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Animations from all over the globe come together at Annecy

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- 217 films are in competition at the 41st International Animation Film Festival, which kicks off today, accompanied by a market that continues to expand

Animations from all over the globe come together at Annecy
Zombillenium by Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord

Set to open this evening with the French-Belgian co-production Zombillenium [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord (which was premiered at Cannes and will be released in French theatres by Gebeka on 18 October), the 41st edition of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival (12-18 June 2017) will, as is customary, invite all of the sector’s professionals to converge on the Savoyard city from the four corners of the Earth.

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This year, the country of honour, China, has already set tongues wagging by putting pressure on artistic director Marcel Jean’s team to remove Have a Nice Day by Liu Jian (which was unveiled in competition at Berlin and is being sold abroad by Memento) from the feature-film competition, which includes nine titles. Besides Zombillenium, standing out among the contenders for this year’s Crystal are Loving Vincent [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Dorota Kobiela
film profile
]
 by duo Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman (produced by Poland and the UK – set to be released in France on 11 October via La Belle Company), the British film Ethel and Ernest [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Roger Mainwood (co-produced by Luxembourg), the German-Austrian co-production Tehran Taboo [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ali Soozandeh
film profile
]
 by Ali Soozandeh (unveiled in the Cannes Critics’ Week), a US film, a Chinese movie and three Japanese efforts, which will all be assessed by a jury including French filmmaker Céline Sciamma, her Spanish colleague Alberto Vázquez and Mohamed Beyoud (the artistic director of the Meknes Festival).

In total, 217 films hailing from 49 countries will be presented in the various competitive sections of the gathering (short films, graduation films in competition, TV movies and commissioned films). Interestingly, 48% of the titles that will be screened in the short-film and graduation-film categories were directed or co-directed by women.

Thirteen features are on the menu out of competition, including 1917 - The Real October [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Germany’s Katrin Rothe, the Norwegian films The Man Who Knew 75 Languages [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Anne Magnussen and Pawel Debski (co-produced by Poland and Lithuania) and In the Forest of Huckybucky [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Rasmus A Sivertsen (co-produced by the Netherlands), Richard the Stork [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Reza Memari and Toby Genkel (a joint effort between Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Norway), and two Spanish movies: Deep [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Julio Soto (co-produced by the USA and Belgium) and Tad, the Lost Explorer, and the Secret of King Midas [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Enrique Gato and David Alonso.

Among the “event screenings”, we should highlight the French-Luxembourgian film Drôles de petites bêtes by Antoon Krings and Arnaud Bouron (released in France on 13 December), Big Bad Fox [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by French duo Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert (which StudioCanal will bring out in France on 21 June), the French-Japanese co-production Mutafukaz [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Guillaume Renard and Shojiro Nishimi, and The Jungle Bunch 3D [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by French director David Alaux (which SND will distribute in France on 26 July), as well as the US blockbuster Despicable Me 3 (in the presence of its two French co-directors, Pierre Coffin and Éric Guillon; its production was entrusted to Illumination Mac Guff, the Paris branch of the US studio).

As for the programme for the Meetings, which will be attended by a throng of experts and big names in world animation, Kristine Belson (president of Sony Pictures Animation) will deliver a keynote speech, as will Eric Coleman (Disney Television Animation), among others. There will also be six Making Ofs and Film Lessons, ten Studio Focuses and
 14 Conferences.

Lastly, standing tall among the 12 Works in Progress on the programme are The Breadwinner by Nora Twomey (see the article – produced by Canada, Ireland and Luxembourg), Petit Vampire by French filmmaker Joann Sfar (see the article), Le Capitaine Morten et la Reine des Araignées by Kaspar Jancis (which unites Estonia, Ireland and Belgium), and the Luxembourgian production Zero Impunity by Nicolas Blies and Stéphane Huber-Blies.

The 31st edition of the MIFA will unspool in parallel with the festival from 13-16 June; the world’s number-one market for animation will last one extra day this year, and over 2,800 professionals are expected to attend. Several events will be spread across the market, including the pitches (which include the British project Lollipop by Lisa Marie Russo and Gabriella DittonLe Pantalon by France’s Caroline Attia LarivièreAllah n'est pas obligé by her fellow countryman Zaven Najjar, and Dom Fradique by Portugal’s José "Zepe" Cavalheiro), the first Women in Animation World Summit, the presence of Mexican director Guillermo del Toro as sponsor of the Mifa Campus, and a celebration of Polish animation’s 70th anniversary.

(Translated from French)

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