Among the films in competition, the juries have the sensitive mission of determining the Official Awards, including the Cristal for a Short Film and the Cristal for a Feature Film, and the Special Awards.
Discover the jury members for the 2023 edition’s awards.
Mexican Creator and Executive Producer Sofía E. Alexander currently works in the animation industry in Los Angeles.
She created and produced Onyx Equinox, an original action-packed animation series inspired by Mesoamerican Mexico. Onyx Equinox earned numerous nominations and other accolades, in particular the New Voice of the Year Award at the World Animation Summit, which landed Sofía in the Animation Magazine’s 2020 Animation Hall of Fame.
Sofía has worked with Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney TV, AMC, and Marvel. The many strings to her bow include working as a storyboard artist, director, supervisor, showrunner, or producer.
What is her vision for the future? To help establish animation as an artistic medium, and to tell diverse, unprecedented stories that reflect the world we live in.
Eric San, aka Kid Koala, is a Montreal-based scratch DJ, film composer, theatre producer and director.
He has released 5 solo albums and contributed to several feature film soundtracks including The Great Gatsby, Looper, Baby Driver, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. He has toured with the likes of Radiohead, Deltron 3030, and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
He has composed music for Cartoon Network, Sesame Street and Adult Swim. He also wrote the score for a short film (Basin Street Blues) and a music video (Things Are Going to Change) in competition at Annecy in 2003 and 2022.
He created the musical score for the award-winning Nintendo Switch video game Floor Kids. He wrote and illustrated the award-winning graphic novels Nufonia Must Fall and Space Cadet.
Lastly, he is known for his imaginative live productions such as Vinyl Vaudeville, the Satellite Turntable Orchestra, and The Storyville Mosquito, each of which expresses his unique form of storytelling with music, animation, film, and interactive entertainment.
After studying at the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Nice, Jan Kounen made his mark in 1989 with the short film Gisèle Kérozène, which won the Grand Prix at the Avoriaz International Fantastic Film Festival.
In the 90s, he worked in advertising and made two new shorts, Vibroboy and Le Dernier Chaperon rouge, before releasing his first feature film, the eccentric and violent Dobermann.
Jan then travelled to Mexico and Peru, immersed himself in Shaman culture and returned in 2004 with the western Blueberry, adapted from the famous comic book by Jean-Michel Charlier and Mœbius.
He made a series of films, notably 99 Francs and Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, which closed the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Jan made a mini-series Flight of the Storks for CANAL+, then the documentaries The Journey and Vape Wave.
In 2019, he directed three virtual reality experiences: 7 Lives, -22.7C and Ayahuasca – Kosmik Journey (in competition at Annecy), before returning to film fiction with My Cousin.
Jan is currently working on a feature film animation based on the graphic novel Epiphania by Ludovic Debeurme, produced by Naia Productions.
After studying fine art in South Korea and animation in London, Eunyoung Choi came to Japan to work as an animator, partnering with acclaimed Director Masaaki Yuasa on projects like Kaiba (2008), The Tatami Galaxy (2010), and Ping Pong the Animation (2014), as well as co-founding the studio Science SARU.
She has since primarily served as a producer, including on Lu Over the Wall (2017, Annecy Cristal for a Feature Film winner), Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2018), and more. Her recent works as a producer include Inu-Oh (2021) and The Heike Story (2021), and she served as Director on 2021’s Akakiri, part of the Star Wars: Visions anthology series.
Science SARU’s newest project, Naoko Yamada’s film KIMINOIRO, is projected to be completed by fall 2023.
After studying literature and history, Céline Devaux attended the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs de Paris in 2007, where she directed Vie et mort de l'illustre Grigori Efimovitch Rasputin, in competition at Annecy and award-winner at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival as well as the Festival Premiers Plans in Angers.
Her second short film, Sunday Lunch, was selected in the official competition at Cannes in 2016. Presented at nearly 40 festivals around the world, it won the César for Best Animated Short Film. Her next short film, You Will Be Fine, won the Lion for Best Short Film at the 2017 Venice Film Festival.
In 2022, her first feature film, Everybody Loves Jeanne, was presented in a special screening at the Critics' Week in Cannes and was released in cinema theatres on 7th September.
As a young man, Hippolyte Girardot set out to be an illustrator. He attended the Arts-Déco school, but the big screen was calling him and in 1973 he acted in John’s Wife by Yannick Bellon. As he had no intention of pursuing a career in acting, he made two short animation films in 1979, including Blaise, in competition at the Annecy Festival.
