Submission deadlines for the Annecy International Film Festival and Market are here; MIFA’s Head of Projects, Géraldine Baché, discusses the special focus and new vigor of the MIFA Pitch Sessions.
Two important deadlines are already upon us for the 2014 Annecy International Film Festival and Market, and there are only a few more days to enter your finished film into the Festival and your feature and/or transmedia ideas to the 2014 MIFA Pitch Session.
The submission deadline for entries to the 2014 Annecy International Film Festival is here. The deadline is February 7th. This includes short films, TV episodes, student films and commercials. March 15th is the deadline for feature films. Founded in 1960, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival is the world’s largest and oldest event entirely focused on animation. Gathering the best from all around the world, the screenings are an inspiring collection of techniques and story telling -- the ultimate snapshot of what is happening now. In addition to contemporary screenings, there are also tributes, retrospectives, sneak previews and a giant open air screen. Don’t miss out. Enter your film(s) today. It’s free and if you are selected the director is even invited to the festival.
The other deadline is already past – February 3rd! Are you developing a short or TV series? Do you feel like you don’t know what to do now? Do you need to find partners and get guidance about what to do next? Then you need to enter into the MIFA Pitch Session. If you are currently developing a feature or transmedia project, you can breathe a little easier as your deadline is February 21st.
The International Animation Film Market (MIFA) is held side by side with the Festival, efficiently mixing art with commerce. This unique professional trade fair is where all the players from the animation industry come together for three days of networking with potential business partners and international broadcasters and distributors. The MIFA Pitch Sessions are held during this market and offer a great opportunity to projects that are not yet made. If your project is selected you will have the chance to pitch in front of a group of leading animation professionals. You will also receive support and professional dialogue about your project and a free accreditation to the MIFA, where you can mix and mingle with 300 buyers, distributors and investors. Once again, it is free to enter and a great opportunity to bring your idea to the next level by getting fantastic exposure at a leading international market.
For several years the MIFA Pitch Session has been a part of the MIFA, but this year it appears to be taking on a special focus and new vigor. As a result, AWN asked Géraldine Baché, Head of Projects, MIFA, to talk a little bit more about this new approach.
AWN: This pitching program has been around at Annecy in several different forms. However, this year, it seems much more formal and pushed to the front. Can you talk a little about what you hope to achieve this year and the changes?
Géraldine Baché: The Call for Projects is more than 10 years old. Authors [creators] expect it every year and submissions keep increasing. The pitching program has a high quality level and slots are crowded. But while this is well known by the authors, the real challenge for 2014 is to make the pitching sessions a key event in the agenda of professionals as well.
The first step was to give up the original name, Creative Focus, for an official MIFA branded event. Pitched projects are going to be spotlighted with the program much easier to find. The four categories -- feature films, short films, TV series/specials and transmedia – will be kept separate and each session will be split to fit better with the tight agendas of professionals. Two shorter pitch sessions are more comfortable than one long one! Plus, we have faithful partners confirming again financial funds, TV-channel pre-purchase, etc., and new ones are in discussion...
AWN: Why should people enter? What sort of opportunity is this?
GB: For projects in the beginning stages of development, pitching in Annecy/MIFA is a real opportunity to be seen and detected, to meet partners and to find a way to improve your work. The Call for Projects is supported by many partners with prizes associated in each category. Selected projects will be announced and highlighted. For all these reasons, I advise authors to take their chance!
AWN: Why is this important to hold at Annecy and in the MIFA?
GB: Probably because Annecy keeps being one of the rare events mixing a festival and a market, gathering various audiences -- authors and professionals – who can meet each other at any time during the week. This theme of international creation, previews, job opportunities, co-productions and business in general are the key words of the event. It takes advantage of the venue!
AWN: All that Annecy offers is vast -- screenings, conferences, director talks, the market -- what excites you about this particular facet of the Annecy week?
GB: Gathering all these events in the same week and place is exciting... and frustrating as well! The hope of attending everything is quickly given up. Maybe that's the reason why people like to come again!
Annecy by the Numbers:
- 7,100 accredited professionals from 80 different countries
- 460 exhibitors
- 290 international buyers, distributors and investors
- 340 journalists
- 236 films in competition
- over 500 films screened
- 8 theaters for 10 am to 11 pm viewing
- 1 giant outdoor screen
- 110,000 tickets sold throughout the week
- 1 amazing, inspiring, worthwhile week!
Source: Annecy International Film Festival and Market
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.