Annecy organizers held a press conference on Thursday in which they outlined major highlights from this year’s program.
After the presentation, we published our look at the official and Contrechamp competition lineups and earlier today we went through the Work in Progress presentations. Now, we’re diving deeper into the non-competition highlights of this year’s festival, which will run June 11-17.
Here’s a quick daily breakdown of the key highlights covered during Thursday’s press conference:
- Sony Pictures Animation will world premiere the new short film The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story, produced as part of the company’s LENS (Leading and Empowering New Storytellers) program. LENS is an in-house leadership program created to open pathways to leadership roles for artists from underrepresented communities.
- Director Jeff Rowe (co-director of The Mitchells vs the Machines) will present a work-in-progress presentation for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.
- Denis Do’s The Forrest of Miss Tang and Naoko Yamada’s Garden of Remembrance will receive special screenings.
- Warner Bros. Animation will offer a first look at the new animated feature The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim from Kenji Kamiyama.
- Annecy favorite Genndy Tartakovsky will present a first look at his new Sony Pictures Animation feature Fixed.
- Announced last week, Netflix will debut Troy Quane and Nick Bruno’s long-awaited feature adaptation of ND Stevenson’s Nimona. The streamer will also host a panel discussion titled “From Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget to Blue Eye Samurai – See What’s Next @Netflix.”
- Illumination and director Benjamin Renner (Ernest & Celestine) will host a first-look presentation for the studio’s upcoming original film Migration, coming to theaters later this year.
- Disney is bringing three directors from its upcoming Disney+ anthology series Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire who will provide a first look at the groundbreaking new show.
- Announced earlier this month, Dreamworks will world premiere its latest original animated feature Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken with director Kirk DeMicco and co-director Faryn Pearl in attendance.
- The studio will also host a first-look session for Trolls Band Together with Walt Dohrn and Tim Heitz. The film will hit theaters on November 17.
- Following its Cannes world premiere, Pixar’s Elemental will head to Annecy with director Peters Sohn and producer Denise Ream. Pixar will also offer a first look at its first-ever animated series Win or Loose, coming soon to Disney+.
- Hiroaki Ando’s Kaina of the Great Snow Sea: Star Sage will screen out of competition, presented by Polygon Pictures, Fuji Television Network, Crunchyroll, Dentsu Film, Bilibili, and Netease.
Spotlight on Mexican Animation
Each year, Annecy selects one country whose animation industry is given the spotlight at the festival and MIFA market. This year, that honor falls to Mexico, with works and artists from the country deeply involved in nearly every part of the festival.
This year’s festival accouterments were designed with Mexican colors and themes. Maya and the Three and The Book of Life director Jorge Gutiérrez designed the official poster, will host a masterclass, and is a member of the VR works jury. Executive producer and Onyx Equinox creator Sofía E. Alexander will participate on the feature films jury and Guadalajara International Film Festival general director Estrella Araiza will be on the tv and commissioned films jury. And, of course, Annecy favorite and recent animated feature Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro will be on hand.
Annecy is also featuring nine programs dedicated to Mexican animation: Mexican Archaeology; Guadalajara School; Indigenous Mexico; Urban and Suburban Tales; Mexican TV; Growing Up Mexican; Surrealities: Poetic Imagery; The Untold Stories; and Mexico in Hollywood TV.
“We asked Mexican programmers to provide us with an overview of this great country’s entire historical production,” said Annecy artistic director Marcel Jean. “This will be the chance for the festivalgoers to discover many films, some of which were screened at Annecy, some were Annecy award-winners, but also others that will be screened here for the very first time.”