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



I got to know Jean-Luc in Moscow in 1983. I was working on a broadcast about animation in the Soviet Union, and Jean-Luc accompanied me for several days. I remember how excited he was to meet Ivan Ivanov Vano, the master of all the younger animators at the government animation studio. I can still see him, arms behind his back and head thrust forward, touring every corner of the studios, leafing through all the sketches, curious about everything. I remember how pleased he was to share tea, fried onions and white cheese with Yuri Norstein beside an enormous animation stand built in a deconsecrated chapel in old Moscow. And then all those memories since, marking fifteen years of friendship, that remain so vivid...

Louisette Neil
La Sept/Arte

July 1983 in front of Moscow's Animation Studio. From left to right: Jean-Luc Xiberras, Yuri Norstein, Louisette Neil, Norstein's cameraman, Marie-Catherine Marchetti. Courtesy of La Sept/Arte.

International animation has lost a true friend and admirer. He was faithful to animation through the last days of his life. But Jean-Luc left us the best heritage of which we could have dreamed. The Annecy Festival. Becoming one of the most important festivals in the world of animation, this special occasion was created by Jean-Luc with all his love, energy and enthusiasm. To be a part of and to experience the Annecy Festival, left to us by Jean-Luc Xiberras, is what I wish for many future generations of animators.

Alexandre Petrov
Director, Painter, Animator

Jean-Luc was a great professional who made the Annecy Festival the grand manifestation that it became. He was also a man who gave us a sacred lesson in the way he fought the sickness which finally ended him. He was also a friend, a true one, who, once he had given his friendship, would never retract it.

Françoise Maupin
Media Desk France

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