Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers January 11 to 18, 2018. Read more »
Have you seen the Toon Boom-produced features competing at Annecy?
Colloquially known as the “Venice of France” for its network of turquoise canals and medieval architecture, Annecy is a destination for tourists hoping to experience its antiquated beauty, Alpine air and, since 1960, animation festival. The upcoming Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2018 runs June 11 to 16 and is set to be the biggest ever, with 3,086 films submitted, 450 hours of screenings and 10 features in official competition for the prestigious Cristal Award — including two produced in Toon Boom digital solutions.
Audiences can catch two films created in the world’s leading software in competition for the 2018 Cristal Award: Tito and the Birds (Tito e os pássaros) and Funan. Toon Boom will also be at Annecy’s adjoining Mifa animation market (June 12 to 15) at booth 2.002 with a delegation of sales directors taking meetings and demo artists showcasing its flagship programs in both English and French.
The Cristal Award has honoured the industry’s top features since 1985. While the Oscars and Golden Globes often favour big-budget 3D pieces, Annecy offers a more level playing field to independent 2D animated films; last year’s winner was Masaaki Yuasa’s Japanese anime Lu Over the Wall. For 2018, there are 10 films in official selection in competition.
Source: BAC Films.
As “Cartoon Brew” notes, many of this year’s nominees touch on topics that may not be addressed in more commercial content. For instance, Funan (produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony) explores the Cambodian genocide under the Khmer Rouge. This is illustrative of the Annecy Cristal Awards’ true purpose: To honour superior skills in animation and storytelling, not sales at the box office. The accolade also speaks to the industry’s international nature, with 2018 films in competition coming from: Belgium, Cambodia, France, Luxembourg, Chile, Canada, Italy, Japan, US, Ireland, Brazil and Colombia.
Keep reading to learn more about the films in competition for Annecy International Animated Film Festival’s 2018 Cristal Award for feature films.
Funan — Denis Do (Belgium, Cambodia, France, Luxembourg)
As mentioned, Funan follows a young Cambodian woman who must learn to stand up for herself in order to survive under the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s — all while trying to find her kidnapped son. The film was directed and written by Denis Do, alongside screenwriters Magali Pouzol and Elise Trinh, and led by production company Les Films D’Ici. Much of the service work on Funan was done in Cambodia at ithinkasia using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony. The Phnom Penh-based studio is combining talent and tools to establish the Southeastern Asian nation as an animation destination, and is empowering female artists in the process. Read more on ithinkasia producing Funan here.
Tito and the Birds — Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Matioli Yazbek Bitar and André Catoto Dias (Brazil)
Titled Tito e os pássaros in its native Portuguese, Tito and the Birds tells the story of the eponymous 10-year-old boy trying to save the world from an epidemic of fright that is threatening global health. While journeying to find the antidote, he discovers things about his missing father and himself — and overcomes his own fears in the process. The film was directed by Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Matioli Yazbek Bitar and André Catoto Dias, produced by Brazil’s Bits Production, and storyboarded and animated by Sao Paolo-based Split Studios in Toon Boom Harmony. The South American nation is the focal country of the 2018 Annecy, with the event paying tribute to its rich history and promising future of creating world-class animation. Tito and the Birds is the only Brazilian feature film in competition for the 2018 Cristal Award.
The other films in competition are:
The Breadwinner (Nora Twomey; Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg; storyboarded in Storyboard Pro)
Cinderella the Cat (Ivan Cappiello, Alessandro Rak, Marino Guarnieri and Dario Sansone; Italy)
Okko’s Inn (Kitaro Kosaka; Japan)
Mirai (Mamoru Hosoda; Japan)
Seder-Masochism (Nina Paley; United States)
Virus Tropical (Santiago Caicedo; Colombia)
Wall (Cam Christiansen; Canada)
The Wolf House (Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña; Chile)
What what feature do you want to see win the 2018 Cristal Award at Annecy International Animated Film Festival? Let us know in the comments below!