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Annecy Festival Residency

Annecy Festival Residency
  1. The Residency
  2. The 2023 winning projects
  3. The 2023 winning writers
  4. The 2023 mentors
  5. The Residency's Partners
  6. The 2022 Residency archives

In June 2020 CITIA launched the arts residency "Graphic development for animation feature film" to assist creation.

Discover the new winning writers and their projects selected to join the Annecy Festival Residency 2023.

Download the "Annecy Festival Residency" brochure!

Any questions? Download our FAQs.

The Residency

With backing from the Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Département de la Haute-Savoie, Drac, CNC and Netflix, as well as MSI and TVPaint helping with technical aspects, CITIA, the organisers of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and the Mifa, wanted to continue supporting animation feature film writers by giving them the time and a place to create, to network, to provide increased visibility, and continuous project support.

The Annecy Festival Residency provides a tailor-made offer to each of the selected projects, in an inspiring and stimulating ecosystem, as well as connecting with esteemed mentors in the animation sector.

The 2023 call for projects

In response to the call for projects, 33 projects were received this summer from all 4 corners of the world (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Spain, France, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and United Kingdom), 14 of which were led by women, 15 by men and 4 by man/woman duos.

From this geographic diversity and the array of genres and styles, the selection committee, composed of Damien Brunner (Producer, Folivari), Laurence Petit (Distributor, Haut et Court), Aurel (Artist, Director) and Jean-Christophe Roger (Director), chose 3 projects.

The winning projects in 2023

Discover the three animation feature film projects selected to the 2023 Annecy Festival Residency:

Le Dernier des cailloux

Le Dernier des cailloux by Caroline Cherrier (France)
Firmin Cailloux has just lost his explorer parents, who disappeared at sea. Taken in by his aunt Anna in Normandy, he doesn’t get on well with this family of humble clam diggers, who are lightyears away from the adventurous spirit he is used to. He runs away from his cousins’ taunts and ends up in the lighthouse with its guardian Ricette. During the night he discovers a huge sea creature, who is lost and trying to communicate with the lighthouse’s foghorn. Firmin clings to this lonely monster, the last of its kind, and all alone he tries to protect her from the village men.

Shadow Work

Shadow Work by Areito Echevarria and Raqi Syed (New Zeland)
Shadow Work is a psychological horror, a family saga rooted in the unnerving suburban landscape of Wellington, New Zealand. A young woman and her father are confronted by her doppelgänger. When her father embraces the copy and banishes her, she must return home and reassert her place as the rightful daughter. As she battles through the fracturing world, something dark and monstrous awakens inside her.

Le Royaume des oiseaux

The Bird Kingdom (O Reino dos Pássaros) by Wesley Rodrigues (Brazil/France)
In a fantasy version of the Brazilian Sertão, an arid wasteland where men can shapeshift into birds of prey, Sete-Penas is taken in as a child by Carcará, an outlaw who aspires to be a local legend. Ten years later, Carcará’s gang of bandits, known as cangaceiros, have become notorious throughout the region. But when the outlaws try to steal gold from the most powerful woman in the Sertão, they are viciously attacked, and Sete-Penas is presumed dead. After falling from the skies with his wings’ torn, Sete-Penas is rescued by Rosélia, who leads a traveling theater troupe struggling to make ends meet. To get back to his gang, Sete-Penas makes a deal with Rosélia and pretends to be part of the theatre troupe to hide from everyone hunting for the gold.

The 2023 winning writers

Discover the writers of these future animated feature films who will be joining the Annecy Residency from April this year.

  • Caroline Cherrier
    Caroline Cherrier

    Director of Le Dernier des cailloux


    Caroline Cherrier is an Animation Film Director. Specialised in traditional drawing and painting, she uses a colourful and poetic universe, leaving room for your imagination and the pleasure of words.

    She directed the short film Horacio (2020, Ikki Films), and the short films for TV: Fusée-signal (2016, Tant Mieux Prod for France Télévisions) and Prince of Darkness (2021, Caïmans Prod for Arte). She studied at GOBELINS, l'école de l'image, where she co-directed the graduation film Not Much in 2015.

