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Events | Highlights | Our reportages

ANNECY FESTIVAL 2023, GROWTH AND INCLUSION

12 Jul - 2023

The Annecy International Animation Film Festival (11-17 June) and Market (Mifa, 13-16 June) this year welcomed 15,820 accredited attendees from 102 countries, with a 19% increase compared to 2022, screening 468 films in the official selection.

Great releases and personalities

Nimona – Cr: Netflix © 2023

Among the most awaited new releases, there are Netflix’s Nimona (30 June), starring an impetuous teenage shape-shifter, and Blue Eye Samurai (2023), the new upcoming series about a mixed-race master of the sword who lives a life in disguise while seeking revenge in Edo-period Japan; Warner Bros’ Animation’s Lord of the Rings: War of Rohirrims, the original anime set in the world of J.R. Tolkien’s fantasy series; Banijay’s Shasha & Milo, the new series where protagonists with magical powers will face all the complexities of teenage life.

Blue Eye Samurai

Great Personalities have reached as usual the charming city, like Chris Meledandri, Producer and Founder of Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me), who presented the studio’s new upcoming feature film Migration, and received the Annecy’s Golden Ticket Lifetime Award.

Barry JC Purves, English stop-motion animator and director, was awarded with an Honorary Crystal for his outstanding career and commitment to LGBTQ+ animation. The director also held the Masterclass The Revealing Mask, aimed to represent the identity theme on animation. Furthermore, at Le Campus, the brand-new Mifa’s area for emerging talent, the encounter LGBTQ+ Challenges in Animation Today and Tomorrow explored the dynamic world of animation through the lens of LGBTQ+ students and professionals. Plus, many movies on the identity genre were screened, including the US short movie Pete, which won CANAL+ Junior Jury Award.

Guillermo Del Toro @ ANNECY FESTIVAL/F. Murarotto

The featured country for this edition was Mexico, with 7 films in different categories, 88 short movies, and a Mifa’s stand with many Mexican studios and schools. The Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro declared at Annecy that he’s working on his stop-motion project with Netflix, The Buried Giant, and that he’s co-writing a Mexican stop-motion feature for director Karla Castañeda. The animator Jorge R. Gutiérrez also announced his new Netflix limited series on the Meso-American culture, Maya and the Three.

The Mifa space surpassed last year’s record, reaching an area of 10.000 square meters, to exhibit all the most important news from the biggest animation companies.

Disney is celebrating their 100 anniversary with exciting novelties! One of the most anticipated  events was the preview of Kizaki Moto: Generation Fire (from July 5 on Disney+), the animated sci-fi anthology inspired by Africa’s diverse cultures. Walt Disney Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee returned to Annecy to share exclusive details about the musical-comedy Wish, the upcoming Disney Christmas film, on which she is both Executive Producer and Scriptwriter. The movie has as protagonist Asha, a young sharp-witted idealist who lives in Rosas, known as the kingdom of wishes. The new Disney Junior preschool musical series based on The Little Mermaid, Ariel (2024) was also presented.

The Mediawan Kids&Family division, after one year of its foundation, houses eight production labels, including the recent acquisitions Wildseed Studios and Submarine Animation. Furthermore, it is partnering with DeAPlaneta Entertainment for licensing and merchandising of IPs such as  Karters, Witch Detectives and The Three Musketeers. Over 30 TV series developments and 10 productions are currently underway, as well as several feature films, numerous preschool projects such as Taïtikis, the new series from the creator of PJ Masks, and the animated adaptation for tweens and adults of Michael Salanville’s comic book, Banana Sioule. With ZAG, they just released the Miraculous movie on July 5th in France and on Netflix worldwide starting July 28th, while a sixth season of the popular franchise is in production for TF1, Disney, and Gloob.

Movies that audiences loved and from all over the world

Two very different films, but both focused on the theme of loss, met with great public acclaim. In Chicken for Linda! (Dolce Vita Films & Miyu Productions) Linda’s dad died when she was very young. The mom Paulette, after an unfair punishment, will do anything to make it up to her daughter – even if that means making chicken with peppers, the dish that Linda’s father always prepared. But on a day of general strike, it could become a difficult enterprise. The characters are rendered as black line drawings identified by single colors, a nice way of addressing diversity. The story is really moving, generating very long-standing ovations during the screenings, and conquering the Cristal for a feature film. Sirocco and the Kingdom of Air Streams (Sacrebleu), sees two intrepid sisters, Juliette (4) and Carmen (8), which discover a passage to the extraordinary world of their favorite book. Intended for a kids/family target, it won the Audience Award.

Not only from Mexico, films from different parts of the world continue to grow at Annecy. Hungary registered a large presence of titles and awards: 4 Souls of Coyote walked off with Annecy’s Jury Prize; 27 won its best short Cristal, and in all, the country had four titles in the official competition or Contrechamp, more than the U.S. or Japan.

Tokyo Animation Business Accelerator, the animation program supported by The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, attended phisically Mifa after 3 years. Numerous professionals presented their projects, as Chat food (90′, 9-11), a comedy movie that illustrates how a cat and a human rebuild their friendship and grow as a human (cat) being.

Japanese animation was in general very present at the festival with several films, like The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes, which won the Paul Grimault Award.

For the 2024 edition, which will take place between June 9 and 15, the featured country will be Portugal.

Curated by Rossella Arena 


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