PARIS– Brazilian musician-turned-director Ale Abreu’s “Boy and the World” won the Crystal Award for best film and the audience nod at the 38th Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival which wrapped today.
The win of “Boy and the World” (pictured above) underscores the building strength of Brazilian animation which delivered last year’s “Rio 2096,” winner of Annecy’s top prize. Brazil had never had a film in competition at Annecy before last year.
Described by Variety‘s Dennis Harvey as a “simple, universal parable played out in boldly imaginative design terms,” Abreu’s dialogue-free film follows the journey of a young boy who leaves his village to search for his father across a big city where he discovers a world dominated by animal-machines. Acquired by GKids for North American distribution, the feature premiered at the Ottawa Intl. Animation Festival last September where it won an honorary mention – an effective runners-up plaudit – in the best animated feature category.
Under artistic director Marcel Jean’s leadership, the festival paid tribute to Isao Takahata, whose latest film “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” played on opening night. The Japanese helmer was feted with an honorary award.
The jury award went to U.S. helmer Bill Plympton’s “Cheatin,'” while Mizuho Nishikubo’s “Giovanni’s Island” earned the jury distinction.
“Giovanni’s Island,” which had its North American premiere at the New York Intl. Children fest provides a boy’s magic-infused memories of life before and after the invasion of Shikotan, an island long inhabited by Japanese fishermen that was seized by Russian soldiers in the aftermath of WWII.
“Cheatin” is an adult-skewed, hand-painted feature about a newly-wed wife who becomes the mistress of her cheating husband. Plympton’s seventh feature, “Cheatin” was partly financed via Kickstarter.
Standouts at the festival and its market (MIFA) included the world-premiere of Disney’s “Feast,” Patrick Osborne’s anticipated short, as well as Pete Docter’s presentation of “Inside Out”‘s first images before a crowd of 1000 participants. Other key events included the screening of “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ with helmer Dean DeBlois in attendance and the open-air unspooling of EuropaCorp’s “Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart,” Mathias Malzieu and Stephane Berla’s fantasy-filled animated love-story.
“Adama,” a distinctive mix of 2D (backgrounds)/3D (characters), and tribute to Africans who fought in World War I, took the first Annect Work in Progress Gan Foundation Aid for Distribution Award, carrying €20,000 ($27,000) for “Adama’s”distrubution in France.
The most popular Work in Progress sessions showcased “Mune,” directed by Benoit Philippon and Alexandre Heboyan and sold by Kinology, “YellowBird,” helmed by Christian de Vita and repped by SC Films Intl., Sony’s “The Smurfs Movie,” and SND-M6 Group’s “Asterix: the Land of the Gods,” from Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy.
John Hopewell contributed to this report
Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival 2014 winners:
• FEATURE FILMS
ANNECY CRYSTAL AWARD
“Boy and the World” (Ale Abreu, Brazil)
“Giovanni’s Island” (Mizuho Nishikubo, Japan)
“Cheatin'” (Bill Plympton, U.S.)
“Boy and the World”, (Ale Abreu, Brazil)
• TV PRODUCTION
“En sortant de l’école’s tant de forêts, (Burcu Sankur, Geoffrey Godet, France)
JURY AWARD, TV SERIES
Tumble Leaf “Kite” (Drew Hodges, U.S.)
JURY AWARD, TV SPECIAL
“The Scent of Carrot” (Remi Durin, Arnaud Demuynck, France, Belgium, Switzerland)
• SHORT FILMS
“Man on the Chair” (Dahee Jeong, France-South Korea)
“Patch” (Gerd Gockell, Germany-Switzerland)
“Hasta Santiago” (Mauro Carraro, Pierre Manchot, France-Switzerland)
“Absent Minded” (Italy, dir. Roberto Catani)
“Bus Stories” (Tali, Canada)
“Anatole’s Little Saucepan” (Eric Montchaud, France)
“Foreign Bodies” (Nicholas Brault, Canada)
CRYSTAL FOR GRADUATION FILM
“The Bigger Picture” (Daisy Jacobs, U.K.)
“An Adventurous Afternoon” (Ines Christine Geisser, Kirsten Carina Geisser, Germany)
JURY SPECIAL MENTION
“The Age of Curious” (Luca Toth, U.K.)
• OTHER PRIZES
THE FESTIVAL CONNECTIONS AWARD
“Through the Hawthorn” (Anna Brenner, Pia Borg, Gemma Burditt, U.K.)
“No Fish Where to Go” (Nicola Lemay, Janice Nadeau, Canada)
WORK IN PROGRESS GAN FOUNDATION PRIZE
“Adama” (Simon Rouby, France)
CANAL PLUS CREATIVE AID AWARD FOR A SHORT FILM
“Wonder” (Mirai Mizue, France, Japan)