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Close Enough and Lursaguak Close Enough and Lursaguak

A week after announcing that its festival and market would not go ahead as normal this year, Annecy has confirmed that it will host an online event, like many festivals before it. The organizers have also unveiled the short films that will compete in “Annecy 2020 Online.”

A total of 179 shorts and television projects will be presented across seven competitions. The categories are: Official Competition (37 films), Off-Limits (12), Perspectives (20), Young Audiences (10), Graduation Films (44), TV Films (21), and Commissioned Films (35). Those numbers are on a par with recent years. The films were selected from over 3,000 entries from 94 countries.

Explore the film line-up here.

The virtual festival will be held on June 15–30. Details will be unveiled soon, but the organizers have said that “other unique and exclusive content are being considered, based on our usual formats that make the festival, market (MIFA), and meetings a resounding success.” The festival will also unveil this year’s selected feature films and vr works in mid-May.

Marcel Jean, the festival’s artistic director, commented on this year’s line-up in a statement:

On the whole the 2020 selection is less serious, and funnier, than the previous few years. We still find several films dealing with current themes, in particular ecology, migration, and gender identity. Some films – The Physics of Sorrow by Theodore Ushev, Empty Places by Geoffroy de Crécy, and Something to Remember by Niki Lindroth Von Bahr [all pictured at top] — even appear to anticipate the present situation.

We are particularly proud of the quality and variety of the Off-Limits selection, which testifies to the vitality of experimental approaches. In addition, six of the twelve films from this section were directed by women, which represents the level of equity that characterises the selection in the diverse categories of the Short Films. We are also thrilled with the diverse countries where the selected films come from, there are works from Iceland, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, and Indonesia, countries that are rarely represented at Annecy.

The Graduation Films revealed a very high level of productions from the Lodz School in Poland, where three films from this educational institution were selected. Meanwhile the programmes destined for television indicate that this sector is going through a great era with so many audacious and ambitious productions targeted to diverse audiences.

Jean selected the films alongside his in-house programming team — Laurent Million, Yves Nougarède, and Sébastien Sperer — as well as Peggy Zejgman-Lecarme (director of the Cinémathèque de Grenoble), Marie-Pauline Mollaret (chief editor of the magazine, Clémence Bragard (programmer of the National Animation Film Festival for Afca), and Isabelle Vanini (programmer of the Forum des images).

Three juries will determine the winners of this year’s selections:

Short Films

  • Matt Kaszanek, director, Animation Is Film Festival, U.S.
  • Naomi van Niekerk, director, Dryfsand, South Africa
  • Denis Walgenwitz, director, France

Graduation Films & Off-Limits Short Films

  • Signe Baumane, director & producer, My Love Affair With Marriage, Latvia
  • Jeanette Bonds, festival co-founder & director, GLAS Animation; director/producer, B&B Pictures, U.S.
  • Thomas Renoldner, director & head of selection, Animation Avantgarde at Vienna Shorts Festival, Austria

TV & Commissioned Films

  • Marco de Blois, artistic director, Les Sommets du cinéma d’animation, Canada
  • Dahee Jeong, director & producer, Between The Pictures, South Korea
  • Diane Launier, managing director, Art Ludique Le Musée, France

Picture at top: Two projects in competition — the American series “Close Enough” (left) and the Spanish short “Lursaguak, Scenes from Life.”

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