Annecy was back in person and bigger than ever this year, with a record 13,248 (a full 8% more than 2019’s record) accredited visitors attending the French animation festival.
During a joyous closing ceremony on Saturday evening, festival legend Guillermo del Toro delighted attendees by announcing via video that Mexico will hold pride of place at Annecy 2023. Surely part of the crowd’s enthusiasm for the news came from the likelihood that the filmmaker himself will be back in attendance next year. It was also announced that Maya and the Three, The Book of Life, and El Tigre creator and Annecy fan favorite Jorge Gutierrez will design the 2023 festival poster.
Following its premiere at Cannes last month, Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be bolstered its festival cred by scooping the Annecy Cristal for a Feature Film to cap off the night’s festivities. Directed by Benjamin Massoubre (editor on I Lost My Body) and Amandine Fredon (an animator on A Cat in Paris), the film was adapted from the popular children’s book series created by René Goscinny and animated using a “Chinese ink-wash animation” style, inspired by the look and texture of the book’s original artwork by Jean-Jacques Sempé.
The Jury Award for a feature and the Gan Foundation Award for Distribution went to No Dogs or Italians Allowed from filmmaker Alain Ughetto (Jasmine), using clay stop-motion to retrace the steps of his ancestors who, in the early 20th century, crossed the alps to emigrate from Italy to France.
This year’s feature film competition lineup was among the best we’ve ever seen at Annecy, or any animation festival for that matter, and the jury seemed to agree, offering up a pair of further special distinctions for Signe Baumane’s My Love Affair with Marriage and Pierre Foldes’ Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.
In the Contrechamp lineup, Koji Yamamura’s Dozens of Norths took the top prize.
Annecy’s shorts lineup was equally packed, but Balázs Turai’s neon splashed fever dream Amok rose above the pack to take the Cristal. The film is now qualified for the Academy Awards.
From the tv competition, Sara Gunnarsdottir’s My Year of Dicks took top honors.
Below, a list of all the winning titles from this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
Cristal for a Feature Film
Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be – Amandine Fredon, Benjamin Massoubre, France/Luxembourg
No Dogs or Italians Allowed – Alain Ughetto, France/Italy/Switzerland
My Love Affair with Marriage – Signe Baumane, Latvia/U.S./Luxembourg
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman – Pierre Foldes, France/Luxembourg/Canada/Netherlands
Gan Foundation Award for Distribution
Interdit aux chiens et aux Italiens – Alain Ughetto, France/Italy/Switzerland
Dozens of Norths – Koji Yamamura, Japan/France
Contrechamp Jury Distinction
Chun Tae-il: A Flame That Lives On – Jun-pyo Hong, South Korea
Cristal for a Short Film
Amok – Balázs Turai, Hungary/Romania
Steakhouse – Spela Cadez, Slovenia/Germany/France
Intersect – Dirk Koy, Switzerland
The Record – Jonathan Laskar, Switzerland
Anxious Body – Yoriko Mizushiri, France/Japan
Cristal for a Graduation Film
Persona – Sujin Moon, South Korea
A Dog Under a Bridge – Rehoo Tan, China
Mom, What’s up with the Dog? – Lola Lefevre, France
Cristal for a TV Production
My Year of Dicks – Sara Gunnarsdottir, U.S.
Jury Award for a TV Special
The House Emma De Swaef, Marc James Roels, Niki Lindroth Von Bahr, Paloma Baeza, U.K./U.S.
Jury Award for a TV Series
Two Little Birds – Alejo Schettini, Alfredo Soderguit, Argentina/Colombia/Uruguay
Cristal for a Commissioned Film
Save Ralph – Spencer Susser, U.K.
Aline – Wes Anderson, France
Cristal for the Best VR Work
Glimpse – Benjamin Cleary, Michael O’Connor
Goliath: Playing With Reality – Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla, U.K./France
France TV Award for a Short Film
Amok – Balázs Turai, Hungary/Romania
Canal+ Junior Jury Award
La Calesita – Augusto Schillaci, Argentina/U.S.
Young Audience Award
The Queen of the Foxes – Marina Rosset, Switzerland
Best Original Music Award for a Short Film
The Queen of the Foxes – Rahel Zimmerman, Switzerland
Best Original Music Award for a Feature Film
Quantum Cowboys – Howe Gelb, Maciej Zielinksi, U.S
André-Martin Award for a French Short Film
Histoire pour 2 trompettes – Amandine Meyer, France
Festivals Connexion Award
Terra Incognita – Pernille Kjaer, Adrian Dexter, Denmark/France
The Invention of Less – Noah Erni, Switzerland
City of Annecy Award
Reparations – Wilson Borja, Colombia
Pictured Above: ‘Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be,’ ‘Dozens of Norths,’ ‘Amok,’ ‘My Year of Dicks’