Fate persisted and Hippolyte played a series of acting roles, appearing in The Destiny of Juliette by Aline Issermann, Le Bon Plaisir by Francis Girod, Fort Saganne by Alain Corneau, and Manon of the Spring by Claude Berri. In 1990, he reached his zenith in A World Without Pity by Éric Rochant and then tried his hand at comedy before leaving the big screen. Since his return in 2003, he has worked with Arnaud Desplechin, Amos Gitaï, Alain Resnais and Olivier Assayas among others.
Alongside, he co-directed Yuki and Nina with Nobuhiro Suwa and participated in writing the series Le Bureau des légendes by Éric Rochant. He is also a chronicler for C’est encore nous ! on France Inter. Forever an animation enthusiast, he lent his voice to Coucou nous voilà ! by Jessica Laurén and Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson. He also appeared in The French Dispatch.
Jerry Beck is a noted animation historian and veteran animation producer/distributor.
His over 15 books on animation history include The Animated Movie Guide, Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide, and The 50 Greatest Cartoons.
He currently teaches animation history at CalArts, UCLA and Chapman University, curates a monthly Cartoon Club for Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema in Hollywood, and edits two blogs, Animation Scoop and Cartoon Research.
As a film distributor, his company Streamline Pictures initially brought Miyazaki’s Totoro and Otomo’s Akira – in competition at Annecy 1989 – to the USA in the 1990s. And each year he presents a humorous The Worst Cartoons Ever program at Comic-Con International.
He is also currently Vice-President of ASIFA-Hollywood.
Emma De Swaef specialises in stop-motion and puppet making, her preferred working materials include wool, felt and textiles.
Together with Marc James Roels, she made the stop-motion short film Oh Willy… in 2012, in particular in competition at Annecy, and it won 80 international awards including the Cartoon d’Or as well as a César nomination.
Marc & Emma went on to make mid-length film This Magnificent Cake! (2018), which premiered at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes, the Toronto International Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and was an award-winner at Annecy before its cinematic release in Belgium, the Netherlands and the USA.
In 2022, they directed the first chapter of the Emmy Award-winning anthology film The House for Netflix, which also won the Jury Award for a TV Special at the Annecy Festival.
Dan Levy is an award-winning French multi-instrumentalist, artist, and composer.
Originally a soundtrack composer, in 2008 he founded French indie band The Dø with Olivia Merilahti. Their first album, A Mouthful, was a big hit with European audiences, ascending to the top of the charts in France. Combining their various influences from Jimi Hendrix to Björk, the record is built around Dan and Olivia’s beautiful songs and Dan’s innovative arrangements and production.
Dan recently returned to film scoring with the Oscar-nominated and Annecy (Cristal for a Feature Film 2019) multi-award-winning animated feature I Lost My Body, for which he received both the Annie Award and Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for best score.
Julie Ann Crommett has been a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practitioner for over fourteen years leading disruptive change across media and tech. As Founder and CEO of Collective Moxie, Julie Ann works with organizations across the media landscape on inclusive storytelling practices, accountability, and internal/external community partnership.
Previously, she was Vice President of Multicultural Audience Engagement at The Walt Disney Studios where her team contributed to projects including Encanto, Soul, Coco, and Raya and the Last Dragon as well as launching the Disney Launchpad: Shorts Incubator.
Before Disney she was Google’s Entertainment Industry Educator in Chief and started her DEI career at NBCUniversal.
A proud Puerto Rican and Cuban American, Julie Ann serves on the boards of Women in Animation (WIA), NALIP, Hispanic Federation, and the Woodruff Arts Center.
Patricia Hidalgo is Director of Children’s & Education at the BBC. She is responsible for developing and implementing creative and editorial strategies for BBC Children’s and BBC Education services across all platforms including BBC’s iPlayer, CBeebies, and CBBC, with a focus on the strategic future direction of media consumption and business models, overseeing all the division’s content output including in-house productions, co-productions, and acquisitions.
Patricia has a strong industry track record at Turner and Disney in Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom, and is behind some of the most successful shows in kids’ TV. In 2017 she was awarded World Screen’s Global Kids Trendsetter Award for her outstanding contribution to the kids' media industry.
Director Benjamin Massoubre became fascinated by animation film when he discovered its richness and diversity at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival.
He began his career as an editor and was fortunate to work on many different animation projects, which earned him membership to the American Cinema Editors and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Some notable collaborations include: Jérémy Clapin on I Lost My Body, with Rémi Chayé on Long Way North and Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary and with Patrick Imbert on The Summit of the Gods – all of which won awards at the Annecy Festival.
