The official selections have been announced for the 2009 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Of particular interest is to see how many films in the shorts category have already been hits on-line. There’s Muto’s wall-painted animation Blu, PES’s Western Spaghetti, David O’Reilly’s Please Say Something, and Takena Nagao’s Chainsaw Maid, which is probably not even eligible since it’s from 2007. The music video category also includes the Rex the Dog music video “Bubblicious.”
Can anybody point to a short film from, let’s say Annecy in 1985, that was seen by millions of people at the time of its release. This year’s competition program offers numerous shorts that fall into that category and it’s exciting as hell. Even a decade ago, animated shorts remained a fringe-culture oddity seen by a relative handful in festivals and touring-compilations. Thanks to the Internet though, independent animation has been lifted out of the cultural ghetto and is quick becoming as visible and mainstream as it was during the Golden Age of theatrical animation when shorts preceded feature films.