The Annecy International Animation Festival has announced that its guest country for 2017 will be China.

Annecy, the world’s biggest animation festival, which broke an attendance record last year with 9,150 festivalgoers, will have its work cut out to present a full picture of China’s booming animation industry. The country has released three homegrown animated features this month alone.

Annecy’s tribute to Chinese animation will be centered around a major exhibition at the Château d’Annecy’s museum, where historical Chinese animation art will be shown alongside work by contemporary Chinese artists and filmmakers like Sun Xun, Haiyang Wang, Chao Wu, and Weilun Xia.

In addition to the exhibition, 12 retrospective screenings are planned. Among those screenings will be the seminal Chinese animated feature Princess Iron Fan (1941, pictured at top), directed by brothers Laiming and Guchan Wan, three programs of historical short films, a retrospective of Sun Xun, a program of short films by contemporary artists, a retrospective of the work of Xu An and Xi Chen, and recent Chinese student animation.

“This exceptional collaboration between the Château d’Annecy and the festival will give a unique and original vision of Chinese animation” said Annecy’s artistic director Marcel Jean. “Our project is to offer the biggest overview of the past as well as the present of Chinese animation, by presenting as many historical works as films made by the new generation of independent filmmakers. We would like to talk about the industry and its rapid development, and also make more singular voices heard.”

Annecy has commissioned various experts on Chinese art and animation to help develop its programs, including Marie-Claire Kuo Quiquemelle and the director of the Holland animation festival, Gerben Schermer.

On the competition side, Chinese filmmaker Chao Wu will participate on an Annecy jury this year. Wu, who studied art in both China and France, is currently working as a teacher at the Art College in Guangzhou while pursuing work in digital art animation and video art.

Additionally, China will have a 1,600-square-foot presence at Annecy’s MIFA animation tradeshow, which has grown so big that it will be adding an extra day this year, running from Tuesday, June 13, through Friday, June 16.

The weeklong festival takes place from Monday, June 12, through Saturday, June 17. Registration for the festival opened this Monday. For passes and other details, visit Annecy.org.

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