With an extensive screenings schedule and the Mifa market, the Annecy Festival has become a must-attend event for many kids’ producers and distributors across the globe.
The Annecy International Animation Film Festival runs from June 10 to 15 with premieres of a host of animated features, including Playmobil: The Movie at the opening ceremony, Disney’s Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4, Fuminori Kizaki’s futuristic Human Lost and French animator Jean-François Laguionie’s hand-drawn The Prince’s Voyage. The Mifa market runs from June 11 to 14 with delegates from some 75 countries, among them almost 500 buyers and distributors. A total of 498 projects were submitted for the animation pitches this year (interactive on June 11, feature films and short films on June 12, and TV series and specials and worldwide animation on June 13). The Mifa schedule also includes panels organized by Women in Animation, masterclasses, a spotlight on French animation and networking opportunities.
“We have woven a long-standing relationship with the community,” says Annecy CEO Mickaël Marin on the growth of the event. He also notes the importance of having “talent and industry professionals in the same place at the same time. Furthermore, every year, we reinforce the complementary features between the two events and promote exchanges between the diverse professional categories. Annecy is not sidelined by just one single format. This is a sure-fire bonus that lets us show the best animated creations, including short films, features, TV series, [student] films and now virtual reality as well.”
Marin adds that “Annecy is the sole event that encompasses the [animation] industry’s entire chain within the same week, and all on a global scale.” The festival also places a heavy emphasis on supporting the next generation of animation talent. “Annecy attracts 3,000 students each year, who experience a full week of total immersion and intense contact with the industry that is there to receive them.” Plus, Marin adds, “Despite currently reaching almost 12,000 accreditations, Annecy is an exclusive place for meetings, exchanges and conviviality within an extraordinary backdrop—the beautiful Lake Annecy.”
New elements for the festival this year include a competition category for feature films (Contrechamp), a focus on tech innovations in animation with XR@Annecy, the inclusion of more women in the selection committee and additional features for the general public. This year also sees Japanese animation in the spotlight.
There are also new elements at Mifa, Marin says. “We have created new formats such as the Gap Financing: Meet the Producers [session] to enable feature film projects to complete their funding. Japan will be represented strongly with a pavilion of over 150 square meters. There will also be many professional meetings, at the center of the Mifa and all across the event. Annecy has a duty to be a place of debate, perspective and foresight. Once again, this will be the case with more than 150 international speakers and a program of around 50 events.”