April and the Extraordinary World triumphant at Annecy
by Fabien Lemercier
- The film by Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci has won the Crystal for Best Feature Film, while Long Way North snagged the Audience Award
Unveiled as a world premiere, the Franco-Canadian-Belgian co-production April and the Extraordinary World [+see also:
interview: Christian Desmares and Fran…
film profile] by directorial duo Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci, based on a graphic world created by the famous comic-book artist Jacques Tardi (read the news), has taken away the Crystal for Best Feature Film at the 55th edition of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
With a screenplay written by Franck Ekinci and Benjamin Legrand, April and the Extraordinary World unfolds in 1941. Napoléon V rules a France in which scientists are mysteriously disappearing. Deprived of modern technology, the world goes round thanks to coal and steam. A young girl called April sets off in search of her parents, two scientists who have vanished, together with Darwin, her talking cat, and Julius, a young rogue. This trio will have to overcome perilous situations and mysteries in order to find out who is abducting the scientists, and why...
Produced by Marc Jousset and Franck Ekinci for Je Suis Bien Content, April and the Extraordinary World was co-produced by Arte France Cinéma, StudioCanal (which will handle the release in French theatres on 11 November and is overseeing the international sales, which have already been very successful, with an acquisition for the United States via Gkids, among other territories), Tchack and Jouror Productions, by Canada (Kaïbou) and by Belgium (Needs Productions, RTBF and Proximus). Featuring among the film’s myriad other partners are Canal+, Ciné+, the CNC, Eurimages, the Media Programme, Wallimage, the Ile-de-France region, the Cofinova and La Banque Postale Image Soficas, as well as the TTK, Waooh!, Digital Graphics and Purearts studios. It is worth pointing out that the French voices for the film were provided by Marion Cotillard, Marc-André Grondin, Jean Rochefort, Philippe Katerine, Bouli Lanners, Olivier Gourmet and Anne Coesens.
While the Annecy Festival’s Jury Prize was awarded to the Japanese film Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai, the Audience Award was bestowed upon the Franco-Danish co-production Long Way North [+see also:
film profile] by Rémi Chayé (read the article – staged by Sacrebleu Productions together with Maybe Movies, France 3 Cinéma, 2 Minutes and Norlum; distribution in France handled by Diaphana; international sales by UDI).
Also of note on the awards list is the heavy presence of Eastern Europe in the short-film competition, with the triumph of the Russian title We Can’t Live Without Cosmos and the Jury Prize given to the Estonian production Isand - The Master by Riho Unt. Meanwhile, the graduation-film category was dominated by the United Kingdom, with the Crystal going to My Dad by Marcus Armitage and the Jury Prize to Edmond by Nina Gantz. The French title Brume, cailloux et métaphysique by Lisa Matuszak was singled out with a Mention.
Lastly, it is worth noting that the Gan Foundation’s Distribution Aid for a Work in Progress went to the Franco-Swiss co-production My Life as a Zucchini [+see also:
interview: Claude Barras
film profile] by Claude Barras (read the article), and the MIFA (International Animated Film Market) saw a record-breaking number of visitors, with 2,680 accredited individuals (a rise of 10%) hailing from 63 countries, 555 of which were exhibiting companies and 364 of which were buyers, distributors or investors.
(Translated from French)