Another year, another Annecy animation festival in France — and with that, another round of the usual gripes about the size of the festival. It’s a familiar litany: The festival has too many events happening at once; even with a pass, it’s hard to score tickets to popular talks and films; venues are too crowded and it’s hard to find friends.
All of this is true – coming home, I ran into at least four people at the Geneva airport that I hadn’t seen at the festival all week. At an event with 12,300 badgeholders — a record number, beating the previous year’s record of 11,700 — it’s to be expected that you won’t see everyone you’d hoped to see.
The growth of Annecy is part of a bigger trend though – the global expansion of animation. The medium is booming in nearly every part of the world – more broadcasters and streaming services want animation than ever before, more companies are producing animation than ever before, and more artists are joining the community than ever before. Annecy, like other animation organizations (including media sources like Cartoon Brew), is experiencing growing pains as it tries to fully represent this unprecedented boom in our medium.