The Commissioned Films competition at the 2018 edition of the Annecy Film Festival and MIFA market will feature 31 commissioned animated short films, chosen from 417 submissions. Participating films are either music videos, commercial advertisements or educational videos, which will compete for two awards: The Annecy Cristal for a Commissioned Film and the Jury Award for a Commissioned Film.
The participating films were selected by Annecy artistic director Marcel Jean and film and programming team members: Laurent Million, Yves Nougarède, and Sébastien Sperer.
Sperer has worked for CITIA, the organization which runs the festival, for two decades. He has been on the selection committee since 2013, and in a conversation with Variety explained how those years of experience have led to a simple and streamlined selection process.
“We really know the job now,” he said. “Most of the films are chosen because they are astonishing and really beautiful.”
It’s not all about aesthetic however; a significant number of the films were selected for the themes they explore as well as their look.
“For us it’s really important many of the films have some kind of message,” he explained, before pointing to examples from the chosen films.
“Johnny’s Home” is a first-person account of life after prison, and the failings of the U.S. penal system. Two films from this year’s spotlight country, Brazil, also deliver a socially-conscious message. “A Troca” examines the struggles facing native Brazilians today and “DayOne – Sunshine,” a U.S. co-production, warns against the dangers of abusive relationships.
A number of the music videos touch on more serious topics as well. “The Story of OJ” from Jay-Z is a harsh criticism of the way that economy and race have intertwined throughout U.S. history. Moby’s “In This Cold Place” is a dark look at the loss of innocence in a hyper-capitalist society through the eyes of a millennial.
Of the 31 films in competition, 19 are commercial ads, seven music videos and four are educational. Each are competing for just the two prizes, which will be awarded at the closing ceremonies on Saturday, June 16.
Annecy Commissioned Films Competition 2018
“A Troca,” (Mateus de Paula Santos, Brazil)
“Assassin’s Creed Origins – From Sand,” (Rob Petrie, France)
“BBC One Christmas 2017 – The Supporting Act,” (Elliot Dear, U.K.)
“Channel 4 – The Great British Bake Off,” (Parabella, U.K.)
“CNN Colorscope – Pink,” (Giant Ant, Canada, U.K.)
“Conan O’Brian Discusses ‘We’re Going to Be Friends’ by the White Stripes,” (Moth Studio, U.K.)
“DayOne – Sunshine,” (Guilherme Marcondes, Brazil, U.K.)
“Dominique A – Toute Latitude,” (Sébastien Laudenbach, France)
“Fernand Léger – Beauty is Everywhere,” (Nicolas Fong, Belgium)
“Fundacion Secretariado Gitano – Partir de Cero,” (Carlos Salgado, Spain)
“Geico – He Man :30,” (J.J. Sedelmaier, U.S.A.)
“Jay-Z – The Story of OJ,” (Mark Romanek, U.S.A.)
“Johny’s Home,” (Elyse Kelly, U.S.A.)
“KROK 2017 – Absolute Volga,” (Jaimeen Desai, India)
“La Grenouillère,” (Collectif Quart Avant Poing, France)
“Leica – Everythign in Black and White,” (Mateus de Paula Santos, Brazil)
“Machine Translations – Sola,” (Jonathan Nix, Australia)
“Mark Lotterman – Happy,” (Alice Saey, France, Netherlands)
“Moby – In this Cold Place,” (Steve Cutts, U.S., U.K.)
“Mr. Jukes – Grant Green ft. Charles Bradley,” (Anna Ginsburg, Parallel Teeth, U.K.)
“Nat Geo – Icon Spot,” (Rituparna Sarkar, India)
“Orange Is the New Black – Unravelled,” (Spela Cadez, U.K., Singapore, Slovenia)
“Red Room Poetry – Poetry Object,” (Robertina Zambrano, Australia)
“Rone – Origami,” (Pierre-Emmanuel Lyet, Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka, Dimitri Stankowicz, Thomas Pons, France)
“Simpsons Couch Gag – Robot Chicken/Stop Motion,” (John Harvatine IV, U.S.)
“Skills – Hermit Crab,” (Dadomani Studio, Italy)
“Ted-Ed – The Evolution of Animal Genitalia,” (Mette Ilene Holmriis, Germany)
“The 2017 AMP Awards – How to Make Music for Advertising,” (Buck, U.S.)
“Toonami Exquisite Corpse,” (Simon Wilches-Castro, U.S.)
“Tricky Woman 2018,” (Moïa Jobin-Paré, Canada)
“Unicef – Exam Stress, Syrian Style,” (Raj Yagnik, U.K., Syria)