Annecy Festival Dazzles With Special Events

Special screenings, master classes and local attractions entice festival attendees

Finding Dory
Courtesy of Disney/Pixar

Things to Do
Annecy typically attracts 8,000 festivalgoers and what is there to do between screenings? Long lines outside the ice cream emporium Glacier des Alpes suggest many opt for sweet treats. Or they browse BD fugue’s collection of books and DVDs for animation geeks. Outdoor lovers rent pedal boats on Lake Annecy, and bearing bread, cheese and wine, they simply drift in the sun.

Spanish Animation
In all 83 countries have entries at Annecy, and Spain has several standouts. For “Psiconautas, The Forgotten Children,” Pedro Rivero and Alberto Vázquez adapted the namesake comic book for teens and adults, and Vázquez contributed the short “Decorado.” The feature “Capture the Flag” from Enrique Gato Borregán is also garnering attention, since it was released in the U.S. in December.

Master Classes
Two high-profile animation directors will conduct master classes and reveal new projects. Guillermo del Toro will present unseen footage of the fantastical worlds in his new Netflix series “Trollhunters.” And “Ren & Stimpy” creator John Kricfalusi will unveil his Kickstarter-funded short “Cans Without Labels,” and also will screen rarely seen cartoons he has directed.

Works in Progress
Sneaks of two 2016 animated musicals will be highlighted at Annecy: DreamWorks’ “Trolls,” which showcases the voices Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Gwen Stefani, and Disney’s “Moana” with music from “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Moana” co-directors John Musker and Ron Clements [“The Little Mermaid”] will present never-before-seen footage of their Polynesian adventure – which is the pair’s first 3D-CG film.

Outdoor Screenings
Annecy offers hundreds of festival screenings, but for those who can’t get enough, there will be free outdoor shows every night at four locales. Old favorites like “Finding Nemo” and “Ice Age” will light up the evenings, along with series of short films from such filmmakers as Jean-François Laguionie and the French studio Folimage.

Finding Dory” Premiere
Pixar director Andrew Stanton will be on hand to present the premiere of “Finding Dory,” the long awaited follow-up to his beloved undersea adventure “Finding Nemo.” Premiering before the film will be the studio’s latest short, “Piper,” which will accompany the feature in theaters this summer. The short is the directing debut of long-time Pixar animator Alan Barillaro.

Disney Art Challenge Awards
Disney Animation’s creative chief John Lasseter chairs the Disney Art Challenge grant program for students, now in its fourth year. Created by The Walt Disney Co. France in partnership with the French Network of Animated Cinema Schools, the program honors French students. More than 600 students have competed in the Challenge since its creation.

Pictured: Pixar’s “Finding Dory” premieres at Annecy.