In what is now a firm tradition, second-year students from hallowed Parisian animation school Gobelins were commissioned to make a series of signal films for this year’s Annecy. With the festival’s spotlight on Japan, the students themed their five trailers — one for each festival weekday — around that country. Having played before screenings at Annecy, they are now available to watch below.
The shorts, drawn in a variety of retro 2d styles, are packed with playful references to Japanese pop culture. Some are pretty overt: supreme director Akira Kurosawa in Senjo, dapper crooner Kyu Sakamoto in A Taste of Tokyo. Others are more subtle (can you spot the cameo by Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata?). The soundtracks were composed by students from Paris’s Conservatoire Municipal Paul Dukas. Full credits for the shorts can be found on the Gobelins website.
Gobelins’s ties with Japan are set to strengthen. At Annecy, the school announced a partnership with Netflix, through which one graduate per year will spend time in Japan developing original Netflix anime titles. The fellowship’s first recipient is Claire Matz.