The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced nominations today for its 43rd Annual Annie Awards™ recognizing the year’s best in the field of animation. (Here's the site with more details.)
The Annie Awards cover 36 categories and include Best Animated Feature, Best Animated Feature-Independent (new this year), Special Productions, Commercials, Short Subjects, Student Films and Outstanding Individual Achievements, as well as the honorary Juried Awards. The winners will be announced at a black tie ceremony on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. A pre-reception and press line begins at 5:00 pm with the awards ceremony following at 7:00 pm. A post-show celebration immediately follows the ceremony. All events will be held at Royce Hall.
This year’s Best Animated Feature nominations include: Anomalisa (Paramount Pictures), Inside Out (Pixar Animation Studios), Shaun the Sheep The Movie (Aardman Animations), The Good Dinosaur (Pixar Animation Studios), and The Peanuts Movie (Blue Sky Studios, Twentieth Century Fox Animation).
“This year we introduced an important new category – Best Feature-Independent,” says ASIFA-Hollywood President, Jerry Beck. “We will now recognize not only features in wide release, but also the independent animators, international studios, anime and special productions that might not otherwise get the attention they deserve. Adds Frank Gladstone, ASIFA-Hollywood's Executive Director, “With the growing capability worldwide to produce a wider range of animated features, we are certain that this award will expand in significance and influence going forward.”
The inaugural Best Animated Feature-Independent nominations include: Boy And the World (Filme de Papel), Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (Ventanarosa), The Boy and The Beast (Studio Chizu), and When Marnie Was There (Studio Ghibli).
The Juried Awards honoring career achievement and exceptional contributions to animation will also be presented. Three Winsor McCay recipients have been selected by the ASIFA-Hollywood Board of Directors – Joe Ranft, Phil Roman and Isao Takahata for their career contributions to the art of animation; and the June Foray recipient – Don Hahn for his significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.
“We are also developing procedures that will allow us to include virtual reality projects into a widening list of Annie categories,” added Gladstone. “Each year we see a steady increase in submissions, too. The Annie Awards is becoming an even more encompassing celebration of the best talent and most remarkable projects in the animation industry.” ...
Once upon a time, the Annies were a very minor deal. Animation was a small and sleepy sub-set of REAL movie-making, and if you were interested in animation you were either eight years old or a nerd.
My, how times have changed. Animation is now the most profitable segment of filmdom, and live-action directors are moving into the feature animation field (where it used to be the other way around.)
And now the Annies are often a precursor to other awards, and studios elbow and joust to win a shiny trophy. So yeah, the Annies have kind of arrived.