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18th Apr 2023

  Annecy Celebrates Pride and Diversity 

The Animation, Pride and Diversity theme will be in the spotlight at Annecy in 2023, with four short film programmes available to festivalgoers.

"This theme has become a topical issue, especially for young filmmakers, many of whom tackle issues related to gender and diversity every year", explains Marcel Jean, the Festival’s Artistic Director. A programme coordinated by Benoit Berthe Siward – Founder of The Animation Showcase and Co-Founder of LGBTQ+ in Animation – to provide a range of views on recent productions.

See Marcel Jean, Annecy Festival's Artistic Director, talking about the Animation, Pride and Diversity theme.

Here is a glimpse of the programme:

TRUE QUEER STORIES by Holly Murtha
How does it feel to be queer in this world? This programme is a showcase of real-life stories from the LGBTQ+ community. Ranging from new perspectives on love, relationships and desire, to an ode to family and community. From journeys of self-discovery to closeted, troubled lives, this section is a reminder of the diversity of lived experiences inside the queer community and the importance of representation.

Among the films:

  • All Those Sensations in My Belly by Marko Djeska (Croatia, Portugal)
  • Oneself Story by Géraldine Charpentier (Belgium)

HIDDEN QUEER DESIRES by Patricio Plaza
For so much time, queer desire has been forced to be lived with guilt, in the margins of society, hidden or unspoken. Times have changed but the marks of historical persecution are still a struggle for many queer identities.

Among the films:

  • We Were a Sterile Bomb by Dotan Moreno (Israel)
  • Adorable by Cheng-Hsu Chung (Taiwan, UK)
  • Piteous Liaisons by Chloé Alliez and Violette Delvoye (Belgium, France)

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS by Jakub Spevák
This section of films is dedicated to the feeling of belonging – which for queer people often means creating a safe place, a refuge. Films explore the need to share, to be yourself, to love, to forgive... As queer people, do we have to keep pretending to fit in?

Among the films:

  • Chado by Dominica Harrison (UK)
  • Purpleboy by Alexandre Siqueira (Portugal, France, Belgium)
  • In Nature by Marcel Barelli (Switzerland)

FREAKS & PROUD by Jakub Spevák
Queer individuals have often been labelled as freaks, monsters, mutants, even ghosts who haunt society. This section of films takes these often pejorative labels and deconstructs them. Films show "queer" in all its diversity and open their arms to the weirdness and strangeness.

Among the films:

  • Slug Life by Sophie Koko Gate (UK)
  • The Boob Fairy by Léahn Vivier-Chapas (France)
  • Superbia by Luca Tóth (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia

The Festival will also be awarding an Honorary Cristal to the British filmmaker Barry J.C. Purves, author of a seminal stop-motion piece and pioneer of embracing homosexual themes in animation. His most acclaimed short films will be shown together in a programme and the Screen Play author will be presenting a Masterclass. Marcel Jean esteems that Achilles, which Purves made in 1995, was a major landmark in the history of homosexual representation in animation. "The director’s audacity is impressive in terms of theme, aesthetics and direction. Not to mention his technical mastery, which is nothing short of exceptional! This year, we are paying tribute to one of contemporary animation’s most esteemed figures."

Furthermore, as is tradition at the Festival, Pride and Diversity will be perceived in the various parts of its programme planning.
For example, the WIP will include the feature film Eugene, written by Joëlle Oosterlinck and directed by Anaïs Caura. The film portrays the life of Eugene Falleni, a trans man accused of murdering his wife in Australia in the 1920s.
Also, among the films in the Official Short Films selection is Christopher at Sea by Tom CJ Brown, winner of the Arte France Prize and Ciclic Prize at the Mifa Pitches in 2018.

Mifais also renewing its Parity – Diversity programming and developing it to reflect the Festival's Animation, Pride and Diversity programmes: the Women In Animation World Summit will deal more comprehensively with inclusion and diversity issues; women’s animation associations around the world will present pitch project sessions, the Mifa Conferences and a panel discussion at the Mifa Campus will provide the chance to raise specific questions and attempt to deliver some solutions.

Works from all over the world are in the spotlight
From unbridled comedies, painful family chronicles and bitter-sweet tales, the Annecy Festival has always welcomed works dealing with LGBTQIA+ issues with open arms.
A place for directors from around the world to have freedom of speech, from France to Russia, India to South Africa, passing through Japan, Denmark and Egypt, to present series, shorts, clips, graduation films and feature films in competition.
Some have won awards in the last few years, such as: In Deep Waters, short film by Sarah Van Den Boom (France, Canada), Festivals Connexion Award – Région Rhône-Alpes with Lumières Numériques (2015); Moms on Fire, short film by Joanna Rytel (Sweden), Jury Distinction (2016) and Festivals Connexion Jury Distinction – Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes/In partnership with Lumières Numériques & Pilon Cinéma (2016); The Fish Curry (Maacher Jhol), short film by Abhishek Verma (India), City of Annecy Award (2017); and the multi-award winning Flee, feature film by Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden), Cristal for a Feature Film (2021), Gan Foundation Award for Distribution (2021) and Best Original Music Award for a Feature Film, sponsored by the SACEM (2021).
So, it is only natural that this year the Festival is showing a special programme on the theme Animation, Pride and Diversity.