The Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival has announced the projects set to participate in this year’s digital Mifa Pitches, Territory Focus Pitching and brand-new Comics Mifa Pitches.
This year saw a record number of 631 project submissions, “But not at the expense of quality, which made the selection even more tricky!” Mifa head of projects Géraldine Baché told Variety. 38 were eventually selected to participate.
She added: “We felt the same about each of the categories: Creativity is definitely not lacking, and talents keep believing in their projects, doing their best to be different and innovative.”
Two recurrent themes among this year’s projects are women’s and environmental issues, often overlapping and helping define a very of-the-moment selection.
One of this year’s highest-profile titles is “Saba,” the next family feature from Maybe Movies, producers of 2009’s Oscar-nominated “Ernest & Celestine” and Annecy’s 2017 opening film “Zombillenium.” Maybe also participated at last year’s festival with another project, the highly anticipated feature “Calamity,” now in post-production.
Anaïs Caura returns with “Eugene,” the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2017 Annecy Jury Prize-winner “The Man Woman Case.” Based on a true story, the film follows transgender Italian immigrant Eugene Falleni who, in 1917, was accused of murdering his wife in Sydney, Australia.
Argentina’s former Annecy Audience and Fipresci prize winner Juan Pablo Zaramella (“Luminaris,” “The Tiniest Man in the World”), who received a tribute retrospective from the festival, will pitch his debut feature “Coda,” produced by Chile’s Zumbastico Studios (“Paper Port”). Spanish live-action documentary production company Tinglado Film brings its first animated feature “Refugiadas Climáticas,” a climate change documentary from director David Baute.
Danish company Sun Creature is back after sneak-peeking “The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe” in 2018, which went on to win best direction, best storyboard, best character animation and best background and character design for a TV series at that year’s Emile Awards. This year it will be pitching new series “Where it Falls.” Last year the company screened it’s feature “Flee” in Annecy’s Works in Progress section.
French company Vivement Lundi!, behind last year’s Cristal and Audience Award winner for best short, Bruno Collet’s “Mémorable,” will pitch “Douce,” a buzzed-up trashy comedy series. “38th Parallel: Hidden Voices from North Korea” is a co-production between U.K. companies Mosaic Films and Folk Film. Similar stylistically to previous Mosaic productions “The Unforgiven Moment” and “A Pistol Against My Head,” this series animates testimony from north of Korea’s demilitarized zone.
From the Shorts Section, standouts include “El after del mundo,” part of the ShortWay event between Annecy and Mexico’s Pixelatl. A post-apocalyptic vision of the world sans cellphones, the Argentine project is headed by Florentina González and Ailin Bustamante. From Peru, “Avispa y Colibrí” is a story of women’s rights from producer Apus Estudio.
Each project’s team will submit a video presentation which industry accredited participants can access for a period of two weeks. Digital Experiences will stream starting at 11 a.m. June 16; features at 9:30 a.m. and shorts at 11 a.m. on the 17; and TV and specials at 9:30 a.m. and Animation du Monde at 11 a.m. the 18. All times are CEST, but the presentations will stay online through June 30, offering professionals from far away time zones plenty of opportunity to stay involved.
Mifa will also provide a platform for extended meeting and networking opportunities where interested parties can register and schedule follow-up meetings after the pitches have launched.
2020 will see the inauguration of a new section, Comics Mifa Pitches. Animation film producers will be invited to consider possible collaborations with five selected comic works which will pitch on June 16. The new section is supported by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Livre et Lecture.
Additionally, this year’s Mifa will, through the Territory Focus Pitching sidebar, shine the spotlight on geographically distinct industries and offer opportunities to international producers, broadcasters, distributors and investors to learn more about them. More than 30 projects will be shared across six sessions focusing on Latin America – in coordination with La Liga, South East Asia – part of the Southeast Asia Focus 2020, Japan, Canada, Russia and Africa.
“Mifa Pitches have the goal of reflecting the diversity possible within a universal medium,” explained Baché. “We continue supporting emerging talents, new styles and genres, without ever missing the more experimental works, which also need to be highlighted and pushed.”
“What is 100% sure is that talent is constantly growing!” she concluded enthusiastically.
The 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival will run online over June 15-30.
“Saba,” (Alexis Ducord, Benjamin Massoubre, France)
“Eugene,” (Anaïs Caura, France)
“El Leila El Kebeira,” (Ahmed Gamal, Ahmed Teilab, Egypt)
“Refugiadas Climáticas,” (David Baute, Spain)
“Un Viaggio a Teulada,” (Nicola Contini, France, Italy)
“Coda,” (Juan Pablo Zamarella, Chile, Argentina)
“Paradise Town,” (Felix Massie, U.K.)
“Mehdi – Avis de passage,” (Oussama Bouacheria, France)
“Normal Town,” (Jorge “Bambu” Orellana, Chile)
“Chcem vedie!” (Martin Smatana, Slovakia)
“Boys Boys Boys,” Valentine Vendroux, Clawdia Prolongeau, France)
“Where it Falls,” (Guillaume Dousse, Denmark)
“Douce,” (Isabel Lenoble, France)
“38th Parallel: Hidden Voices from North Korea,” (Andy Glynne, U.K.)
GLOBAL ANIMATION PROJECTS
“Autumn’s Great Beyond,” (Bernard Hage, Lebanon)
“Avispa y Colibrí,” (Apus Estudio, Peru)
“Mora Mora,” (Sitraka Randriamahaly, Madagascar)
“Gran Lago,” (Fabián Guamaní Aldaz, Ecuador)
“New Look for Lion,” (Ana Chubinidze, Georgia)
“For the Love of People,” (Nicolas Fattouh, Lebanon)
“Shadows,” (Rand Beiruty, Jordan)
“The Oil of Amadi,” (Matthew Brown, South Africa, Nigeria)
“Oyayi,” (Mitzi Ann Delima, Philippines)
“El Rey de los Mundos,” (Ariel Lopez, Argentina, Canada)
“El after del mundo,” (Florentina González, Ailin Bustamante, Argentina
“Soleil Girls,” (Camille Monnier, France)
“Girl . Dog . Cancer . Space,” (Kiana Naghshineh, Germany)
“Bigger Than Us,” (Aurélie Garnier, France)
“300,000 Kms per second,” (Clemént Courcier, France)
“Hello Summer,” (Martin Smatana, Czech Republic)
“27 – My Last Day at Home,” (Flora Anna Buda, Hungary, France)
INTERACTIVE CREATIONS AND TRANSMEDIA
“Legends “La Vouivre”,” (Amandine Zink, Cédric Jaccheri, France)
“Pod Podushkoi,” (Georgy Molodtsov, Estonia, Russia)
“Mamie Lou,” (Isabelle Andreani, France)
“Ne pleure pas devant ma tombe,” (Sandra Devonssay, France)
“Unwanted Guests,” (Comfort Arthur, Ghana, Royaume-Uni)
“The Blossom Crown,” (Raphael Penasa, U.S.A., France)
“The Dollhouse,” (Charlotte Bruneau, Canada, Luxembourg)
“Géante,” (Jean-Christophe Deveney, France)
“Le Project Shiatsung,” (Brigitte Archambault, Canada)
“Saison des Roses,” (Chloé Wary, France)
“Les Tribulations d’Alphonse Madiba dit Daudet, Cameroon, France, Democratic Republic of Congo)
“Le Dieu Vagabond,” (Fabrizio Dori, France)