Embracing Hollywood’s animation grandees, France’s Annecy Intl. Animation Festival will screen exclusive first images of Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2.” It will also host a world premiere of an unfinished version of Sony Pictures Animation’s Adam Sandler-voiced “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” presented by director Genndy Tarkovsky, the Festival announced Monday in Paris unveiling its full 2018 line-up.
In feature terms, Annecy will open with Michel Ocelot’s Wild Bunch-sold “Dilili in Paris,” with the celebrated French director, whose “Kirikou and the Sorceress” brought down the flag on Europe’s arthouse animation build, attending Annecy to present the feature.
Special sneak peek screenings for “Wreck It Ralph 2” and “Hotel Transylvania 3” join director Dean DeBlois’ work-in-progress footage presentation of “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” from DreamWorks Animation, which will open and close Annecy with two titles from its shorts program: “Bird Karma” and “Bilby.”
Disney’s “101 Dalmatian Street” returns to Annecy, featured in its Work in Progress showcase, following last year’s world premiere teasers shown at a Disney showcase hosted by SVP original programming and general manager Eric Coleman.
Annecy also stages the French premiere of Pixar’s “The Incredibles 2” while awarding Brad Bird an honorary Crystal, as also already announced. Cartoon Network president Christina Miller will deliver a keynote.
Netflix, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., Pixar, Paramount, Google Spotlight Stories, Cartoon Network and Pearl Studio will be the subjects of Studio Focus sessions, where executives talk audiences through their upcoming lineups.
Annecy’s Work in Progress strand will feature Troy Quane and Nick Bruno’s Will Smith starrer “Spies in Disguise,” produced by Blue Sky Studios and Chernin Entertainment and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox. It joins presentations from Sony Pictures Animation’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and the Nickelodeon-distributed “Becca’s Bunch,” from Ireland’s Jam Media.
All in all, the cup runneth yet another year when it comes to Hollywood majors’ presence at Annecy. The Festival will, however, also highlight key upcoming titles from French animation powers, led by ON Animation Studios’ “Playmobil,” produced by Atom Soumache and Dimitri Rassam, the team behind “The Little Prince,” France’s biggest recent animation hit.
Women in Animation (WIA) and Les Femmes s’Animent (LFA) will hold their second Women in Animation World Summit at Annecy.
Announced by Patrick Eveno, Michael Marin and Marcel Jean at Paris’ Cinematheque, Annecy’’s Official Competition includes Nina Paley’s “Seder Masochism,” a retelling of the Book of Exodus, released to date in joyously caustic excerpts by Paley; recent festival hits led by Nora Twomey Oscar-nominated “The Breadwinner” and world premieres such as “Tito and the Birds,” from Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Matioli Yazbek and André Catoto Diaspart, part of a ranging tribute to animation in Brazil whose build this decade is a stellar example of the growth of an auteur lead world cinema animation.
Also playing Official Competition is Dario Do’s semi-autobiographical separated family tale set during Cambodia’s Khymer Rouge reign of terror, sold by Bac Films and produced by Les Films d’Ici (“Waltz with Bashir”).
In another Brazil Tribute highlight, 2013 Annecy Cristal winner Luiz Bolognesi (“Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury”) will pitch his animated project “The Foreigner,” produced by Ale Abreu who also topped Annecy a year later with “The Boy and the World,” in the Animation du Monde Mifa Pitches. Abreu sits on the Annecy Official Competition jury.
Further potential Work in Progress highlights take in Elea Gobbé-Mevellec’ and Zabou Breitman’s love tragedy “The Swallows of Kabul,” from famed French production house Les Armateurs and two Cartoon Movie favorites: Lorenzo Mattoti’s exquisitely toned “The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Italy,” from France’s Prima Linea Production; and Salvador Simo’s “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles,” the chronicle of Luis Buñuel’s shooting 1933’s “Land Without Bread,” where he found his personal voice.
Also in Work in Progress, “Hello World!” from French Normaal Animation uses paper sculptures to introduce kids to the natural world. In the Japanese “Penguin Highway,” a fourth-grader must investigate the mysterious appearance of penguins all over his village; Florence Miailhe’s buzzed-up “The Crossing” follows two brothers on the run, looking to find a place to call home.
As is traditional at Annecy, movies in and out of competition have normally bowed before hitting Annecy, which serves to give often niche titles further recognition.
What is noticeable about the two sections is the strong presence of Latin American animation first features, which also take in Colombia’s black-and-white biographical coming of age tale, “Virus Tropical,” and Berlinale Caligari Prize Winner “La Casa Lobo,” a visually shape-shifting stop-motion nightmare-fairy tale from Chile’s Cristobal León and Joaquín Cociña.
Annecy also picks up on two titles which have been selected for the Cannes Festival a month earlier in one of the strongest showings for international animation in years: Anticipated fantasy family relationship drama “Mirai,” from Mamoru Hosada (“The Boy and the Beast”), which is sold by Charades and already a Gkids U.S. pick-up; and Anja Kofmel’s dark real-life murder mystery “Chris the Swiss,” a Critics’ Week-selected animation/live action hybrid.
The 2018 Annecy Intl. Animation Festival runs June 11-16.
2018 ANNECY INTL. ANIMATION FESTIVAL
“Virus Tropical,” (Santiago Caicedo, Colombia)
“The Wolf House,” (Cristobal León, Joaquín Cociña, Chile)
“Wall,” (Cam Christiansen, Canada)
“Seder Masochism,” (Nina Paley, U.S)
“Mirai,” (Mamoru Hosada, Japan)
“The Breadwinner,” (Nora Twomey, Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg)
“Cinderella the Cat,” (Alessandro Rak, Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri, Dario Sansone, Italy)
“Funan,” (Denis Do, Belgium, Cambodia, France, Luxembourg)
‘Tito and the Birds,’ (Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Matioli Yazbek, André Catoto Dias, Brazil)
‘Okko’s Inn,’ (Kitari Kosaka, Japan)
OUT OF COMPETITION
“Captain Morten and the Spider Queen” (Kaspar Jancis, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, U.K.)
“Cats and Peachtopia,” (Gary Wang, China)
“Chris the Swiss” (Anja Kofmel, Switzerland)
“Kikoriki: Deja vu,” (Denis Chernov, Russia)
“Tower,” (Mats Grorud, France, Norway, Sweden)
“Liz and the Blue Bird,” (Naoko Yamada, Japan)
“L’ultime Fiction,” (Ashkan Rahgozar, Iran)
“Maquia – When the Promised Flower Blooms,” (Mari Okada, Japan)
“Marnie’s World,” (Christoph Lauenstein, Wolfgang Lauenstein, Germany)
“North of Blue,” (Joanna Priestley, USA)
“On Happiness Road,” (Hsin-Yin Sung, Taiwan)
“The Angel in the Clock.” (Miguel Angel Uriegas, Mexico)
“A Man is Dead,” (Olivier Cossu, France)