Sunday, June 11, 2006

Report from Annecy 2006

VARIETY sends a dispatch from Annecy's 2006 Animation Fest... Scouts in the toon biz have known for years that the shores of the turquoise-hued Lake Annecy are one of the best places to unearth new animation talent. And last week, during the French city's 30th Intl Animation Festival attended by special guest Tim Burton, studio suits were again eagerly checking out the latest crop of dreadlocked art students hoping to break in to the biz. On the main festival front, Annecy's selection of five competition features held no great surprises -- with Europics "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit," "Asterix and the Vikings," and "Renaissance" competing with the Asian offerings, "xxxholic: A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Origin -- Spirits of the Past." Artistic director Serge Bromberg scored kudos for his out-of-competition lineup. Program included the world preem of "Monster House," Sony's first foray into 3D animation, and "Cars," which Annecy attendees were able to see several hours ahead of U.S. audiences. For the Hollywood contingent, the new talent forum and a packed program of film school screenings were clearly the big draw. "Annecy is the one festival in the world where you can identify animation talents. It's No. 1," says DreamWorks' European rep Shelly Page, an Annecy habitue attending this year with colleagues John Tarnoff, in charge of show development; Kristof Serrand, animation supervisor on "Over the Hedge," and Cassidy Curtis, senior animator on "Madagascar"... Organizers estimated around 5,000-6,000 attendees for the fest and mart combined, with a 40% increase in exhibiting companies to some 150. "We made efforts to make the market more attractive to participants," asserts manager director Michael Marin. "And the animation sector is also in better shape than it was two or three years ago"... Yep. My sentiments exactly. What a difference two or three years makes.


Site Meter