    Alongside, she has worked on many films and series as a storyboarder, director or concept artist.

    She is part of the Souviens Ten-Zan collective who make animation video clips and capsules.

    Le Dernier des cailloux is her first feature film.

    "I am delighted to have been selected for this Annecy Residency! I’m lucky to be able to develop Le Dernier des Cailloux in such a welcoming, caring, and professional environment. See you in June to show you my latest research :-)!"

  • Areito Echevarria
    Areito Echevarria

    Co-director of Shadow Work
    New Zealand


    Areito Echevarria is an Academy-Award winning artist and researcher with over 21 years of visual effects experience. His passion is for storytelling by way of a computational design approach. His work has been screened at the Tribeca, Cannes, and Venice Film Festivals. Areito’s research explores generative machine learning approaches to creating emotionally engaging human performance animation.

    Areito & Raqi’s VR experience Minimum Mass won the 2020 Annecy Festival Cristal Award for Best VR.

    "We are so thrilled to be invited to the Annecy Residency, the support and time to create is a precious opportunity!"

  • Wesley Rodrigues
    Wesley Rodrigues

    Director of The Bird Kingdom


    Wesley Rodrigues is an illustrator, comic book artist, and one of the most acclaimed animators in Brazil.

    Influenced by Hayao Miyazaki, he illustrated several books and comics, including Yuka: O Pescador de Ilusões by Marcelo Yuka. He was Animation Director for the short O Ogro and worked on Até que a Sbórnia nos Separe, winner of the Brazilian Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and selected at Annecy.

    In 2013, he directed the short Far West: An Authentic Western, winning several major awards including Best Brazilian Animation at Anima Mundi. The film was screened at a special Brazilian showcase at Annecy 2018. In 2014 and 2017, he released Trip in the Rain and The Ghost Guitarist, both nominated for Best Animated Short at the Brazilian Academy Awards.

    In 2018, Wesley was honored at the Anima Mundi Festival for his graphic novel Imaginário Coletivo (Darkside Books), which received four nominations at the HQ Mix 2019 – the country's most significant comic book awards. In 2022, his film Indígenas em Travessia, co-directed with Julia Vellutini, won Best Animated Short at the Brazilian Academy Awards.

    Now, Wesley is developing his first feature film, The Bird Kingdom, which was presented at Animation! Ventana Sur, where it won top prizes to pitch at Mifa/Annecy and Quirino.

    "I'm thrilled and excited to be selected to the Annecy Residency. Being chosen among other projects from around the world to develop The Bird Kingdom at the residency is an important recognition for a Brazilian project. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity."

  • Raqi Syed
    Raqi Syed

    Co-director of Shadow Work
    New Zealand


    Raqi Syed began her animation career as a Lighting Artist for Disney Feature Animation, and then went on to work as a Senior Technical Director with Weta Digital on films like Avatar, The Planet of the Apes, and The Hobbit. In 2017, The Los Angeles Times pegged Raqi for its list of 100 Industry Professionals Who Can Help Fix Hollywood’s Diversity Problem. She is a 2018 Sundance and Turner Fellow, and a 2020 Ucross Fellow.

    Areito & Raqi’s VR experience Minimum Mass won the 2020 Annecy Festival Cristal Award for Best VR.

    "We are so thrilled to be invited to the Annecy Residency, the support and time to create is a precious opportunity!"



The 2023 mentors

A two-phase mentorship was arranged for the artists: assistance with the script before they arrive, then an on-site mentorship dealing with the project’s graphic choices.

The mentoring’s first phase allows the artists to take a step back from their film’s storyline and reflect on their objectives in terms of visual development. It is a kind of checkpoint providing the authors the opportunity to question themselves and subsequently confirm the elements which are ready enough to be explored from a graphic point of view.
The mentoring’s second phase is key. A real catalyst, it boosts creation and encourages the authors to think about their directing, explore new tangents, challenge their limits and allow themselves this experimental phase, which is so valuable in animation.

