The Annecy Animation Film Festival, the world’s leading animation event, has canceled this year’s edition due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Annecy, scheduled to run June 15-20, was preparing to celebrate its 60th anniversary. Among the prestigious guests that were expected to attend were Wes Anderson, whose “Fantastic Mr Fox” won best feature at Annecy in 2010. The MIFA, a large animation market running alongside the festival, has also been canceled. Last year’s edition gathered more than 12,000 participants, which marked a record. Hollywood has traditionally had a strong presence at Annecy, with studios such as Disney and Warner Bros., and streamers like Netflix, attending.
The festival organizers announced the decision to cancel the upcoming edition in a letter on Tuesday.
“During the last weeks, driven by our passion and enthusiasm, we were hoping to be able to offer the exceptional (anniversary) that was in preparation despite the constraints of confinement. But our reason and international situation are forcing us to act with lucidity and responsibility,” said the letter, which was signed by artistic director Marcel Jean, and Mickaël Marin and Dominique Puthod, the managing director and president, respectively, of CITIA, which organizes the event.
The organizers said they also wished to pay their respects and express their “profound gratitude for the work of medical workers,” as well as to all those who choose “solidarity and the greater good.”
They said they hadn’t postponed the edition because of “material condition and the usual calendar of events, as well as the postponing of other festivals.” Instead, the festival has chosen to put together a selection of content, some of which is exclusive, online. The online lineup will be unveiled on April 15.
Annecy is the first major international film festival scheduled for June in France to be canceled. Initially scheduled for mid-May, Cannes Film Festival is still aiming to run late June-early July.
Annecy also announced that its 2021 edition will take place June 14-19.