The Annecy International Animated Film Festival will make history during its 2015 festival by having an all-women jury for the first time in its 55-year existence.

The initiative is part of a broader celebration of its women-in-animation festival theme:

Women are set to be the stars of Annecy 2015. Filmmakers who have left their mark on the history of animation, current figureheads and promising young creatives from film schools… all these representatives of the fairer sex will be taking top billing. To this end, the Festival organization has confided the task of creating the official poster to Regina Pessoa, well-known personality in the world of animation and winner of the Annecy Cristal in 2006 for her short Tragic Story with Happy Ending. Her poster will be revealed in March 2015.

This feminine spotlight will also take various other forms including an all-female jury, programmes of films by women directors, a tribute to female animation pioneers made through films specially created by students from GOBELINS, l’école de l’image, and many other surprises.

Speaking from personal experience, the half-dozen or so times that I’ve served on an animation festival or award jury, the jury has been either entirely composed of men or the majority men. Women animators have made great strides in recent years to even the playing field (think back to all the years during the ’60s and ’70s when film festival juries were all-men)and it sends a particularly powerful message when the most prestigious global animation festival highlights the role of women in such a prominent manner.

In 2015, the Annecy festival will also put a spotlight on animation from the country of Spain, as well as celebrate the 30th anniversary of MIFA, its industry tradeshow/marketplace. The festival will take place from June 15-20, 2015.

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