His first film as Director, Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be, was selected at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Cristal for a Feature Film at Annecy 2022.
Currently, he is working on several projects in both live-action shots and animation.
Festival international du film de Guadalajara (FICG) & Cineteca FICG
Estrella Araiza has been working to keep the professional focus on Mexican and Latin American cinema.
Her career includes experience as Head of Industry and Market, FICG. During the time she was Head of the Industry Department she implemented programmes such as "Inclusive Industry", focused on allowing people with disabilities to enjoy movies on the big screen; "The Beginning of the Film", to bring writers, screenwriters, and publishing houses closer to the film industry.
She also worked as an international sales agent (by 2012 she began activities with her own company Vendo Cine), academic and cinema distributor in Mexico. She has been jury member at international film festivals, as well as collaborating and participating in international film markets.
Since 2018, she is Head of FICG’s special projects such as, Guillermo del Toro's, At Home with My Monsters, exhibition in Guadalajara.
Ana Chubinidze is an animation director and illustrator from Georgia.
Her animated short films Franzy’s Soup-Kitchen (2021), and The Pocket Man (2016), have been selected by more than 250 festivals, including the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and have won more than 30 awards from festivals such as the New York International Children’s Film Festival, London International Animation Film Festival, Hiroshima International Animation Film Festival, etc.
Collaborating closely with Studio Folimage (France), Ana founded The Pocket Studio, the only stop-motion animation studio in Georgia to support and grow the local animation community.
Carlo Vogele is a director and screenwriter, as well as a character animator.
Born in Luxembourg, he studied film and theatre arts before focusing on animation.
After graduating from GOBELINS, l'école de l'image in Paris, he worked 7 years for Pixar in California, animating toys, cars, monsters and Scottish lords.
In his short films For Sock's Sake (Award for best graduation film, Annecy 2009), Furtiva Lagrima (CANAL+ creative aid Award for a short film, Annecy 2012) and Wurst, he brought socks, fish and sausages to life in stop-motion.
Back in Europe, Carlo wrote and directed his first feature film Icarus, released in 2022.
Emmy and Annie Award-winning Jorge R. Gutierrez is a Mexican animator, painter, voice actor, writer, and director.
A CalArts Experimental Animation BFA & MFA graduate, Gutierrez has completed various films, cartoons, and paintings exploring his love affair with Mexican pop and folk culture.
Gutierrez was Director & Co-Writer of the Guillermo del Toro produced animated feature The Book of Life, which earned him a 2014 Golden Globe Award nomination. Along with his wife and muse, Sandra Equihua, they created the multiple Emmy Award-winning animated series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon. Gutierrez most recently created, wrote and directed the event series Maya and the Three for Netflix which won 2 Annie Awards, and was nominated for 5 Emmys.
Gutierrez is currently developing and writing/directing a Netflix animated feature named I, Chihuahua with Gabriel Fluffy Iglesias.
Chris Lavis' first film, Madame Tutli-Putli, created with artistic partner Maciek Szczerbowski, was recognised with an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short Film.
Lavis and Szczerbowski went on to adapt Maurice Sendak’s Higglety Pigglety Pop!, produced by Spike Jonze. In 2014, they co-directed the innovative VR film project Strangers with Patrick Watson, with Felix & Paul Studios, which won an award at the Proto Awards in Los Angeles.
In 2016, they acted as Art Directors for Guy Maddin’s feature The Forbidden Room, and in 2017, twenty years of artistic creation was celebrated with retrospectives at the Cinémathèque québécoise and the Annecy Festival.
Recently, they collaborated with Felix & Paul Studios and the National Film Board of Canada to create Gymnasia, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019, and went on to win numerous awards. They are currently finishing production on La jeune fille qui pleurait des perles, produced by the NFB.
With a background in design and animation, Manu Weiss has made her mark in various positions in the animation industry, academia and R&D. However, her passion for pushing the boundaries of technology and art has led her to produce and curate immersive media exhibitions and festivals, introducing many audiences into the world of AR and VR.
She is also a dedicated advocate for talent development, having built several creative industry networks, initiatives and conferences – including Fantoche Industry Day, which has become a must-attend event for the Swiss animation scene.
For Manu, the intersection of new technologies, art and storytelling with a focus on animation is the sweet spot. She firmly believes that technology can be harnessed as a tool for creative expression to inform, engage and entertain audiences across various platforms and walks of life.
This year, the jury for the Perspectives category is made up of three young Mexican professionals who will select the City of Annecy Award: