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Annecy Wrap-Up And Award Winners

The 32nd edition of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the 18th Mifa (International Animated Film Market) have drawn to a close.

India was in the spotlight this year with four programs, a conference and a large delegation, while the opening sneak preview of WALTZ WITH BASHIR managed to cause quite a stir with the Annecy audience after its screening in Cannes. Other great moments were also up for grabs with the world premieres of GLAGO'S GUEST and PRESTO, shown in the company of their creators from Disney and Pixar, Jacques-Remy Girerd's MIA ET LE MIGOU and FLY ME TO THE MOON in 3-D, by Ben Stassen.

The festival celebrated the 100 years of animation with a number of programs, including a tribute to Emile Cohl and an exhibition at the Musee-Chateau.

Artistic Director Serge Bromberg also particularly distinguished himself during the week by his piano accompaniments to a program of silent films and his collection of brightly colored Indian kurta tunics.

The edition was especially marked by the success of THE SIMPSONS, in the presence of creator Matt Groening, who accomplished the amazing exploit of signing autographs during a marathon four-hour session along with director David Silverman, and the visit of French voice actors of Homer and Marge: Philippe Peythieu and Veronique Augereau.

New for this year were the "Work in Progress" sessions with Jerome Deschamps and Pascal Herold for THE TRUE STORY OF PUSS IN BOOTS, Emmanuel Klotz and Albert Pereira Lazaro for LES LASCARS and Bibo Bergeron for UN MONSTRE A PARIS, along with project pitches, defended by their creators in front of an audience of professionals.

Other prestigious guests included Richard Williams, John Canemaker, Barry Purves and Michel Beaudet of TETES A CLAQUES fame. 1,867 films were received this year with more than 500 screened. 284 films made up the official Annecy 2008 selection, with 216 in competition, coming from 34 countries.

115,000 tickets were sold, 6,700 professional delegates from 63 countries attended the events -- a 10 percent rise from last year -- including 180 buyers and 300 journalists to cover the proceedings. Mifa, with 1,900 professionals and 300 exhibitors, is now firmly installed as a major event and took place in a surface area up 20 percent from last year. The profession got down to business over the three days, while the French TV channels held their press conferences to announce details about future programs. The atmosphere was electric, especially at the France Televisions conference, due to the much talked about Cope commission.

The Creative Focus confirmed its importance as a meeting place for creatives and companies on the lookout to recruit, demonstrations from animation masters and the 12th International Project Competition, which revealed a number of future artists. The professional meetings also achieved their goal of bringing together a large public to talk about subjects of great interest such as pipelines for CG series, low-cost features and the mocap scene.

Once again features were pushed to the forefront, with a special jury and a competition open to up to 10 films. This was also the first year of the Europa Distribution meeting, which talked about future prospects for the animated feature with producers and distributors from companies like Celluloid Dreams, Bac Films, Le Pacte, Cineart, Folkets Bio, Frenetic, Les Armateurs, Gebeka, and Les Films d'Ici.

At the end of a very animated week, the different juries awarded the prizes (see list below). The best of the 2008 festival can be seen in Paris from June 25-29 at the BPI, Centre Pompidou.

Next year's festival will be from June 8-13, 2009.

Short films

LA MAISON EN PETITS CUBES, The Annecy Cristal (Japan)BERNI'S DOLL, Special Distinction (France)MORANA, Special Distinction (Croatia)LA MAISON EN PETITS CUBES, Junior Jury Award For A Short Film (Japan)SKHIZEIN, Audience Award (France)ONA KOJA MJERI, FIPRESCI award (Croatia)PORTRAITS RATES A SAINTE-HELENE, Jean-Luc Xiberras Award For A First Film (France)KJFG No 5, Sacem Award (Hungary)LA DAMA EN EL UMBRAL, Jury's Special Award (Spain)

Feature Films

SITA SINGS THE BLUES, The Cristal For Best Feature (U.S.)IDIOTS & ANGELS, Special Distinction (U.S.)DIE DREI RAUBER, Audience Award (Germany)

TV Series

MOOT MOOT "L'enfer De La Mode", The Cristal For Best TV Production (France)TALENTED MOUSE "Catnip," "Pest Controller," "Oasis," Special Award For A TV Series (U.K.)

TV Specials

ENGEL ZU FUSS, Special Award For A TV Series (U.K.)

Advertising Films

Bibigon "Factually Fun Idents X 9," Educational, Scientific Or Industrial Film Award (U.K.)Sony Bravia "Play-Doh," Advertising Or Promotional Film Award (U.K.)

Music Video

Annuals "Dry Clothes," Award For Best Music Video (U.K.)

Graduation Films

LE VOYAGEUR, Special Distinction (Belgium)OKTAPODI, CANAL+FAMILY Award For A Graduation Film (France)MARGOT, Junior Jury Award For A Graduation (Belgium)CAMERA OBSCURA, Award For Best Graduation Film (France)MY HAPPY END, Jury's Special Award (Germany)HUGH, Unicef Award (France)