Despite the terrible incident that shook the Savoy city yesterday, animation professionals from all around the world are getting ready to make their way to the 42nd Annecy International Animated Film Festival which is kicking off on Sunday and is due to wrap on 17 June, buoyed by the unmissable Mifa (International Animated Film Market) (running 13 – 16 June) which drew upwards of 13,000 attendees from 106 countries last year. In addition to the competition and a variety of other events (read our article), the festival will offer up its usual, highly popular Work in Progress sidebar, consisting of 18 titles this year (including three XR works, one short film and one series).
Standing particularly tall amongst the 12 fiction feature films gracing the Work in Progress showcase is Little Amelie or the Character of Rain by Maïlys Vallade and Liane-Cho Han, which is set for presentation on Friday 16 June. Adapted from Belgian writer Amélie Nothomb’s novel The Character of Rain by the two filmmakers in league with Aude Py and Eddine Noël, the movie revolves around Amélie who, until the age of two and a half, describes herself as a digestive tube – inert and vegetative – until a crucial event which sees her tumbling into childhood. Over the course of six months, she discovers language, parents, brothers and sisters, a heavenly garden, passions (Japan and water), aversions (to carp), seasons and time. Everything which constitutes a human being from the age of three. Because, at that age, everything is played out, happiness as well as tragedy… This is the message that this mischievous baby conveys as it observes the world with acuity. Little Amelie or the Character of Rain is produced by Maybe Movies (who previously gave us Calamity [+], Zombillenium [+] and Long Way North [+]) and Ikki Films, in co-production with France 3 Cinéma and 2 Minutes. Pre-purchased by Canal+, Ciné+, France Télévisions and ADN (Animation Digital Network), this feature film, which benefits from a budget of €8.2m and whose production is now underway (with completion due for May 2024), is also supported by the CNC (via an advance on receipts and aid for animation techniques) and by the Nouvelle Aquitaine, Ile-de-France and La Réunion regions. Distribution in France will be managed by Haut et Court while international sales are steered by Goodfellas.
Other eye-catching works within the Work in Progress section, which are set to be presented in Annecy from Monday 12 June, are Flow by Latvia’s Gints Zilbalodis (read our article – sold worldwide by Charades), Rogério Nunes’ Brazilian-French adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s cult novella Heart of Darkness, Anaïs Caura’s Eugene, Spanish director Isabel Herguera’s Sultana’s Dream, and two feature films sold by Urban Sales: Into the Wonderwoods by the duo composed of Vincent Paronnaud and Alexis Ducord, and Slocum by Jean-François Laguionie.
The selection is as follows:
Eugene – Anaïs Caura (France)
Production: 2P2L, MyFantasy
Heart of Darkness – Rogerio Nunes (Brazil/France)
Production: Karmatique Imagens, Special Touch Studios, Split Studios
Ghost Cat Anzu – Yoko Kuno and Nobuhiro Yamashita (Japan/France)
Production: Shin-Ei Animation, Miyu Productions
Aztec Batman: Clash of Empires – Juan Meza-Leon (Mexico/USA)
Production: Warner Bros. Animation, Anima Estudios, Chatrone
Frankelda and the Prince of Spooks – Rodolfo and Arturo Ambriz (Mexico)
Production: Cinema Fantasma, Turner Broadcasting, Cartoon Network Latin America
Juliet and the King – Ashkan Rahgozar (Iran)
Production: Hoorakhsh Studios
Spellbound – Vicky Jenson (USA)
Production: Apple Original Films, Skydance Animation
Ceci est mon cœur – Stéphane Hueber-Blies and Nicolas Blies(Luxembourg/France/Canada/Slovakia) (XR)
Production: a_BAHN, Phi Studio, Lucid Realities
La jeune fille qui pleurait des perles – Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (Canada) (short film)
Production: NFB – National Film Board of Canada
Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix – Mehdi Leffad (France/USA) (series)
Production : Ubisoft Film & Television