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



The International Animated Film Centre has become an orphan: Jean-Luc Xiberras packed his bags for the last time at the end of 1998.

Animation, cinema in general, has lost one of its most fervent defenders, an erudite enthusiast that one only occasionally has the good fortune to encounter.

Inexhaustible, inventive, curious, fascinating, enthusiastic; animation cinema was his driving force. He traveled the four corners of the globe to unearth that rare pearl with one objective: to introduce his find to the rest of the profession.

He possessed those qualities of being able to look into the past in order to remain faithful to the origins, and also step into the future so as to continue advancing.

Photo courtesy of Annecy Festival.

Animation is generous and eclectic. Jean-Luc fought hard and contributed to making it known in all its facets: Hungarian, Nordic, European, African, Middle and Far Eastern, but also computer generated. Every type of animation has pride in Annecy.

With outbursts of contagious enthusiasm, he made the Annecy Festival the not-to-be-missed animation rendez-vous.

Adored or criticized, he provoked strong reactions, but supporters and detractors alike were able to recognize this unifying talent, always at the origin of the most wonderful creations.

An international festival and market entirely dedicated to animation -- a life's work, his own. What an achievement! A rise from 1,200 festival passes at the first edition he organized in 1983 to 4,300 at the last biennial event in 1997.

There is an enormous void which leaves us all empty...A page has been turned in the history of the Annecy Festival and animation cinema, but his name will live on.

His courage, his passion, and his determination is with us still. Jean-Luc, we will make Annecy `99 a memorable rendez-vous and we are sure that your strength and convictions will help us along the way to make a success of the festival and market you fought so hard for and until the end.

The Annecy Festival

Jean-Luc Xiberras at Canal + booth. Annecy 98. Courtesy of Ron Diamond.

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