Annecy Round up

It’s been over a week since I got back from my first trip to Annecy and I’m still feeling a little topsy-turvy. By all accounts this happens to most people and that’s exactly why I forced myself along to possibly the world’s best animation gathering.

One of the best parts of the Festival was bumping into so many people from the animation industry who I’ve known for ages but have never actually met in real life. This was particularly easy to do in a tiny medieval town playing host to a relatively small industry of enthusiastic obsessives. The serendipitous fun was also fuelled by manic screenings, friendly hangout areas, private parties, pedalos, delicious food, wine, and occasional blasts of sunshine.

Thanks to Jess Ashman I found myself as part of a Scottish stronghold with Elaine McElroy from Red Kite, and fellow ECA alumni, Hazel Leszczynska and Will ‘Festival Smasher’ Anderson. Another highlight included accidentally having lunch with Peter Lord, Peter Peake (who had Pythagasaurus in competition), Sara Barbas and Rumpus‘ Joe Wood (Even if it did cost me a screening of Secret Fort Mount Awesome). It was also a pleasure hanging out with Anna Humphries and Gena Buto.

It’s difficult not to be gushing when this was the setting:


This year the focus was on Irish animation, which meant I was introduced to jaw-achingly good An Inside Job made by Aidan Hickey in 1987. I’ve kept the image from the programme as a motivational poster for when I’m brushing my teeth.

The film I was most looking forward to was the felt oddity, Oh Willy… by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels. It stood up to my expectations:

Étude is Ania Hazel Leszczynska‘s SECOND graduation film. It’s funny, beautiful and has some of the best character animation and set ups I’ve seen from multiplane animation.

The Making Of Longbird by Will Anderson won Best Graduation Film and is scooping up prizes around the world. That man’s going to go far:

Extracto de Lagrima by former Gobelins and CalArts alumni, and now Pixar animator, Carlo Vogele. Here’s him talking about the trials making a dead fish sing.

Tram by Michaela Pavlátová was the big winner of the festival, despite her protests otherwise.

And finally, this wasn’t the first or last Gimp on a leash I saw in Annecy. Maybe there was a convention. Also, why is that man with the sunglasses buried up to his neck? His girlfriend looks worried. Too many questions.