The Annecy Festival, a rich and competitive digital edition

They long believed that the Annecy International Animated Film Festival could be held June 15-21. An edition all the more awaited that it was to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the event. But ” reason and the international situation “Forced its organizers to cancel the 2020 edition. For a time considered, the option of a postponement was ruled out for material reasons.

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The festival occupies many cinemas which must be reserved well in advance, explains Marcel Jean, artistic delegate of the festival. Furthermore, the issue of postponements is very sensitive. The announcement by the Cannes Film Festival that it might be held in late June was a factor in the equation, because it prevented us from postponing by ten days …

The 44th edition of the festival was also to shine a spotlight on African animation cinema. ” However, the coronavirus arrived later in the countries concerned, and African directors would no doubt have had trouble coming “, Emphasizes Marcel Jean.

There will be a prize list in 2020

After first rejecting the idea of ​​a digital edition, the organizers ended up choosing this option. But for Marcel Jean, a digital festival is an oxymoron. ” The festival is a party shared with the public and professionals gathered in the same place and at the same time, he insists. It’s more of an online event that we’re hosting.

The form that this virtual edition will take is still subject to adjustments, on the eve of the announcement, Wednesday April 15, of part of its selection (short films, end of study films, television productions and order films). Marcel Jean confirms that it will be the subject of a competition and will conclude with a prize list.

Because the prices are not only honorary. ” Several partners, such as Sacem and the City of Annecy, donate their prizes. It’s not trivial for the award-winning directors. In addition, in certain countries, such as France and Canada, the selections and prices trigger aid for future productions. The Annecy Crystal is a trophy that also allows its winner to be eligible for the Oscar nomination. The organizers are in discussions with the Academy of American Cinema so that the winners of this new edition will be taken into account.

Maintaining an online edition also has advantages. In Annecy to which thousands of productions, including short films, have been subjected, ” it would be impossible to postpone their selection until next yearsays Marcel Jean. The traffic jam created would disadvantage older films, as they will have already traveled a lot in other festivals. There have also been few withdrawals of short films, with the announcement of this online edition.

A wider audience?

For feature films, whose economy is more complex, withdrawals were more numerous, but can be counted on the fingers of one hand. In two cases, the films could not have been completed on time due to production restrictions. Another producer withdrew his film for fear of piracy but also for rights issues. “ Showing a feature film on the web can make it difficult for its international seller “, Points Marcel Jean. The announcement of feature films is also postponed to the end of April or the beginning of May.

→ EXPLANATION. Cannes 2020: the Festival is planning a meeting in another form

“Physical” festival accreditations will be refunded, but new ones will be offered at lower prices for the digital event. The platform will give access to finished films but also to the famous “Work in progress”, a behind-the-scenes presentation of an ongoing project. These sessions, taken by storm during the festival, should allow a wider audience to attend. ” A company contacted us to negotiate access to all of its 150 employees “Said Marcel Jean, who announces that the accreditation rules will be clarified by the end of April.

Mickaël Marin, director of the festival, confirms for his part, that the film market which is held at the same time as the festival, will also take place, according to terms which remain to be determined. As for the financial impact, says the director, ” it is too early to say, but we will have to face difficult months or years

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