The Annecy International Animation Film FestivalFrom June 13 to 18, 2022
While adequate may best describe the 2021 edition (thanks Covid), this year the Annecy International Animation Film Festival makes its big comeback. The love affair between Annecy and the world of animation began 62 years ago. Just days before the festival begins, the offices at CITIA – Center for Techniques in moving Images and Animation – are buzzing busier than a bee hive, with everyone excitedly working hard to make 2022 edition as high-quality and festive as ever.
We know for certain that this year’s festival will be truly fantastic, just like the official poster suggests. Created by Laurent Durieux, known for his off-beat posters for cult films and whose art has caught the attention and recognition of such big names as Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg. Art by Friends in Annecy plans to host an expo of his works.
With summer just around the corner, a cosmopolitan and effervescent atmosphere has taken over the city, and even locals appear a little starry-eyed, proud to see the spotlight shine for a few days on Annecy, the lake, and the festival. Everyone seems to be in the spirit of animation.
For the general public, the festival offers a unique chance to attend world premiers, to see free showings outdoors on a giant screen in Pâquier Park, to cross paths with and even sometimes speak to the masters of animation who make us laugh, cry, and dream… and move us through their animated works. The Pass Grand Public, which costs €30, started last year and includes one screening per day as well as priority access to unsold seats at other screenings.
© Laurent Durieux / 2022 Festival poster
Organizers always succeed with flying colors in overcoming the incredible of challenge of bringing together producers and directors, professors and students, graphic designers and artists, seasoned veterans and newcomers, as well as, of course the general public. They are driven more than ever this year, with several incredible surprises in store for festival goers, such as an additional screening every evening at 20:00 (8:00pm) to allow families to fully enjoy the festivities, or the pre-festival excitement scheduled on Sunday, June 12, at 21:00 (9:00pm), the night before the official start.
“We take pride in bringing together professionals and the general public from all over the world as well as locally,” explains Mickaël Marin, Festival Director. “Every year, we increase our efforts to include Annecy locals, such as screenings at the hospital, more world premiers, or working with local associations. This year, we are adding a showing on the giant screen in Pâquier Park on Sunday at 22:15 (10:15pm), the night before the festival officially opens, as well as an extra showing every evening at 20:00 (8:00pm) specifically organized for families, also in Pâquier Park.”
© PIXAR – THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY (FRANCE) S.A. / Lightyear – Buzz l'éclair
Animated films, an industry of excellence in Annecy
In 1960, the city of Annecy was selected to host the all-new animation film festival. The city’s many attributes explain the choice: a beautiful lake located in a fantastic mountain setting, the many hotels and accommodations available, a theater, a movie club that figured among the biggest in France at the time, and the political will led by the then mayor, Charles Bosson. Over the years, the festival grew significantly, receiving support from the Ministry of Culture and the CNC (France’s National Center for Cinema and Animated Film), the latter working to structure the animated film industry in France. Creating MIFA (International Market for Animated Films) in 1985 and organizing the festival annually are two factors that contribute to making the event a long-term, permanent fixture in Annecy.
© NORD-OUEST FILMS / Le Pharaon, le Sauvage et la Princesse
The early 2000s mark a turning point in for the festival, as it continued to grow and earn a name for itself well beyond France’s borders. Education tools in animation, from workshops for elementary schools to university-level programs in connection with the highly-reputed Goblelins School in Paris – a benchmark in the visual arts – are launched. CITIA co-organizes or works with 6 top undergraduate and graduate programs with a total of more than 200 students. They are bolstered in the greater Annecy area by 6 other education programs and schools connected to animation, film, and photography, as well as other creative industries. Among these programs, some are taught at the Papeteries – Image Factory, the same building where companies in the industry have their offices. In Annecy, these initiatives contribute to bolstering the industry and developing the animated film economy well beyond the week of the Festival and MIFA.
Worldwide recognition for the festival
Every year, more than 420 journalists attend the Annecy Festival and Mifa, and contribute to the worldwide influence of the event and the animation industry. Today, Annecy is:
- The world’s biggest animation festival and trade show,
- The second biggest film festival after Cannes.
© 2022 – Folivari Mélusine Productions Studiocanal France 3 Cinéma Les Armateurs / Ernest et Célestine : Le voyage en Charabie
A few highlights for the 2022 edition:
- Showings every night at 22:15 (10:15pm) on the giant screen in Pâquier Park, and starting on Sunday, June 12
- Showings every night at 20:00 (8:00pm) on the giant screen in Pâquier Park
- Major screening events, including many world premiers: Minions 2: The Ries of Gru, several new clips from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, several new clips from Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, the world premier of Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai and with Joe Dante present, several new clips from Ernest and Celestine, a Trip to Gibberitia, the premier of Buzz Lightyear, a screening of the film The Black Pharaoh, the Savage and the Princess and with Michel Ocelot present
- Autographs in the Bonlieu building with the film crews: Spider Man, Luck, Puss in Boots, Bad Guys, My Life as a Zucchini, Little Nicholas…
- A photography expo dedicated to the making of such animated films as, “My Life as a Zucchini,” directed by Claude Barras (who will be present) and the 2016 Cristal award winner for a feature film. This expo will be in Bonlieu’s library/media center starting on June 16.
- An expo of works by Laurent Durieux, who designed the 2022 festival poster, at Art By Friends.
- A Little Nicholas expo at the Annecy train station.
- The option of attending the France Inter radio show live at the Imperial Palace Hotel on June 17, at 17:00 (5:00pm).
- On tour throughout the Haute-Savoie.
- A showing of the Japanese film, “A Silent Voice,” which focuses on being handicapped, with both the director and Virginie Delalande present. The latter was born in Annecy and is the first completely deaf lawyer in France.
A few well-known personalities present this year: Guillermo del Toro, Joe Dante, Michel Ocelot, Jennifer Lee (director of Frozen and the Artistic Director at Disney Studios), Michel Hazanavicius, Kyle Balda (director of Minions), Anne Goscinny, Zep…
One last word from Mickaël Martin, Festival Director
“I can’t repeat enough just how incredible everyone’s state of mind has been these past few months working on the festival. I think that we all wholeheartedly wanted to get together again, to reconnect with the soul of this festival filled with so many amazing face-to-face encounters and shared experiences, to make the movie screens throughout town come alive once again. We purposely flooded this year’s edition with creativity and diversity, seeking to once again assert the thriving animation film industry that we are so proud to serve.”
© G. Piel – CITIA / Mickaël Marin, director
- © ANNECY FESTIVAL – E. Perdu
Journalist: Aude Pollet Thiollier
Translation: Darin Reisman