Discover the mentors who will be assisting the authors during this Residency.

The mentors for the script aspects:

  • Fabienne Gambrelle
    Fabienne Gambrelle

    Scriptwriter, assisting the project The Bird Kingdom (O Reino dos Pássaros)


    Fabienne Gambrelle is a French scriptwriter working mainly on animated TV series for children: Belfort & Lupin, Anatole Latuile, La Famille Blaireau Renard, Max & Maestro, Les P’tits Diables, Martine, Vic the Viking, Les Triplés, Sam & Julia, César et Capucine, Magiki, La Fée Coquillette, Lulu Vroumette, Fish 'n' Chips, etc.

    Fabienne Gambrelle also writes books. When she isn’t writing, she’s dancing. She enjoys doing the samba, forró and frevo because of her passion for Brazil, which she also refers to in several of her works: Julien, apprenti capoeira (2005), Le Goût du Brésil (2012), and Hänsel, Gretel et Sací Pererê (2015).

    Fabienne Gambrelle has collaborated several times with the Mifa to share her scriptwriting and script-doctor expertise with authors.

  • lehembre
    Anne-Claire Lehembre

    Animation Screenwriter, assisting the project Le Dernier des cailloux


    Anne-Claire Lehembre has been an animation screenwriter for 17 years.

    She started out her career doing TV series with Les Minijusticiers and has been a part of many series since then, ranging from 7 to 52 minutes in length.

    In 2015, Delphine Maury (Tant Mieux Prod) invited her to join her on an ambitious project: adapting the novel Tobie Lolness by Timothée de Fombelle. Anne-Claire collaborated in writing this multi-episode series (13 x 52min) over 7 years alternatively co-writing the series bible, story arc, scenarios and was Script Editor.

    Currently, Anne-Claire is working on a feature film project, The Hermit and the Bear, writing the script alongside Delphine Maury and Marine Blin. She is also co-writing the next short film by Héloïse Ferlay, Dans nos gorges.

  • Somerville
    Patrick Somerville

    Screenwriter and Novelist, assisting the project Shadow Work


    Patrick Somerville is an Emmy-nominated screenwriter and novelist. He most recently created, show-ran and executive produced Station Eleven, which debuted to rave reviews. The series was nominated for seven Emmy awards including a personal nomination for his writing. Somerville previously created, wrote and executive produced the critically acclaimed Netflix series Maniac, which received two nominations for both WGA and PGA Awards. He also served as Writer/Producer on HBO’s The Leftovers and wrote on FX’s The Bridge and FOX’s 24: Live Another Day.

    Somerville's books include two collections of stories, Trouble (2006) and The Universe in Miniature in Miniature (2010), and two novels, The Cradle (2009) and This Bright River (2012). The Cradle was nominated for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. It was also a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick for Spring 2009, a Target Emerging Writers Pick, and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. This Bright River was a New York Times Editors’ Choice as well and The Universe in Miniature in Miniature was short-listed for the 2010 Story Prize.

    Somerville's writing has also appeared in The New York Times, GQ, Esquire and more. He is a MacDowell Fellow and the winner of the 2009 21st Century Award, given annually by the Chicago Public Library.

    He grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, went to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and later earned his MFA from Cornell University. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three kids.


The mentors for the graphic development aspects:

  • Moore
    Tomm Moore

    Co-Founder & Creative Director, Cartoon Saloon, assisting the project The Bird Kingdom (O Reino dos Pássaros)


    Over Cartoon Saloon’s history, Tomm Moore has worked as Director, Art Director, Storyboarder, Animator and Illustrator across a range of the studio's projects. Tomm has directed 3 universally successful feature films. All three were nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards: The Secret of Kells in 2010 (Audience Award at Annecy 2009), and the spiritual follow-up, Song of the Sea in 2015. His latest feature film Wolfwalkers, which he co-directed with Ross Stewart, received several prominent critics’ awards including the LAFCA Award and NYFCC Award as well as nominations for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and wins in several categories including Best Director and Best Independent Feature at the 2021 Annie Awards. He is currently working as a producer across several of Cartoon Saloon’s new film and series projects as well as refocusing on his personal art training.

