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2021 Annecy Festival Residency

Résidence Annecy Festival
  1. The Residency
  2. The call for projects 2021
  3. The 2021 winning projects
  4. The 2021 winning writers
  5. The 2021 mentors

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

This first Residency reached its end on 27th June 2021.

The Residency

With backing from the Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Département de la Haute-Savoie, CNC and France Télévisions, 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 call for projects 2021

Following the call for projects in June, 32 projects were submitted, from 17 countries. As many mainstream projects as projects from more independent authors, that drew passionate discussions between the selection committee members: Sara Wikler (Artistic Film Producer, Blue Spirit, Script Consultant), Damien Brunner (Producer, Folivari), Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec (Director), Marc Bonny (Distributor) and Pierre Siracusa (Director of the Animation and Young Audiences' Unit, France Télévisions).

The Advisory Committee brought together Catherine Puthod (Head of Film, Audiovisual and New Media, Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), Aurore Fossard De Almeida (Visual Arts Project Manager, Département de la Haute-Savoie) as well as Marie Le Gac (Head of Development, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Cinéma).

The 2021 winning projects

CITIA will invite a member of the team from each of these projects to Annecy, from 5th April to 27th June 2021, to be part of the first Annecy Festival Residency.

- Piece by Alan Holly (Ireland) A modern animated drama about societal pressures and anxieties and their impact on young people. The project follows seven adolescents who question themselves and the world around them.

- Heirloom by Upamanyu Bhattacharyya (India) A family tale that follows the life and rise of the young Solal over almost fifty years and pays tribute to centuries of textile traditions in India.

- Le Cœur à danser by Pierre Le Couviour and Amine El Ouarti (France) A fictional story, set in Brittany, about a young girl who takes it upon herself to organise a big party to celebrate the village’s men returning from the war. But, there’s no way of knowing if her father is among them. Her encounter with the legend of the City of Ys will guide her.


The 2021 winning writers

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

  • Pierre Le Couviour et Amine El Ouarti
    Pierre Le Couviour and Amine El Ouarti

    Co-directors of Le Cœur à danser


    At the outset, they followed different paths: Pierre Le Couviour acquired an HND in Graphic Design at the Olivier de Serres School – where he created the comic magazine Flûtiste with his friends – and Amine El Ouarti trained as a surveyor. Subsequently, they both went to the Georges Méliès Animation School. Their graduation film Kali Mata was their first collaboration. They then continued to work together on various projects, for example, La Cité emmurée, a short film currently produced by the company Special Touch. Le Cœur à danser is their first feature film project.

  • Upamanyu Bhattacharyya
    Upamanyu Bhattacharyya

    Director of Heirloom


    Upamanyu Bhattacharyya is an animator, filmmaker, comic book artist and illustrator. He graduated from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India (2014). He co-directed Wade (2019) with Kalp Sanghvi, an short film, which won the City of Annecy Award at Annecy 2020. He is a founding partner of Ghost Animation, Kolkata, and Otter Studios. Currently, he is finishing work on his next solo-animated short film, Ten, a dark comedy about the mass exodus from Bangladesh in 1971. He is also developing his first feature film, Heirloom, set in Ahmedabad in the 1960s.

  • Alan Holly
    Alan Holly

    Director of Piece


    Alan Holly is an Irish artist and animation filmmaker and a founder of And Maps And Plans, an independent studio working to produce artistically driven long- and short-form projects directed predominantly towards older audiences.



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The 2021 mentors

Since January 2021, scriptwriting assistance was provided to each resident. The several online sessions, punctuated with time to reflect and rewrite, brought the directors step-by-step towards a clear and solid narrative arc. A necessary step to provide the best on-site work focusing on the graphic development of their animation feature film.

The choice of "artistic mentors" was self-evident, the work-lines clearly setting the expectations and thus the profiles sought after. Now, discover the mentors who have agreed to assist our three residents by immersing themselves in their stories as much as in their visual worlds.

The mentors for the scriptwriting aspects:

  • Sara Wikler
    Sara Wikler

    Artistic producer at Blue Spirit Productions, is assisting the project Le Cœur à danser.


    A film pre-purchaser for the CANAL+ channel for almost 20 years, Sara Wikler has actively detected and financed numerous European and French animation talents. In recent years, she has mainly devoted her time to screenplay work as artistic producer at Blue Spirit Productions developing animation feature films, also as an independent script-doctor on live-action projects. She also shares her expertise at professional scritpwriting training courses (Fémis, Mille Sabords !) and mentorships at writing residencies (Grand Nord, Storytelling Institute/UCLA).

