Annecy 2023 Annecy 2023

At a press conference hosted by the CNC, Annecy organizers unveiled the competition lineups for this year’s festival which will run June 11-17.

Presenting the lineup were CITIA chairman Dominique Puthod, Annecy director Mickaël Marin, and festival artistic director Marcel Jean.

In addition to revealing this year’s competition films, the group also outlined several major highlights for the upcoming edition including special screenings, works in progress sessions, and studio presentations. We’ll dive more deeply into those events in an article tomorrow.

Today, we’re focusing on the festival’s official competition and Contrechamp lineups. According to Annecy organizers, it’s one of the most competitive they’ve ever seen.

“It’s not that we had so many more than in the past, but the important thing was that the average level was clearly higher than in past years,” Jean told Cartoon Brew in a conversation ahead of Thursday’s press conference. “In other years, it’s been much easier to select 10 films for the official competition, but this year was very hard because there were so many more who deserved it. Other films that, in any other year, would have definitely been in the competition.”

Regarding trends among this year’s submissions and eventual selections, Jean was especially proud of the diversity within the lineup. For example, this year’s competition features its first Cameroonian film in Daniel Minlo and Cyrille Masso’s The Sacred Cave. Liu Jian, who was supposed to compete with his film Have a Nice Day back in 2017 but was forbidden from doing so by the Chinese government, will be back with latest Art School 1994.

And, nearly a quarter of this year’s films come from women directors, a new best for Annecy.

“It’s still not close to parity,” Jean admitted, explaining that one day the festival would like to get there. “But it’s much better than what it was, even as recently as five years ago.”

Annecy will host several big Hollywood premieres this year, all out of competition. That’s usually the case for the studio fare, as festival organizers want to spotlight films that won’t already be backed by million-dollar budgets and professional PR teams. On top of that, Jean says the studios don’t normally submit films for the competition sections as there’s very little to be gained.

“The big-budget films prefer special screenings. If a $100 million film loses the Crystal to a $3 million film, that’s not good for them at all. And if the $100 million film wins, all anyone will say is that it should,” he pointed out.

Even out of competition though, those big players are often the main drivers of the festival in practical terms. The marketing money from big studios allows the festival to invite more independent, international, and short filmmakers. It lets organizers give out more accreditations, host more events for underrepresented groups, and provide a non-competitive platform that smaller projects and works in progress can share alongside the big dogs.

In total, 23 films will screen in this year’s official competition, 11 in the main competition and another 12 in Contrechamp.

Annecy 2023 Official Competition
  • Art College 1994, Liu Jian (China Academy of Art, Hangzhou Lightriver Culture & Media/China)
  • Four Souls of Coyote, Áron Gauder (Cinemon Entertainment/Hungary)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom, Neil Boyle, Kirk Hendry (Lupus Films, Mélusine Productions/Studio 352, Le Pacte/K., Luxembourg, France)
  • La Sirène, Sepideh Farsi (Les Films d’ici, Katuh Studio, Bac Cinema, Lunanime, TrickStudio Lutterbeck/Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg)
  • Chicken for Linda!, Chiara Malta, Sébastien Laudenbach (Dolce Vita Films, Miyu Productions, Dorje Film/France, Italy)
  • Lonely Castle in the Mirror, Keiichi Hara (A-1 Pictures/Japan)
  • Mars Express, Jeremy Périn (Everybody on Deck, Je Suis Bien Content/France)
  • Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds, Benoît Chieux (Sacrebleu Productions/Belgium, France)
  • The Inseparables, Jérémie Degruson (nWave Digital, Octopolis, A Contracorriente Films/Belgium, Spain, France)
  • The Inventor, Jim Capobianco, Pierre-Luc Granjon (Curiosity Studio, Leo & King, Foliascope/U.S.A., France, Ireland)
  • The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes, Tomohisa Taguchi (Clap/Japan)
Contrechamp Competition
  • When Adam Changes, Joël Vaudreuil (Parce Que Films/Canada)
  • Tender Metalheads, Carlos Perez-Reche, Joan Tomas (La Productora de Juanjo Saez/Spain)
  • Johnny & Me – A Journey through Time with John Heartfield, Katrin Rothe (Hanfgarn & Ufer Filmproduktion/Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
  • Komada – A Whisky Family, Masayuki Yoshihara (Story INC., P.A. Works, /Japan)
  • The Sacred Cave, Daniel Minlo, Cyrille Masso (Malo Pictures/Cameroon)
  • Robot Dreams, Pablo Berger (Les films du Worso, Arcadia Motion Pictures, Noodles Production/Spain, France)
  • Rosa and the Stone Troll, Karla Nor Holmbäck (Tegnefilm/Denmark)
  • Saleem, Cynthia Madanat Sharaiha (Digitales/Jordan)
  • Slide, Bill Plympton (Plymptoons Studio/U.S.)
  • Toldi, Marcell Jankovics, Csakovics Lajos (Kecskemétfilm/Hungary)
  • Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light, Filip Pošivač (Filmfabriq, Nutprodukcia, Nutprodukce/Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia)
  • White Plastic Sky, Tibor Banoczki and Sarolta Szabo (Salto Films, Artichoke/Hungary, Slovakia)

Pictured at top: Mars Express, Four Souls of Coyote, Art School 1994, The Inseparables

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