Annecy always has a lot to offer the artists, students, industry folks, press, and visitors that show up to the French festival by the thousands each June. But few of the event’s sidebars draw as much attention as its Work in Progress pitches.
On Thursday, Annecy organizers held a press conference in which numerous festival highlights were laid out for the first time, including its official and Contrechamp competitions, which we covered last night.
Now, we’re back to take a look at the 17 films, series, and interactive works which will host WIP presentations this year, we decided to take a look at what audiences can expect to see this June.
Annecy Work in Progress 2023
Little Amélie or the Character of Rain, Maïlys Vallade, Liane-Cho Han (France)
- Produced by Maybe Movies, Ikki Films, 2 Minutes, and France 3 Cinéma, this is the story of a three-year-old girl discovering the world for the first time.
Ghost Cat Anzu, Yoko Kuno, Nobuhiro Yamashita (Japan, France)
- Shin-Ei Animation and Miyu Productions are teaming to produce this family-friendly film about an 11-year-old cat who has been left with her grandfather, an old monk in a small town in the Japanese countryside.
Batman Azteca: Choque de Imperios, Juan Meza-Leon (Mexico, U.S.)
- Originally ordered by HBO Max in Latin America, it seems likely this will be a Max title after the change later this month. The feature-length film will follow an Aztec-era Batman as he faces down Spanish conquistadors. Warner Bros. Animation produces with Ánima and Chatrone.
Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix, Mehdi Leffad (France, U.S.)
- This series, based on the Blood Dragon expansion of the popular Farcry video game franchise, unspools in an alternate U.S. called Eden in the year 1992. Then and there, super-soldier Dolph Laserhawk lands in prison and must lead a team of outcasts on a life-or-death mission. It’s produced by Ubisoft Film & Television and Bobbypills.
Here Lies My Heart
- Produced by A_Bahn, Phi Films, and Lucid realities, this XR work mixes live-action footage, 2d computer animation, cut-outs, and drawings on cels to tell a modern fairytale about a child reconciling with their body.
Heart of Darkness, Rogerio Nunes (Brazil, France)
- Larmatique Imagens, Special Touch Studios, Sébastien Onomo, and Split Studio are producing this YA feature adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s eponymous novel, only this time it’s set in the Rio de Janeiro of the near future.
Into the Wonderwoods, Vincent Paronnaud, Alexis Ducord (France, Luxembourg)
- Based on the kids’ book of the same name by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Paronnaud (Persepolis), A.K.A. Winshluss, this project is produced by Je Suis Bien Content, Gao Shan Pictures, Zeilt Productions, Amopix, Le Pacte, and France 3 Cinéma.
Emperor, Marion Burger, Ilan Cohen (France, Germany)
- This XR project for adults is an interactive narrative experience into the mind of a father suffering from aphasia. Atlas V and Reynard Films produce.
Eugene, Anaïs Caura (France)
- Based on the historic The Man-Woman Case, this 2d feature is a retelling of the true story of a 1920s murder investigation in Sydney. 2P2L, Hélène Gendronneau, and Myfantasy produce.
Flow, Gints Zilbalodis (Latvia, France)
- Dream Well Studio, Sacrebleu Productions, Ron Dyens, and Take Five produce this kids and family feature was recently awarded €400,000 by Eurimages. Flow is Zilbalodis’ second animated feature. His first, Away, he made completely on his own before it went on to win Annecy’s Contrechamps award in 2019 and earned an Annie nomination in 2020.
Frankelda and the Prince of Spooks, Rodolfo Ambriz, Arturo Ambriz (Mexico)
- Cinema Fantasma, Turner Broadcasting, and Cartoon Network Latin America are adapting their award-winning and hugely popular stop-motion series Frankelda in this animated feature.
Juliet and the King, Ashkan Rahgozar (Iran)
- Hoorakhsh Studios produces this story about a French actress asked by the King of Iran to perform for him in Tehran, so he can try to win her heart.
La jeune fille qui pleurait des perles, Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski (Canada)
- Backed by Canada’s NFB, this WIP short tells the story of a girl overwhelmed by grief, the boy who loves her, and how greed can inspire the vilest of actions.
Slocum, Jean- François Laguionie (France, Luxembourg)
- From JPL Films, Melusine Productions, and Studio 352, this seafaring story follows a family trying to build a replica of “Spray,” the famous ship used by Captain Joshua Slocum in his attempt to sail solo around the world at the turn of the 20th century.
Spellbound, Vicky Jenson (U.S.)
- Apple TV+’s next big animated feature, Spellbound is a cg-animated feature about a young princess on a quest to save her family and kingdom. It’s produced by Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation.
Sultana’s Dream, Isabel Herguera (Spain, Germany)
- One of the most striking entries in this year’s WIP section, Sultana’s Dream follows a Spanish artist living in India who discovers the book Sultana’s Dream, about a land where women rule and men live in seclusion. Having just split from her lover, she decides to seek out the one place where women can live in peace. Sultana Films, Abano Producións, El Gatoverde Producciones, and Fabian&Fred produce.
Sunset Motel, Gilles Jobin, Thomas Ott (Switzerland, France)
- Produced by Jobin, Floréal Films, and Nadasdy Film, this black-and-white XR experience is based on Thomas Ott’s graphic novel and unspools at a motel somewhere in a wasteland where strangers come and go and nobody ever stays long.