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Annecy, Anima Mundi, Hiroshima & Ottawa


Four major animation festivals on four different continents are coming up soon: France’s Annecy in June, Brazil’s Anima Mundi in July, Japan’s Hiroshima in August and Canada’s Ottawa in September. It’s well worth setting aside time to attend any one of these major festivals. Not only are festivals a great place to see animated films that are otherwise inaccessible and to meet people who are passionate about the possibilities of the art form, they’re also a lot of fun. Jerry and I will be attending at least a couple of these events. Let everybody know in the comments which one of these fests you’ll be attending.

Annecy ’08, from June 9-14, includes a focus on emerging animation from India, an Émile Cohl retrospective, a presentation on Winsor McCay by John Canemaker, and both an exhibiton and screening related to Tex Avery. Also the official film selections have been announced.

Anima Mundi takes place in Rio de Janeiro from July 11-20 and in São Paulo from July 23-27. There’s not much on their website yet, but they always manage to put together quality programs and guests.

Hiroshima ’08 takes place August 7-11 and among its programming highlights are retrospectives of Paul Driessen, Osamu Tezuka and Alexander Tatarsky.

Ottawa ’08 is happening September 17-21. They just launched a redesigned website including a preview of this year’s special programs. Highlights include: John Canemaker chatting in-person with the reclusive Richard Williams, a program about “new wave Japanese animation”, retrospectives of Michael Sporn and Jonas Odell, a four-part look at Canadian animation auteurs based on Chris Robinson’s new book Looking for A Place to Happen: On the Road with Canadian Animators, and an animation propaganda program curated by Karl Cohen.

  • I will surely be attending the Annecy Festival. I’m really looking forward to John Canemaker’s Winsor McCay lecture (John is also a judge this year). I am currently supervising the animation for a big CG feature being made in Luxembourg, and the studio, LuxAnimation, will be involved with MIFA and the project competition as well. Annecy is truly a great festival, and I hope to see you all there!

  • Hi, I’ve attended the Ottawa film festival these past two years and will probably do that again, since it’s within driving distance of me. I’m from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, so it’s usually a whole group of us that go up. Would love to be able to go to Annecy, but the money is something us college students don’t have a lot. I hope to see everyone there.

  • Taylor Armstrong

    I’m planning on getting to Ottawa this year, as I’ve never been before, and I’m itching to catch that Canemaker-Williams talk. I’ll also be submitting a film, so if that gets in I’m definitely there.

  • Esn

    There’s also the KROK International Animated Film Festival from 21st-30th September, which will take place on a cruise ship sailing through Russia’s major cities:


    And of course, there is the famous Zagreb festival (AnimaFest) which will be held from Mat31-June 5.

    Just out curiosity, who decides which festivals are “major” and which are not?

  • I will be going to Annecy for the first time this year. I will also be premiering my first film, “The Hidden Life of the Burrowing Owl” in the short film competition category. Can’t wait to get there and see all that there is to see!!!

  • Animation Pimp

    That’s a good question about who decides what the major and not major festivals are.

    In a sense, i guess history/longevity/performance go along way towards that. Annecy (1960), Zagreb (1972), Ottawa (1976), and Hiroshima (1985) have long been considered the big 4 because of their connection with ASIFA. Until about the mid-1990s, ASIFA helped determined which festivals were reputable. They had rules that each festival had to follow to get ASIFA approval. The aim was to protect filmmakers who could get screwed by any joe festival that emerged (more a problem today than it was pre-1990s).

    But beyond that, sometimes I dont even really know. Annecy and Ottawa tend to be the only festivals that attract the whole spectrum from experimental animators to industry producers, recruiters, distributors. Is that a sign of ‘major’? I don’t know.

    If you don’t get into Annecy or Ottawa, but do get into Fantoche or Stuttgart or Holland does that make you less of an artist? Not really.

    Perhaps it’s about networking. In that case, Ottawa and especially Annecy attract the largest crowds. But, that doesnt mean you can’t do solid networking at a smaller festival. Some of my best experiences have been at ‘minor’ festivals. Heck, I hate (yes, hate) Annecy’s competition programming but last year I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the festival.

    If you come back from an animation festival really inspired, recharged, challenged, hungover, laid, and ready to work than I think that festival (whichever one it is) is major in the life of that person. Those individual experiences are all that really matters, all that can matter.

  • Annecy for me this year again.

  • Dave

    So Platform was a once-off?

  • Anima Mundi for me. Financial and geographical reasons, since I’m from Brazil. If I could, I’d attend all, since I’ve never been to Annecy or Ottawa or even Hiroshima. :-)

    Anima Mundi is improving every year, which is great.

  • I will hopefully be going to Annecy as an ad i co-directed is in comp (it ain’t cheap to get there from Australia as you can imagine). I went in 2005 and I can safely say that it is my favourite location in the world.

    Hiroshima looks great too. I think Stuttgart is still the best i have been to in regards to meeting other filmmakers though. Each morning after the screenings they had great q & a sessions in a gazebo with the filmmakers. GREAT idea.