A Tribute to Jean-Luc Xiberras

compiled by Annick Teninge and Georges Lacroix

The architect of the highly regarded Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Jean-Luc Xiberras passed away on December 26, 1998. We wanted to pay tribute to him for his immense contribution to animation. Here an international selection of friends, colleagues and animators give their final thoughts on a man whose presence in animation will long linger.

Annick Teninge, Ron Diamond, Dan Sarto and Heather Kenyon.
Animation World Network



Speech given by Marie-Noëlle Provent during the memorial service for Jean-Luc Xiberras in Annecy.

Jean-Luc's family has decided to bring us together here in Annecy to express memories that we shared with him.

It is only fitting, therefore, that this town, through these words, should pay tribute to him.

A tribute to you as a friend, and the work you accomplished during your years spent in Annecy making it the worldly acclaimed meeting-place for the art and economy of animation cinema.

An event that was a major part of your life, and of which you were justifiably proud.

You built it, thanks to your hard work, perseverance in always going further, your capacity to encourage those around you to put themselves at your level, which some would say was excessive, but, in fact, was only your driving will to be the best in your field. I, for one, can vouch that personal ambition was not your deepest ambition.

Despite of the ever growing heaviness of the load of organizing the event, you never ceased to be a man of culture, ever curious, a discoverer of forgotten talents and those of the future.

I can still see your eyes alight when speaking about a Cuban, Korean or Iranian talent that you managed to unearth in order to organize an exhibition or retrospective.

At the same time, you considered it necessary to keep up with the times, and, if possible, be one step ahead of them, you opened the door to new technologies and medias, paying the price of the critics' snarls and comments that often hit a sensitive spot, but never stopped you from changing your way one inch.

I believe that deep down your driving force was the relationships you made with those around you. You lived them generously and with a passion. The friendships you weaved around the world will never become untied.

We will hold dear the memory of your lust for life and your drive to combat your illness. You never gave in, and how could we have doubted you when we saw you, so happy and confident during the last festival.

I would like to say to Nathalie, Valérie and Olivier that we all share in your immense sorrow.

In 1985, Paul Grimault said in his speech in Hiroshima:

"A film is never finished; it continues along its path in the mind of the spectator and the seed, if there is one, continues to grow."

You can be sure, Jean-Luc, that your story is not over today. It will rest in our minds and the seeds you have sown are already growing.

Marie-Noëlle Provent
President of the Festival from 1984 to 1997

Marie-Noëlle Provent, Jean-Luc Xiberras and Georges Lacroix at NATPE 1997. Animation World Network.

previous | next

Note: Readers may contact any Animation World Magazine contributor by sending an e-mail to