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This year’s online Annecy Festival includes a Territory Focus on South-East Asia, co-organized by Annecy and the French Embassy in Singapore.

This is the second edition of the initiative, part of Annecy’s MIFA, market, which aims to kickstart animation projects from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.

Projects developed this year include animated shorts, features and TV series. The initiative provides mentoring support and aims to strengthen the burgeoning animation industries in the participating South-East Asian countries.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this year’s project development and pitching workshop, initially planned for Malaysia in March 2020, was instead organized via Zoom.

The five selected projects – two shorts and three series – were mentored by French experts – a producer, screenwriter and script doctor – to guide them through their development process.

The projects will be presented to potential buyers, broadcasters and co-producers on Monday June 15, under the Animation du Monde program, founded by Annecy and MIFA.

“Abbu’s Best Curry in the World” by Rodhaizam Bin Rashid (Malaysia) is a seven-minute short film about a blind award-winning chef who is asked about the secret ingredient that makes his curry so popular, transporting viewers to his childhood and origins. In addition to cuisine, the pic aims to explore questions of colonization, immigration, community, survival, family, and overcoming racism and disability.

“Home” by Arunaya Gondhowiardjo (Indonesia) is a 10-minute short film about an orangutan who survived a Borneo forest fire and is now returning home. It aims to raise awareness of the devastating effects of rainforest fires and create empathy between viewers and the forests. Gondhowiardjo works for Lanting Animation in Jakarta and was lead animator on the animation short, “Kapur Ade,” about two street kids.

Salad Bunnies,” by Juhaidah Joemin and Sandra Khoo (Malaysia) is a 52 episode long form preschool animation series about the Salad Bunnies – vegetable superheroes, fueled by Veggie Power, who are combating the mischievous Sugar Monkeys. The series aims to improve diets and exercise and avoid obesity. Joemin was awarded the Women Entrepreneur Icon (Digital) in 2019 by the Malaysia’s Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and is co-founder of Giggle Garage Animations, which specializes in animated TV series for kids. One, “Origanimals” won the 2016 Grand Prize for Best 3D Animation at the Asian Television Awards.

“Papa Jorge Bedtime Radio Confessions” by Emmanuel Angeles (Philippines) weighs in as a 10-part miniseries about a larger-than-life radio show host who helps callers solve their personal dilemmas in a strict Catholic setting. There is a different caller in each episode.

“Sherlock Sam and the Supper Club,” by Yoshiya Ayugai (Singapore) aims to become a 22-part half hour series, based on the popular “Sherlock Sam” book series by A. J. Low, about a group of 10-year-old kid detectives, led by Sherlock Sam who is assisted by Watson, an AI robot he built himself. Based in Singapore, their adventures also take them to Paris, New York, Tokyo and beyond. The project is developed by August Media Holdings, which specializes in animation series for the international market, such as “George of the Jungle.”

The Territory Focus on South-East Asia @ MIFA is co-financed by the Embassies of France in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, the Annecy Festival, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Infocom Media Developpment Authority (IMDA Singapore).

The 2020 Annecy Festival streams over June 15-30.