Latin America Shines At Annecy: ‘Perlimps,’ ‘They Shot The Piano Player,’ ‘Arbor,’ ‘Petra and the Sun’
It’s been just under a week since the Annecy International Animation Film Festival wrapped, but we’re still wrapping our heads around everything we saw at the French fest.
Having already covered several exciting projects from Nigeria, Europe, and feature pitches from around the globe, we now turn our focus to Latin America.
In this profile, we look at four promising upcoming titles – two features and two shorts – that we saw across the different sidebars at this year’s event. Latin America has cast an increasingly influential shadow over Annecy in recent editions, a trend that looks likely to continue next year when Mexico will take pride of place as the featured country of Annecy 2023.
Perlimps – Feature (Brazil)
Director: Alê Abreu
Producer: Buriti Filmes, Laís Bodanzky
Looking for: distributors
The only finished film on our list, Perlimps is the latest from Oscar-nominated The Boy and the World director Alê Abreu, and screened out of competition during the festival. Set in a vibrantly colored rainforest, the film follows secret agents Claé and Bruô, an anthropomorphic wolf and bear who represent the Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon respectively. With top class sound engineering and an often-surprising soundtrack accompanying the film’s breathtaking visuals and an innovative use of light, Perlimps is a feast for the senses. The film doesn’t have a release date yet, but keep an eye out because this one is worth seeing on the biggest screen you can find.
They Shot the Piano Player – Feature (Spain, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Peru)
Directors: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal
Producer: Fernando Trueba PC, They Shot the Piano Player AIE, Les Films D’ici Méditerranée, Submarine, Animanostra – Cinema, Audiovisual e Multim
Looking for: investors, broadcasters
Oscar-nominated filmmakers Fernando Trueba (writer, Belle Epoque) and Javier Mariscal (co-directors on Chico & Rita) are back with the story of a New York music journalist who sets out to find the truth behind the tragic disappearance of young Brazilian piano virtuoso Tenorio Jr. Seen during an Annecy work-in-progress session, the film is pitched as a celebration of the Latin music movement bossa nova, and proposes a snapshot of a fleeting period of creative freedom at a turning point in the region’s history – the 1960s and ’70s – just before the continent was overrun by totalitarian regimes. Using a digital 2d technique, the film will deliver scenes in a range of styles and palettes depending on narrative tone. For interviews, the art will be clean and colored with everyday hues, while the Rio-set bossa nova scenes will feature more explosive color.
Arbor – Short (Mexico)
Director: Valentino Lasso
Looking for: screenwriters, compositors, distributors, producer/co-producers
This six-minute, 2d short turns on two brothers in bird masks who ask the questions: “To what extent are trees really alive? And how are we really connected to them?” To find an answer, the pair embark on a journey in which their senses are awakened into the mysterious and unknown world of trees. The project impressed during MIFA’s pitching sessions and took home the Ciclic – Shortway Prize.
Petra y el sol (Petra and the Sun) – Short (Chile)
Director: Stefania Malacchini, Maria Luisa Furche
Producer: Yeniffer Fasciani
Looking for: producers/co-producers
Winner of the pitching sessions’ Open Workshop Prize, this stop-motion short turns on 66-year-old Petra who lives alone in the mountains. During an unprecedented thaw in the region, she finds the perfectly preserved corpse of a mountaineer and decides to take him home at the insistence of her dog. As the police search for the missing body, she develops romantic feelings for the stiff.