The Annecy International Animation Film Festival and its Market continue to grow, and this year reach 12,300 Badgeholders!
This 2019 edition was an exceptional year!
There were 12,300 badgeholders, a 5% increase on 2018. Attracting new countries every year the event drew 92 this year in total. Amongst the 3,139 films (a new record) submitted to compete in the official selection, more than 200 were selected. In the end there were 500 films screened, representing more than 120,000 theatre entries in 11 different cinema theatres. Outside the open-air screens were also multiplied to 7 in Annecy and its surrounding areas.
In the feature film section a new competitive category saw the light of day: Contrechamp. This category grouped together original screenplays exploring new animation forms that are expanding the borders of animation. Among the 8 films presented in the feature length section I Lost My Body by Jérémy Clapin walked away with the Cristal, as well as the Audience Award/Première, and among the 8 films presented in the Contrechamp category Away by Gints Zilbalodis won the first Contrechamp Award. We spotlight the film by Salvador Simo, Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas, that won the Jury Award and the Best Original Music Award for a Feature Film, sponsored by the SACEM.
40% of the 80 short films in competition were produced by women. Mémorable by Bruno Collet won three awards: the Cristal for a Short Film, the Audience Award and the Junior Jury Award for a Short Film. Tio Tomás – A contabilidade dos dias by Regina Pessoa won the Jury Award and the Best Original Music Award for a Short Film, sponsored by the SACEM.
New for 2019! A VR Works category joins the competition panels with 9 films and a specialised jury: Voyelle Acker (ON Animation Studios), Jeffrey Bowers (Vimeo) and Jimmy Maidens (Penrose Studios). Gloomey Eyes, by Jorge Tereso and Fernando Maldonado, walked away with the first ever Cristal for Best VR Work in the Festival’s history.
Japanese animation was in the spotlight and omnipresent throughout the event: showcasing esteemed filmmaking figures from the country (Yôichi Kotabe, Yoshiaki Nishimura and Kôji Yamamura), the presence of studio Ponoc, screening of legendary films (Venus Wars, The White Snake Enchantress), French previews, historical short films, an exhibition, delegation, a 150m² stand at the Mifa. The illustrator Charlotte Gastaut also took her inspiration from Japanese culture to create this edition’s poster.
A crowd of passionate fans came to attend Screening Events such as the premiere of Playmobil: The Movie, the world premiere of Looney Tunes Cartoons episodes and SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout, Modest Heroes, Toy Story 4, The Prince’s Voyage, Spycies, Human Lost or Marooned. The first images of eagerly awaited films were also screened, such as Abominable, Trolls World Tour, and Frozen 2.
Numerous personalities came especially to present sessions, meetings, or be jury members. Among them: Dean DeBlois, Julie Gayet, Judith Nora, Sébastien Onomo, Nora Twomey, Jean-François Laguionie (2019 Honorary Cristal), Lino Di Salvo, Brad Bird, Jill Culton, Suzanne Buirgy, Peter Browngardt, Allison Abbate, Josh Cooley, Monsieur Poulpe, Davy Mourier and many others.
With the desire of making the event more accessible to the General Public, so that each and every one may discover and enjoy animation, various features were developed: a VR Dome with open access at the heart of the Haras, premiere screenings called Annecy s’anime reserved especially for the general public.
To experience this edition’s highlights again, browse the Annecy Live, that retraces the event through numerous posts on the social networks. You can also enjoy it in images in the Flickr album or the dedicated YouTube channel.
In 2020, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival will celebrate 60 years. See you on 15th to 20th June 2020 for a birthday edition, where African animation will be in the spotlight.
It was also a record edition for the Annecy International Animation Film Market, that continues its 12 years of continual growth and where the key words of the year were welcome and support. With a larger surface area of 8,000m² it greeted 4,143 badgeholders (9% increase), 1,881 companies (8.4% increase), 433 buyers, distributors and investors; 120 events were held (1.4% increase) and 82 countries were represented.
2019 celebrates the new position given to XR at the Mifa, in a XR@Annecy transversal programme created this year. Many companies including Orange, Epic Games, VrOOM, Ubisoft, and numerous others invested in the Market for the first time. Not forgetting Unity’s increased presence, the official partner of the Mifa Campus.
Marc du Pontavice, one of France’s most renowned animation producers was rewarded the Mifa Animation Industry Award. This highlights the diversity of his company Xilam, whose well-known productions navigate from children’s and family series to animation for adults. Among these are: Oggy and the Cockroaches, Mr Magoo and I Lost My Body.
Records continue with the Mifa Pitches with 498 projects received (6.4% increase), 37 selected, 14 of them brought by women. The recruitment sessions were no exception, with 1,043 candidates received during 68 recruitment sessions, among the 9,000 who applied. Companies including Netflix, People Moving Pixels and Solidanim were recruiting at the Mifa for the first time.
The increased presence of women is also highlighted. Nora Twomey accepted the role of being the first female patron of the Mifa Campus, after the previous years’ patrons Guillermo del Toro and Richard Williams. More than 40% of badgeholders at the Mifa were women (in figures 1,789); they represented 30% of the 170 international experts; and there were 610 candidates welcomed at the recruitment sessions, that’s almost 55%.
The next edition of the Annecy International Animation Film Market will take place on 16th to 19th June 2020, and will be spotlighting the African continent, in parallel with the Africa2020 Season of the Institut français.
Four years after becoming an axis in its own right in the event, the figures prove that the Meetings are generating the badgeholders’ interest more than ever due to its contents. 2019 saw 176 international experts come especially to Annecy to present 47 sessions organised around animation. The badgeholders coming from 82 countries also benefitted from 17 meetings exploring behind-the-scenes of films, 8 others were focused on the major studios and 16 conferences were focused on the industry’s challenges.
The transversal nature of XR also found its place at the Meetings in a Keynote moderated by Eric Darnell and Larry Cutler from Baobab Studios, a Making of exclusively composed of directors selected in competition in the VR Works category, two Work in Progress presenting virtual reality projects in the production process (Dislocation and Mirror), and lastly four XR conferences discussing the challenges of writing, producing, financing and distribution of immersive works.
Japanese animation was present with this edition’s guest of honour Yôichi Kotabe, who was speaker for a Making of about the series Marco by Isao Takahata, as well as during a Masterclass. A Conference and Work in Progress also spotlighted Japanese animation.
Lastly, we will point out the strong participation of Netflix, interpreted during two Studio Focus and the distributor of Eden (TV series) and Klaus (feature film) that were the subjects of Work in Progress sessions.
Next year the Meetings will be held on 15th to 19th June 2020.
Regarding the media, journalists are always numerous in reporting on the Annecy Festival, its Market and Meetings. Whether it is local, national or international coverage, printed, digital or on the air waves, the media coverage devoted to the event is on the up and up each year.
With a grand total of 414 journalists present this year, almost 500 articles were published in the French written press, more than 900 topics posted online, 30 press releases from French press agencies, 40 reports broadcast on French television channels, around 60 radio broadcasts and lastly more than 650 publications worldwide.
To have a better idea of this media coverage check out the Media section and browse through the press coverage from the Festival as well as the press department’s publications.
To be able to organize the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the Mifa and the Meetings, but also to welcome and satisfy the more than 12,000 badgeholders present, CITIA, at the origins of the event, deploys a huge multi-talented team.
In 2019, the 37 permanent staff working throughout the year on the event were joined by 77 staff on fixed-term contracts, 2 short-term internships, 14 long-term internships, more than 200 service providers and 448 volunteers!
The list of the 2019 Annecy Festival team’s permanent staff is available online.