Annecy fest will focus on features

Festival to showcase cartoons

The Annecy Animated Film Festival, Europe’s largest and most prestigious toon showcase, will launch several initiatives next year designed to put features front and center.

PARIS — Fest will double the number of pics in competition from five to 10, add more screenings of features, set up a special jury for features and create special distinction and audience awards.

Steps are intended to reflect the huge growth in box office revenues generated globally by animated features in recent years.

While an international feature competition has been held at Annecy since 1985, the festival and concurrent market will go to greater lengths to offer programs tailored to the needs of film distributors, as well as organize daily meetings among feature filmmakers, producers, distributors and media reps. The market component remains the only international audiovisual mart dedicated exclusively to animation.

Held mid-June since 1960 in the small city in the French Alps, fest is credited with showcasing the first global hits of Nick Park (“Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave”), Hayao Miyazaki (“Spirited Away”) and John Lasseter (“Toy Story”).

Fresh competition will come next year, a week after Annecy, with the debut in Portland, Ore., of the Platform Animation Festival, which aims to be the largest of its kind in the U.S.