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The Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the globe’s largest annual gathering of animation artists, has announced a number of significant changes for its next edition, scheduled to take place June 10-15, 2019.

Key among those changes is the introduction of a new official competition category for animated features: Contrechamp. A reflection of the ever-growing number of animated features being produced around the globe, the new Contrechamp section, which will screen alongside the regular feature film competition, will present a dozen animated features that have distinctive qualities and challenge audiences. The Contrechamp category will replace the out-of-competition feature category.

The festival is also making strides in showcasing virtual reality projects. While Annecy has showcased vr projects since 2016, next year’s event will introduce a new competitive category for vr that will increase the number of projects presented and draw more attention to the medium. Additionally, the festival’s market/conference component, MIFA, will introduce a new programming track dedicated to immersive creation.

Finally, the festival is making strides to increase the number of women’s voices in its organization. At this year’s festival, Annecy organizers signed the charter 5050×2020 for Parity and Diversity in Film, Audiovisual and Animated Film Festivals, and the festival has said that it is committed to achieving gender parity at the center of its organization. One of the immediate changes that it has announced for its 2019 edition will be to increase the presence of women on the selection committees for all of the festival’s competitive categories: feature films, tv and commissioned films, graduation films, and vr.

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