Annecy 2010: Celebrating 50 Years
On Thursday morning, Nik and I were honored to be invited to a very special event. Tiziana Loschi, the chief representative of CITIA (the business wing of the Annecy Festival), was elevated to the rank of Chevalier in the French Order of Merit. The high honor was bestowed in recognition of Tiziana's service to the French film and animation industry. The organization is a cultural co-operative co-funded by the Annecy Greater Urban Area, Haute-Savoie General Council, the Rhone-Alpes Regional Council and the French State. One of CITIA's main purposes is to promote the circulation of French film.
Tiziana is a very able and enthusiastic representative. She discovered the world of animation through the films of Miyazaki. "I have great admiration and respect for those artists working (in animation) not hesitating to spend years in their field," she explained.
Each person elevated to the rank of Chevalier must select someone who has already received the honor to present the medal to them. Tiziana asked Michel Ocelot to do the honors. On the balcony deck of the Restaurant Le Plage, they both looked radiant against the backdrop of Lake Annecy as he pinned the cross onto her jacket. The brilliant morning sun made the La Plage balcony a perfect setting for the auspicious event. The ceremony was fittingly followed by a delicious buffet with superb champagne and wine.
Several people told me that they thought that Annecy has just gotten too big and that they were seriously considering going to Stuttgart or Zagreb next year, and I can understand their feelings.
I realize that the festival has become more and more about business and that the 50th Anniversary was a special year but the festival will be making a terrible mistake if they forget about the many animators, programmers and journalists who have returned year after year. So the jury is still out for me.
Opening night, 150 tickets were reserved for business dignitaries instead of being given to animators. Many people who should have seen The Illusionist couldn't see the film, much less attend the opening party. The parties are important opportunities, because that is where we have the opportunity to meet and talk to each other.
There was just too much to see in one week. If Annecy keeps expanding they are going to have to lengthen the festival to 10 days or a week. If I didn't write about your favorite screening or event, I'm sorry, but there are only 24 hours in a day, even at Annecy.
For me the icing on the cake was our train ride home to Belgium. We shared a carriage with Raoul Serrvais from the French border to his stop in Belgium and time flew by as we had good conversation and shared memories. Raoul also told us that CFCA (Association du Cinema d' animaton) has invited him to be a special part of their 12 day long IDA (International Animation Day) celebration. On Oct. 28, he will present a selection of his films and international shorts.