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Annecy Animation Fest Unveils Lineup, Turns Spotlight on Women

PARIS — The Annecy International Animation Film Festival is set to turn the spotlight on women working in the toon world.

The 2015 Honorary Cristal will be awarded to Florence Miailhe, a critically acclaimed director whose short “Conte de Quartier” won a special mention in Cannes in 2006.

The fest will also showcase the work of Canadian female director Janet Perlman, whose short “The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin” won an Oscar in 1981.

Annecy’s artistic director Marcel Jean sifted through a record 2,606 films from 95 different countries, including 73 features, to finally come up with the final 215 films.

As every year, the festival will unspool a flurry of high-profile international animated pics. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen Ever” and “Zootopia” by Byron Howard (“Tangled”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph”), as well as Pixar/Disney’s “The Good Dinosaur” and “Inside Out” (which world premieres at Cannes, pictured above) will play at Annecy.

The competition lineup is made up of Alexandre Heboyan and Benoît Philippon’s Pixar-style coming-of-age film “Mune”; Remy Chaye’s “Long Way North,” a 19th-century adventure film set in the North Pole; Simon Rouby’s WWI drama “Adama,” centering on a 12-year old boy living in West Africa; Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci’s “April and the Twisted World,” about a young women’s quest to find her family in 1941 Paris; Keiichi Hara’s “Miss Hokusai,” a portrait of master painter Hokusai’s daughter; Sam’s “Possessed,” a dark comedy turning on a world-famous flamenco dancer and her son who is possessed by an evil force; Juan José Lozano and Sergío Mejía Forero’s Colombian judicial thriller “Sabogal”; and Shunji Iwai’s college-set murder mystery “The Case of Hana & Alice.”

Raúl Garcia’s “Extraordinary Tales,” Signe Baumane’s “Rocks in My Pockets” and Yagi Ryuchi and Takashi Yamazaki’s “Stand by Me Doraemon” and Diego Guerra’s “Banned” will play out of competition, along with Yuefeng Song’s ‘Dragon Nest: Warriors’ Dawn,” Gerhard Treml and Leo Calice’s “Eden’s Edge,” Javier Fesser’s “Mortadelo and Filemon: Mission Impossible,” Aleksey Tsitsilin’s “The Snow Queen 2” and Jan Balej’s “Little From the Fish Shop.”

Anticipated work-in-progress session include Steve Martino’s “Peanuts the Movie,” Claude Barras’ “My Life as a Zucchini” and Mehmet Kurtulus and Ayse Ünal’s “The Bad Cat.”

Annecy’s juries will be made up entirely of women. Marge Dean from Mattel’s Playground Productions, Guillemette Odicino, film critic for Telerama, and Valerie Schermann, co-founder of Prima Linea Productions, will sit on the competition jury; while Bonnie Arnold, co-president of feature animation at DreamWorks, Isabel Herguera, a Spanish film director (“Under the Pillow”) and scholar, and Niki Lindroth Von Bahr, a Swedish filmmaker (“Bath House”), will sit on the short films jury.

Spain will be this year’s country of honor. “In choosing to honor Spanish animation, we wanted to underline the comeback of their film industry that has over a century of history under its belt,” stated the festival. “Between the pioneering works of image magician Segundo de Chomón and a 3D industry that’s growing in vitality, our southern neighbors have created a rich history that’s full of surprises.”

As previously announced Chris Meledandri will receive the Mifa and Variety’s animation personality of the year award and will give a keynote.

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