The Annecy Animation Film Festival, a vibrant annual gathering in the heart of the French Alps, welcomes global audiences, industry professionals, and animation enthusiasts from every corner of the world.
This renowned festival's rich program features an impressive lineup of more than 50 events, including round tables, masterclasses, meetings, signing sessions, open-air screenings, and previews.
Spanning a week, nearly 500 films across various formats, techniques, and genres are showcased, engaging audiences in riveting competitions for both feature films and graduation films.
A Platform for Animation Giants and Future Stars
Marcel Jean, the Artistic Director of the festival, emphasizes its goal to be the world capital of animated film. He states, "We're talking about the biggest stars with the biggest budgets in animation, the big studios, Pixar, Disney, Warner, Paramount, the big platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Apple, which are all here. But also the independents, and the students who are the stars of tomorrow."
The festival is not just an entertainment hub. It also serves as a melting pot for industry professionals and a springboard for future stars. Many creative minds and producers find common ground here, which leads to the launch of numerous projects.
One of the feature films in competition, Robot Dreams, was presented in a special screening at the last Cannes Film Festival. The film tells the poignant tale of an unbreakable friendship between a robot and a dog set in 1980s New York.
The Spanish filmmaker Pablo Berger describes the significance of animation in storytelling. "I feel like a first-time director," Berger says, "Robot Dreams is my fourth film, but it's my first animation film. I am in the biggest festival of animation in the world. I wanted to use animation to express emotion, just as great directors like Takahata, Miyazaki do. Animation should not be limited to comedy and action."
A Blend of Art and Industry
The festival recognizes animation as an art and an industry. The International Film Market event takes place at the lakeside Imperial Hotel. This immersive part of the festival, known as MIFA, establishes Annecy as the world's largest event dedicated to animation in all its facets.
Véronique Encrenaz, Head of MIFA, shares, "Annecy is a unique event in the world, in the sense that it welcomes the entire animation chain, and all genres, all styles. We welcome animation schools, and this year we have 3600 students among the more than 15000 accredited attendees. We have new technologies because, of course, in animation we need tools. And then we have the producers, the distributors, the channels, right up to the broadcasting of the films."
Each year, the festival puts the spotlight on one country. This year, Mexico, whose animation production is currently booming, has been aptly chosen.
The festival continues to enchant and inspire until June 17.