the next global indie darling. This year’s Official Selection wil be judged by composer Bruno Coulais, France 4’s Children & Youth Executive Director Tiphaine de Raguenel, and producer-writer-director Sarah Smith.
+ 25 April directed by Leanne Pooley (produced by Matthew Metcalfe, New Zealand). Documentary about the tragic WWI battle of Gallipoli.
+ Snowtime! By Jean-Francois Pouliot & Francois Brisson (CarpeDiem, Canada). Remake of classic French-Canadian kids film showcasing Quebec’s 3D production progress.
+ La Jeune Fille Sans Mains by Sebastien Laudenbach (Les Films Sauvages, France). An adaptation of a lesser-known Brothers Grimm tale, crafted single-handedly.
+ My Life as a Courgette by Claude Barras (Blue Spirit, Rita Prod., Gebeka, Switzerland/France). A funny and touching tale about a group of orphans.
+ Nuts! By Penny Lane (USA). A standout from this year’s Sundance festival,the documentary is unique in subject, aesthetics and structure.
+ Psyconautas, the Forgotten Children by Pedro Rivero & Alberto Vazquez (Zircozine, Basque Films, Spain). Grown out of the world created for the short Birdboy and originally slated for 2015’s tribute to Spain — and worth the wait.
+ Seoul Station by Sang-ho Yeon (Studio Dadashow, Finecut Co., South Korea). Yeon’s third film in Annecy competition brilliant blends horror and social realism and represents the singular modernity of Korean animation.
+ Sheep and Wolves by Maxim Volkov (Wizart Animation, Russia). Wizart’s third feature is a bold, crowd-pleasing comedy about a magical identity mix-up.
+ Window Horses by Ann Marie Fleming (Sandra h, Ann Marie Fleming, Shirley Vercruyssse, Canada). Fleming has spent more than 25 years developing and creating an unclassifiable film that is a fictional film, transdisciplinary exploration and animation shorts all in one.
Spotlight on France
This year’s focus country is France — a nation that has been central to the European animation scene throughout its history. Annecy has chosen to take a different perspective on French animation this year, exploring how it is perceived by the rest of the world through 13 dedicated programs and five documentary screenings.
+ The Classic’s Classics (curated by Giannalberto Bendazzi) includes Fantasmagorie by Emile Cohl (1908), The Idea by Berthold Bartosch (1931) and The Little Soldier by Paul Grimault (1947)…
+ View from Hollywood (Ron Diamond), The Crab Revolution by Arthur de Pins (2004), Madagascar, a Journey Diary by Bastien Dubois (2009), The Monk and the Fish by Michael Dudok de Wit (1994)…
+ Shelley Page’s Selection, The Mouse’s Tale by La Poudriere (2007), Windmills by l’Ecole George Melies (2011), Three Small Stitches by Gobelins (2010)…
+ Eastern Wind (Igor Prassel), co-productions with Eastern Europe like A Blue Room by Tomasz Siwinski and Tram by Michaela Pavlatova (2012)…
+ Animated Scores (Andrea Martignoni), musical fare The Young Lady and the Cellist by Jean-Francois Laguionie (1964), Berni’s Doll by Yann J. (2007)…
+ Small Screen Giants (Annecy Artistic Director Marcel Jean), TV hits The Magic Roundabout by Serge Danot (1964), Les Shadoks by Jacques Rouxel (1968), Gideon by Michel Ocelot (1976), The Long Long Holiday by Paul Leluc and Delphine Maury (2015)…
Annecy will also award an Honorary Cristal to legendary producer and current head of Folivari studios Didier Brunner (Kirikou, Ernest & Celestine, The Triplets of Belleville); and present a special panel discussion on the evolution and growth of the French and European animation industries (speakers include author-historian Dominique Puthod, former Minister of Culture Jack Lang, Xilam founder Marc du Pontavice, Mac Guff founder Jacques Bled and DreamWorks supervising animator Kristof Serrand).
Special Programs: Advertising
A series of programs devoted to animation in advertising will include a 75th Anniversary of Animated Commercials retrospective screening, and talks by filmmakers Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Pierre Coffin (Minions), Nick Park (Wallace and Gromit), Bill Plympton (Idiots and Angels), John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) and Steven Lisberger (Tron).
Don’t miss instructive masterclasses with composer Bruno Coulais, director/producer Guillermo del Toro and director John Kricfalusi; keynote speeches by Aardman’s Peter Lord & David Sproxton, Cinesite’s Eamonn Butler and Ankama’s Anthony Roux; or the making-of explorations of hit series The Dorks and Robot Chicken.
Annecy 2016 also hosts work-in-progress sessions for TV series (Cartoon Network’s rebooted Samurai Jack and Benjamin Renner’s The Big Bad Fox) and feature films (White Fang, In This Corner of the World, Trolls, Sahara, The Shaman Sorceress, Zombillenium and Funny Little Bugs).