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Notes from Annecy

Peter and the Wolf

Another edition of Annecy has wrapped and the winners have been announced. The top short film prize, the Annecy Cristal, went to Suzie Templeton’s Peter and the Wolf (pictured above) which also won the Audience Award. Other deserving shorts which took home prizes include Andreas Hykade’s The Runt, Samuel Tourneux’s Même les pigeons vont au paradis and Luis Cook’s The Pearce Sisters. Tom Brown and Daniel Benjamin Gray’s t.o.m. won the highest honor for a student film while the feature prize went to Norway’s Free Jimmy directed by Christopher Nielsen. A complete list of winners is here. I’ll be writing more about many of these films over the coming months.

There’s much that I could write about the festival, but I thought I’d take a moment to just talk about why I think it’s so important to attend animation festivals like Annecy. Living in LA, as I do, it’s easy to become complacent and think that you know everybody in the animation world. But then you go to a festival like Annecy where you see thousands of animation artists, and not a single one of them is from LA or NY, and you begin wondering where the heck you’ve landed. It’s a humbling experience and a reminder that today’s animation world is far more vast and diverse than ever before.

There are talented artists producing animation in every corner of the globe and festivals create the ideal forum for an exchange of ideas and techniques (or drinks, as the case may be with most animation types). I had the opportunity to meet and mingle with many of the international animation set last week including Juan Pablo Zaramella and Silvina Cornillón from Argentina; Israeli Ariel Belinco, co-director of the prize-winning Annecy short Beton (watch it here), Australian James Calvert of The People’s Republic of Animation and Vijayakumar Arumugam from India.

Then there’s all the Europeans at the festival, all of the British and the Germans and the Dutch and the Danish and the French and so many more that creating a list of the people I hung out with would run pages long. Even the loft I was staying in housed a fascinating melting pot of animation folk including French animators like like Sebastien Dabadie, Sebastien Laudenbach and Claire Fouquet, and Saschka Unseld of Germany’s Studio Soi.

People come from many countries to attend festivals but everybody speaks the same language of animation. It’s a varied and nuanced language that becomes ever so evident at a place like Annecy. There’s nothing more refreshing than going to a place that shows you animation is not just George of the Jungle but also George Schwizgebel.

I’ve posted links below to other bloggers who have some pics and thoughts from the festival. Considering how many people were there, it’s surprising that so few people have written about it. If you have a blog post about Annecy, please share in the comments:

Uli Meyer

Boris Hiestand

Matt JonesElliot Cowan

Hans Perk – I and II

The Duffy twins

Felix Herzog presents a nice collection of sketches from artists who attended the festival

Amid, Lisa and Uli
Yours truly with Lisa and Uli