27, Chicken for Linda!, Robot Dreams 27, Chicken for Linda!, Robot Dreams

After a week of screenings, panels, pitches, studio presentations, and high-profile masterclasses, the Annecy Festival held its closing ceremony tonight, awarding the best short films, features, tv productions, student films, and VR works that screened over the past week.

The festival’s top prize, the Annecy Cristal for an animated feature, went to Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach’s Chicken for Linda!, which also won the Gan Foundation Award for Distribution. Annecy regulars, the husband-and-wife team of Laudenbach and Malta have worked together regularly over the years on both live-action and animation projects. Chicken for Linda! was at last year’s festival for a sold-out work-in-progress presentation.

This year’s Contrechamp top honors went to Pablo Berger’s Robot Dreams. The film premiered at Cannes last month and was a favorite among critics and audiences at the festival. Berger’s animation debut, the film is a kid-friendly feature with a bittersweet tone that appeals to adults as well.

Flóra Anna Buda’s 27 beat out live-action competition to win the short film Palme d’Or at Cannes last month and has followed that up by winning the short film Annecy Cristal. It also score the Annecy special award for best music in an animated short, handed out on Friday. The film is an expertly crafted story about a 27-year-old woman who frequently escapes into daydreams because she feels trapped living with her parents and younger brother. After a party, she is involved in a serious accident that forces her to reevaluate the choices she’s making.

This year’s Cristal for a tv production went to Marjolaine Perreten’s Pebble Hill, a half-hour story about a small family of shrews that lives on the banks of a stream. One day, very heavy rainfall washes away the village. Luckily, the family escapes the worst, but their house is destroyed. The special’s storybook-like animation is utterly charming and its earth-toned palette makes for easy, relaxed watching for any fan of autumn.

Tamerlan Bekmurzayev won the commissioned film Cristal for his music video for November Ultra’s breathtaking “come into my arms.” The video uses soft lighting and warm pastels to create a springtime dreamscape featuring a playful young girl on a fantastic train voyage.

Martina Generali, Simone Pratola, and Francesca Rosso’s La notte won the Cristal for a graduation film. Based on Vivaldi’s “La Notte,” the festively colored 2d short unspools during Carnival in Venice. There, a costumed man tries to sneak into a VIP party but fails terribly.

La notte

At the closing night gala, it was also revealed that in 2024, the festival will spotlight Portuguese animation. Regina Pessoa, (2006 Annecy Cristal short film winner Tragic Story with Happy Ending) and José Miguel Ribeiro (2022 Annecy competition feature Nayola) appeared in a video announcement alongside Isabel Corte-Real, cultural councilor of the Portuguese Embassy in France, to share the news.

Annecy 2023 was the largest edition in the festival’s history, and by an incredible margin. In total, 15,820 accredited guests attended this year’s event, up 19% from last year’s record attendance of 13,248.

Mickaël Marin, CEO of Annecy Festival organizer CITIA, said of this year’s event:

More than ever, Annecy deserves its status as the world capital of animation film. This new attendance record symbolizes the acknowledgment and trust of industry professionals. It is a community that couldn’t imagine missing this gathering and who showed their commitment, a few days after the events that shook our city. It also highlights the dynamism of an industry and the artists’ creativity. CITIA is immensely proud to be a mainstay in such an admirable sector. Thank you all.

2023 Annecy Festival Award Winners
Feature Films

Cristal for a Feature Film

Chicken for Linda!, Chiara Malta, Sébastien Laudenbach (Dolce Vita Films, Miyu Productions, Dorje Film/France, Italy)

Jury Award

Four Souls of Coyote, Áron Gauder (Cinemon Entertainment/Hungary)

Paul Grimault Award

The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes, Tomohisa Taguchi (Clap/Japan)

Gan Foundation Award for Distribution

Chicken for Linda!, Chiara Malta, Sébastien Laudenbach (Dolce Vita Films, Miyu Productions, Dorje Film/France, Italy)

Contrechamp Grand Prix

Robot Dreams, Pablo Berger (Les films du Worso, Arcadia Motion Pictures, Noodles Production/Spain, France)

Contrechamp Jury Award

Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light, Filip Pošivač (Filmfabriq, Nutprodukcia, Nutprodukce/Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia)

Audience Award

Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds, Benoît Chieux (Sacrebleu Productions/Belgium, France)

Short Films

Cristal for a Short Film

27, Flóra Anna Buda (Boddah, Miyu Productions/France)

Jury Award

Drijf, Levi Stoops (Lunanime BVBA/Belgium)

Alexeïeff – Parker Award

Eeva, Morten Tsinakov, Lucija Mrzljak (Adriatic Animation, Eesti Joonisfilm/Croatia, Estonia)

Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for a First Film

Our Uniform, Yegane Moghaddam (Iran)

Off-Limits Award

Is Heaven Blue? #2 – Menno De Nooijer, Paul De Nooijer (Trollfilm AS/Norway, Netherlands)

Audience Award

Nun or Never! – Heta Jäälinoja (Böhle Studios/Finland)

TV Films

Cristal for a TV Production

Pebble Hill – Marjolaine Perreten (Les Films Du Nord, Nadasdy Film Sarl/Belgium, France, Switzerland)

First Jury Award for a TV Series

Shape Island “Square’s Big Prank” – Drew Hodges (Apple TV+/U.S.A.)

Second Jury Award for a TV Series

Scavengers Reign “The Wall” – Vincent Tsui (Titmouse Inc./U.S.A.)

Commissioned Films

Cristal for a Commissioned Film

November Ultra “Come Into My Arms” – Tamerlan Bekmurzayev (Remembers/France)

Jury Award for a Commissioned Film

The Beatles “I’m Only Sleeping” – Em Cooper (Jelly London/U.K.)

Graduation Films

Cristal for a Graduation Film

La notte – Martina Generali, Simone Pratola, Francesca Rosso (Experimental Cinematography Center, Scuola Nazionale di Cinema/Italy)

Jury Award

The Harbormaster – Mia L. Henriksen, Konrad Hjemli (Volda University College/Norway)

Lotte Reiniger Award

Mano – Toke Madsen (The Animation Workshop, VIA University College/Denmark)

VR Works

Cristal for a VR Work

Red Tail – Fish Wang (Zero One Film Co., Funique VR, PTS Public Television Service/Taiwan)

Special Prizes

City of Annecy Award

Island – Michael Faust (Studio Potemkin/Israel)

Festivals Connexion VR Award

From the Main Square – Pedro Harres (Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf/Germany)

Festivals Connexion Award

Maurice’s Bar – Tom Prezman, Tzor Edery (Sacrebleu Productions/France, Israel)

André Martin Award for a French Short Film

The Purple Season – Clémence Bouchereau (Bandini Films/France)

Best Original Music Award for a Feature Film

The Siren – Erik Truffaz (Les Films d’Ici, Katuh Studio, BAC Cinema, Lunanime, Trickstudio Lutterbeck/Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg)

Best Original Music Award for a Short Film

27 – Committee, Mári Mákó & Rozi Mákó (Boddah, Miyu Productions/France, Hungary)

Young Audience Award

To Be Sisters – Clément Céart & Anne-Sophie Gousset (Folimage, Les Armateurs/France)

Canal+ Junior Jury Award

Pete – Bret Parker (Artfarm Productions/U.S.)

France TV Award for a Short Film

Nun or Never! – Heta Jäälinoja (Böhle Studios/Finland)

Pictured at top: 27, Chicken for Linda!, Robot Dreams

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