The Annecy International Animation Film Festival celebrated its 60th anniversary with a unique edition last week. Passion, creativity, discussions, new projects, reunions, and so much more were on display during the first large, international cultural event to welcome the public in France since the start of the pandemic — Annecy 2021 marked the return of on-site events and made the city swing in rhythm to its hybrid live/online festival.
Organizers point out that the event is a reflection of the global animation industry, which adapted to the exceptional circumstances of the global health crisis “with an agility that enabled both talents and the industry to continue the pursuit of their activity and current projects.” Annecy Festival saw a historic number of feature films in competition this year, and professionals and emerging talents were eager to re-engage with their colleagues and discover new partners through meetings at the Festival and MIFA.
Annecy 2021 by the numbers:
- Almost 8,500 badgeholders (2,336 for MIFA, 6,128 for the Festival), who attended 50-50 on-site and online.
- 240 on-site screenings
- 74 Festival+ events; including conferences (30), work in progress session (16), Studio Focuses (13), demos (six), making-ofs (four), masterclasses (two), previews (two) and keynote speech.
- 80 online MIFA events; pitch sessions (20), recruiter talks (eight), focus sessions (11), Meet The… events (46) and press conferences (four)
- 12,897 online viewing hours
- 105 replays so far (WIP, Pitches, etc. available to badgeholders until December 31, 2021; select programs including shot films also accessible to MIFA badgeholders until Dec. 31).
Advancing Women at Annecy: The 2021 event also showed strides in the Festival’s journey to gender parity. In the last 60 years, the number of films directed by women in the Official Selection has climbed from 9% to nearly 45%. For the first time in the Festival’s history, two women directors won in the Feature Films awards category. Juries achieved equal gender representation this year, and Meetings programs achieved almost perfect parity (Conferences: 50% women speakers; Masterclasses: 50%; WIP: 42%). In the MIFA Pitches, 22 out of 37 selected projects were directed or co-directed by women.
The next edition will be held June 13-18, 2022, with a focus on Swiss animation.