Annecy 2013: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Commercialism and Love the Festival
Closing night is always full of surprises. As Artistic Director Marcel Jean opened the ceremony the familiar figure of former Artistic Director Serge Bromberg popped out of the audience and on to the stage to “help” Marcel, proving the old adage that “you can take the boy out of Annecy but you can’t take Annecy out of the boy”. A complete list of the winning films can be found here.
I was quite favourably impressed with the job Marcel Jean did as the new figurehead of the festival. His interview skills are excellent, the short films in competition were by and large of a higher quality than in the past several years, and his innovations were refreshing. I especially liked his new idea of selecting the funniest short film.
The 4 programs of 10 films each covered over 70 years of humor from Tex Avery’s 1943 Red Hot Riding Hood to the present. The audience voted for their favorite film at each screening. The audience at the final screening of the top 10 vote getters selected THE funniest film. Each of the 40 films was a gem and would have been a worthy winner. I was very pleased when Marcel Jean announced that the winner of Annecy’s new award was KJFG No. 5 by Alexey Alekseev. KJFG No. 5 makes me laugh every time I watch it and Alexey is also a good friend as well as a long-time member of the Annecy + band.
One of the best things about festivals is that we all get to see each other, so at the closing night party we never say goodbye, just see you soon and for the first time in several years I am actually looking forward to returning to Annecy next year. Before that though there are many other festivals to attend.
After a very late night at the closing party I had to be up very early to leave for the Geneva airport where I flew out to Beirut, Lebanon for the Beirut Animation Festival. I was tired but very excited because I had never been to Beirut before and the festival and city turned out to be even more exciting than I had dreamed possible. You can read all about my trip to Beirut in my next article.
Nancy Phelps has produced music for animation for the past 16 years. She has written about animation and animation festivals for such publications as Animatoons, Film/Tape World, Reel World and the ASIFA/San Francisco news magazine and is a member of the ASIFA International Board. In 2006, Nancy and her composer/musician husband Nik Phelps moved from San Francisco to Gent, Belgium, where they now have their home. Check out her blog here.