Official selections include 54 short films in competition -- 34 percent of them made by women -- out of nearly 2,700 submissions, with France, Belgium, Canada and Germany leading the pack.
Organizers for the Annecy International Animation Film Festival have unveiled the new poster and initial selections of shorts, graduation films, and TV and commissioned films for the 2016 edition of the prestigious event.
With a spotlight on France, this year the poster has been created by French Canadian illustrator Michèle Lemieux, whose children’s books have received numerous prizes, including the Bologna Ragazzi Award, the highest international accolade in children’s literature, for Gewitternacht in 1997. Jessica Charbonneau from TagTeam Studio created the “signature” for the poster.
Lemieux started her career in animation by adapting this story into the short film Stormy Night (2003), which has also been awarded with a dozen prizes including the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Festival. She then became acquainted with the Alexeieff-Parker pinscreen during a workshop given by Jacques Drouin at the NFB, and was immediately enchanted by the device. So much so that she used it to make her second short, Here and the Great Elsewhere, which she finished in 2012. The film went on to earn international acclaim at festivals in Brazil, Portugal, Poland and Estonia, and won the Grand Prix at the Wissembourg International Film Festival in 2012. A drawing and illustration professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Lemieux is currently working on a third film, once again being made at the NFB on the pinscreen.
“France is in the spotlight at Annecy 2016, and I feel very privileged to have been asked to create the Festival poster. For this country that I love, I wanted to give a happy and timeless image, representing its perpetual movement,” Lemieux said.
“For me, the magic of animation is expressed in the thousands of drawings known as intervals, which are barely noticeable to the viewer but provide a daily task for those working in the industry,” Lemieux added. “These intervals are the ingredients for movement and the raw material for every conceivable transformation, from subtle gestures to visual prowess. Thanks to these drawings, life appears and comes into the world through the microscope of time in which we find ourselves when making an animated film. I wanted to portray this with two characters, a man and a woman, who represent two key drawings, connected by a series of transparent intervals that refer to their furtive appearance, but also the symbol of the bond established between human beings.”
Setting a new record for shorts, graduation films and TV and commissioned films, the Festival received almost 2,700 films, coming from 85 countries.
The Official Selection will present 54 short films in competition (34 percent made by women), including 11 in the Off-Limits category -- a new competitive section for short films devoted to exploration, innovation and experimentation added in 2014 -- with France, Belgium, Canada and Germany leading the pack. 54 films make up the graduation category, with the majority made by women, and there are 77 TV and commissioned films (an 80 percent increase from last year). Thirty-one short films have been selected to screen in the out of competition category. 49 nationalities will be represented.
Films in the Official Selection are chosen by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Marcel Jean and the team from the Films and Progamme Planning department: Laurent Million, Yves Nougarède and Sébastien Sperer.
The Official Selection for feature films in and out of competition will be announced at the end of April.
Source: Annecy International Animation Film Festival