Annecy turns the big 4-0
by Fabien Lemercier
- 236 films are on the line-up for the unmissable international animation festival running from 13-18 June, with 2,680 professionals participating in its industry sections
Still sporting the crown of its recent Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize win at Cannes, Dutch director Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle [+see also:
film profile] will open the 40th Annecy International Animation Film Festival (running from 13-18 June 2016) this Monday. 236 films from across 85 countries make up this year’s official selection (read the interview with the festival’s artistic director, Marcel Jean), including 20 feature films, 85 shorts, 28 TV movies, 49 commissioned titles and 54 graduation films.
Featuring among the nine titles duking it out for the 2016 Crystal are three European features - Psiconautas [+see also:
film profile] by Spanish duo Pedro Rivero and Alberto Vázquez and two remarkable animations from Cannes: Swiss director Claude Barras’ My Life as a Courgette [+see also:
interview: Claude Barras
film profile] and French filmmaker Sébastien Laudenbach’s The Girl Without Hands [+see also:
film profile]. Productions from the Old Continent will also be on show in the out-of-competition sections, including Bad Cats by Turkish team Mehmet Kurtulus and Ayse Ünal, French filmmaker Patrick Bokanowski’s Un Rêve solaire, Capture the Flag [+see also:
film profile] by Spain’s Enrique Gato Borregán and Czech filmmaker Merek Benes’s Pat & Mat, the Film. The line-up of the “Event Screenings” is also worth mentioning, as it not only features French filmmaker Jean-François Laguionie’s Louise en hiver [+see also:
film profile], but also a number of US attractions, including the advance screening of The Secret Life of Pets (the latest opus from Illumination/Universal) and sneak peeks at both Moana (Disney) and Ice Age 5: Collision Course (Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky Studios).
Gems from the Meetings programme include Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s master class, the presentation of an Honorary Crystal to French producer Didier Brunner (the founder of Les Armateurs, and who now heads Folivari – read the interview), a keynote presentation from British animation team Peter Lord and David Sproxton (co-founders of the Aardman Animations studio), and a conference entitled “How Can Independent European Animated Features Fare at the Box Office?”
The features presented in the Works in Progress section include Arthur de Pins’ Zombillenium (Maybe Movies and 2 Minutes), White Fang (Superprod and Bidibul), Funny Little Bugs (ON Animation Studio), Sahara (La Station Animation), Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires (produced by British production house Animortal Studios) as well as Trolls (DreamWorks).
Between 15 and 17 June, 2,680 professionals (including 364 buyers and distributors) and 63 countries will be in action at the 31st Mifa, the world’s leading animation market. Super Vinamotor by French duo François Leroy and Stéphanie Lonsaque (about a young mafioso forced to flee Saigon who is met by an unlikely pair), Spanish project Memorias de un hombre en pijama by Carlos Fernandez and Paco Roca, and Hungarian filmmaker Zoltan Miklosy’s Solo Lobo (the misadventures of a clumsy bandit) stand out from among the feature-film projects that will be pitched at the event.
The Mifa special events include a round-table exploring “French animation as seen by buyers representing leading European, North and Latin American broadcasting companies”, a discussion dissecting the Chinese animation market, and a Creative Europe-hosted conference entitled “Europe’s Animation Industry: How Do We Build Scale?”, which will include speakers such as French producer Marc de Pontavice (Xilam) Belgium’s Annemie Degryse (Lumière Publishing), Spain’s Ignacio Perez Dolset (Ilion Animation Studio) and Finland’s Mikko Setälä (Rovio Entertainment). Also of note is a conference initiated by the CNC focused on "Opportunities for French Programmes Abroad" which will see Orion Ross (Disney Channel), Roch Lener (Millimages), Nicole Keeb (ZDF), Olivier Dumont (Entertainment One) and Josselin Charier (Studio Hari) lock horns. All without forgetting the Territory Focus panels, including those dedicated to France and Flanders as well as the Studio Focus section, which includes DreamWorks, Warner Bros and Disney, among others.
(Translated from French)