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


Annecy 60 poster.

It was with a great deal of sorrow that I learned from Anne-Marie Meneux, on December 26, 1998, of the death of our friend Jean-Luc.

We were sure that he would be getting well, since he was as discrete about the gravity of his illness as he was about the considerable problems he had to surmount in order to produce the major event that the Annecy Festival became.

I only met Jean-Luc on a few occasions, but each time I noticed his extreme humbleness and his conciliatory disposition, despite the tension of his responsibilities! He offered many reasons to love and respect him for his sincerity and his natural devotion. I am indebted to him for many beneficial initiatives and notable memories.

Jean-Luc's constant preoccupation was to further an art form which is a long way from rivaling in popularity live-action feature films or sports competitions! That's what we talked about the last time we met at the Espinho Festival in 1997. The earlier Annecy Festivals were pleasant meetings, but without great impact. At the cost of exhausting, persevering work, Jean-Luc gave to this festival dimensions capable of measuring up to the gigantic, global proportions of animation, and thus opening a limitless market to the works presented there.

Jean-Luc must also be credited with having invited animators from distant, isolated and forgotten countries, thus giving us a chance to get to know them, and validating their work.

We all owe Jean-Luc Xiberras a part of our ability to make films and gain access to screens around the world! Beyond these words, the finest homage that we can offer him would be to do our best to raise animation to the state of an incontestable art form, the equal of the most beautiful creations in live-action film. I have no doubt that his spirit will be present in the future of the festival to which he devoted himself entirely.

Frédéric Back



previous | next

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