Starting in 1960 as the friendly place where the masters of animation like Norman McLaren, Paul Grimault and Raoul Servais used to meet, the animation film festival of Annecy has become the biggest and most happening animation event in the world. 'Author' animation is still present and welcomed but it is now only a tiny part of the content. In fact Annecy covers the whole field of animation: TV films, commercials, commissioned films, features, shorts, graduation films, internet films and so on. In addition to this program there are several conferences (this year it included one about animation in the stone age), making-of's, and presentations of work in progress.
At the 'market' (MIFA or Marché international du film d'animation), buyers and sellers meet and promotors of new film and TV producers try to acquire financing for their projects. The three-day MIFA welcomed 2,500 participants this year. In total 7,000 people came to this year's 36th edition of the festival. In the official section alone 244 films (features as well as shorts) were shown. Apart from the competions, Annecy had several noteworthy screening events and sneak previews like the French-Belgian feature Ernest & Celestine (directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner), due to be released in France in December. At the festival's opening night The Suicide Shop, a French-Canadian-Belgian cartoon feature directed by Patrice Leconte was shown, together with a brilliant new Disney short, Paperman by John Kahrs. At the closing ceremony Serge Bromberg announced that he will be stepping down after 14 years as artistic director. Canadian animation director and producer Marcel Jean will replace him. (Luk Menten)
Annecy International Animation Film Festival: www.annecy.org