General audiences and film industry professionals alike will come out for the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and parallel MIFA market that kick off Monday in the French town near Geneva.
This year’s official selection will be a colorful mix of 229 films, including 10 features, 49 shorts, 54 student titles, 60 TV movies, 21 TV series plus 15 out of competition features and 41 shorts.
The fest will pay tribute to guest country Ireland’s animation industry with a special program and will also give audiences sneak previews of anticipated titles like Patrice Leconte’s The Suicide Shop, which will open the festival, and DreamWorks Animation and Paramount's Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.
The festival’s MIFA market boasts an 8 percent jump in accreditations compared to last year and will feature representatives from more than 80 countries who will participate in meetings and four days of conferences exploring the changes and challenges affecting the international animation industry. Some of this year’s conference themes include case studies of recent titles, financing for animation feature films, visual effects and a session entitled “Clothes, Hair and Face: a Technical Makeover.”
The MIFA market will welcome 450 international exhibitors to the event focused on co-production, buying, selling, financing and distributing animation content in the global marketplace. It will also host a “Creative Focus” that will come in the form of an exchange forum between industry heavyweights and upcoming talent.
Festival director Serge Bromberg and his team picked this year's selection from 2,455 films after 380 hours of screenings. "We laughed, we cried, and we had a lot of doubts as choosing was very difficult,” Bromberg said.
This year’s winners of the competition will be announced on June 9 when the fest wraps. The competition includes titles from around the world, such as Makato Shinkai’s Voyage Vers Agartha and Keiichi Sato’s Asura from Japan, Spanish titles Arruguas from Ignacio Ferreras and Enrique Gato’s Tad, The Lost Explorer and French-language films such as Remi Bezancon and Jean-Christophe Lie’s Zarafa, Jean-Francois Laguionie’s Le Tableau and Laurent Boileau and Junh Henin’s Couleur de peau: Miel.
Gala screenings out of competition include Stephan Schesch’s Jean de la Lune, Sang-ho Yeun’s The King of Pigs and Wayne Thornley’s Zambezia.
The Annecy International Animated Film Festival runs June 4–June 9, and the MIFA market takes place June 6–June 8.