  • Benjamin Renner
    Benjamin Renner

    Director, assisting the project Le Dernier des cailloux


    Benjamin Renner was born in 1983. After graduating with a Science Baccalaureate at Jean Monnet de La Queue-les-Yvelines high school, Benjamin Renner attended an arts preparatory class to then study at the Beaux-Arts d'Angoulême, where he graduated with a national diploma in Comic Book Art. Next, he attended La Poudrière animation school at the Cartoucherie de Bourg-lès-Valence. Here he made short animation films including his graduation film, A Mouse’s Tale in 2007, in which a mouse is captured by a lion and must talk his way out to stay alive. Upon graduation, Renner was hired to work on a feature-length animation film project for Gabrielle Vincent’s children’s comic book series Ernest & Celestine, where he first worked as Artistic Director. Then, Producer Didier Brunner suggested he move onto directing and work with two more experienced animators, Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier. Benjamin Renner thus co-directed Ernest & Celestine with them.

  • Marc Caro
    Marc Caro

    Director, assisting the project Shadow Work


    Marc Caro is a comic book author who began his career in the magazine Metal hurlant at the end of the 70s. He is also an electronic musician and filmmaker who comes from a background in film animation and experimental video. He is known for co-directing Delicatessen with Jean-Pierre Jeunet, which won numerous Césars, and The City of Lost Children, which was presented as the opening film at the Cannes Film Festival. He directed Dante 01 and a documentary about robots in Japan. He is also responsible for posters, music and set designs for choreographers Régine Chopinot and Philippe Decouflé, but also some art direction for the films Alien: Resurrection by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Enter the Void by Gaspar Noé and Earwig by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, among others.



The Residency's Partners


Auvergne Rhône-Alpes
  novamotion novamotion Haute-Savoie

Residency Archives 2022

During the first Annecy Festival Residency, held from 4th April to 30th June 2022, three projects were chosen and hosted:

  • Deep Fake by Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis (France)
  • Dino Doom on Desert Planet by Zsuzsanna Kreif, Balázs Turai and Clare Macdonald (Hungary)
  • Hanta by Emilio Ramos (Mexico)

(Re)discover these projects, their directors and the mentors who assisted them during their residency.

Residency Archives 2022

Residency Archives 2021

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A Word from the Selection Committee

In Spring 2023, the Annecy Festival Residency will be holding its 3rd edition and is thrilled by the attraction it sparks among animation feature film authors from around the world.

Between pleasure and ecstasy, the selection process is always as complex and thrilling as ever.

This year once again we received more than thirty submissions, all of them different, demanding, and unusual, and we are impressed with the continual growth in quality.

The selection committee appreciated the projects’ seriousness, commitment, and rich narratives and noticed that the world’s current affairs, exposed more than ever to shocks and brutality, inspire authors – and particularly artists – to remain committed and unified in the face of adversity.

To move, challenge, shock, pull together and enlighten, animation has this ability and strength to use aesthetics to soften the rhetoric.

This is the wager with which the committee declares its selection "explosive"!

An eclecticism that relies on artistic performances which are both outrageous and perfectly complementary! Between pictural art, plastic art, and photorealism, from traditional animation to 3D real-time computer graphics, from Brazil to New Zealand via France: the committee reveals a wide-ranging selection!

Last year we talked about "happy cohabitation"; this continues to be this edition’s slant where each artist can thrive on a personal level and boost themselves from the work of others.

Our institution is allied to cultural mixes and this aim is particularly vital at such a crucial time in the world. We believe this skilful mix of cultures, genres, nationalities, and generations will bear its fruit. So, see you in Annecy in June 2023 to discover these 3 projects "for real"!


9th June 2023

Registration opens

10th September 2023

Registration closes

November 2023

Selection announcement

5th April to 28th June 2023