  • Pierre Hodgson
    Pierre Hodgson

    Scriptwriter and director, is assisting the project Piece


    Pierre Hodgson was born in London in 1959. After Oxford, he came to Paris where he was coordinator on Olivier Assayas’ first feature film Désordre and first assistant director to Raúl Ruiz on Treasure Island. The next years were split between working as a TV producer in London and screenwriting for João Canijo in Lisbon. Two of these films went to Un Certain Regard (Cannes). He continues to combine making documentaries with screenwriting. Credits include Philippe Grandrieux’ Sombre, Randa Chahal’s Infidèles, Hany Abu-Assad’s Paradise Now, which won a Golden Globe, and three features by Jérôme de Missolz, the last of which went to Directors’ Fortnight. His current writing contracts include two French and one German productions. He has been a tutor at Le Groupe Ouest ‒ European Film Lab since 2015.

  • Sébastien Tavel
    Sébastien Tavel

    Scriptwriter and director, is assisting the project Heirloom


    Sébastien Tavel was a performing artist in the theatre under the direction of Georges Lavaudant and Antoine Vitez, as well as film acting with Georges Lautner, Mathieu Kassovitz and Olivier Dahan. However, he also chose to write and shoot. His first short film, Harry & Co (2001), most notably won the Prix de Qualité from the Centre national de la cinématographie et de l’image animée. Sébastien co-wrote the script for the animation feature film, The Swallows of Kabul (2019). The film was selected at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section, as well as at the Annecy Festival, it won the Valois de Diamant (Best Film) at Angoulême, the Trophée de l’Adaptation du Livre (Award for Best Book Adaptation) at the Trophées de l’Édition, and was nominated at the César.

  • Claire Fouquet
    Claire Fouquet

    Animator, director, artist and teacher, is assisting the project Heirloom


    Born in 1971 in Paris, Claire Fouquet is an animator, filmmaker, artist, and educator with work ranging from films to art books, prints, and interdisciplinary projects in Europe and the USA. She earned a Master’s degree from the ÉnsAD. Her short films and commercials have been selected by more than fifty international film festivals such as Tricky Women, Annecy, Hiroshima and Ottawa. Her many prizes have included the Debut Film prize in Cinanima, and the Silver Bear award at the Festival of Nations in Ebensee. Her prints and art books have been exhibited in France and internationally, and reside in several collections including the New York Public Library. Claire supports diversity in cinema, especially in animated films. She teaches at the ÉESI and is also an ambassador of the European project Wom@rts.


The mentors for the graphical development aspects:

  • Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec
    Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec

    Animator, artist and director, is assisting the project Le Cœur à danser


    Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec joins GOBELINS, l'école de l'image in 2003. Her first two short films, Madame (2006) and Escale (2008), are selected at the Annecy Festival. She animates on shorts such as Bang Bang! by Julien Bisaro (César 2015 nomination), Smart Monkey by Vincent Paronnaud (Winshluss) and Nicolas Pawlowski. Her career continues as a character animator for feature films such as Ernest & Celestine, The Rabbi’s Cat, The Day of the Crows, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet and April and the Extraordinary World. In 2016, as a designer she collaborates in the animated series Lastman. In 2019, she directs her first feature film alongside Zabou Breitman with the film The Swallows of Kabul.

  • Reza Riahi
    Reza Riahi

    Director, is assisting the project Heirloom


    Born in Tehran in 1988, since 2008 Reza Riahi has been working on various animation projects and television series in Iran, France and Ireland, such as the making of short animated films for the Arte and France 3 channels, as well as for TED-Ed. He was notably artistic director on The Breadwinner, a film by Nora Twomey, nominated for the Annie Awards, the Oscar and the Golden Globes in 2018. Persian music and poetry are a huge source of inspiration for him.

  • Adrien Mérigeau
    Adrien Mérigeau

    Scriptwriter and director, is assisting the project Piece


    Adrien Mérigeau, graduates from EMCA, Angoulême, beginning his pro career at Cartoon Saloon, Ireland, as set supervisor on Tomm Moore's first feature film, The Secret of Kells (2009). Adrien writes and directs his first short Old Fangs, produced by Cartoon Saloon, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival (2010). Artistic director on Tomm Moore's second film, Song of the Sea (2014), then moves to Paris to develop and direct his second short Genius Loci, produced by Kazak Productions. The film premiers at the 2020 Berlinale, wins the Audi Award, and receives a 2021 Oscar nomination. Adrien is currently working on a short commissioned for the American FX series Cake.





Remotely, then on-site, this expert mentoring should enable each artist to reap the benefits of this assistance.

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Official selection

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A word from the selection commission

"This selection commission at the Annecy Festival residency is a major first. It was difficult for us to choose those who will be the pioneers. Among the diverse range of projects submitted by these passionate and creative artists, we had to identify who would put this experience to good use. Our three winners have profiles that are as unique as they are promising. The qualities of their projects guarantee very original first films and are a testament to how animation film is conducive to communicating our times. Let’s hope that this residency’s cocoon enables them to blossom fully."