The annual Annecy International Animation Film Festival, originally scheduled for June 15-20, has cancelled its 2020 edition given the current coronavirus pandemic. The event, which takes place each summer in the south east of France, will instead operate an online version with the lineup due to be announced April 15. While this would have been Annecy’s 60th anniversary, those celebrations will now be held next year.
Organizers said that “rationale and the international situation compel us to act with lucidity and responsibility. To show our respect and our deep gratitude to the heh care providers, as well as all those who choose solidarity and the public interest. Annecy is a party, a ‘family gathering.’ We cannot bring ourselves to celebrate animation and our 60th anniversary when some amongst you would not be able to attend.” See full release below
Rather than postponing the festival to a later date, organizers decided to move online with further details to be disclosed on April 15. Annecy also operates a bustling market whose details will also be elaborated upon next week. The full program schedule will be revealed at the end of April.
A planned tribute to African animation as well as the 60th anniversary festivities will be moved to 2021 when the festival and market are due to take place from June 14-19.
Other international events that are normally held in June and which have been cancelled or postponed include the Cannes Lions conference and the CineEurope exhibition convention. The latter is currently scheduled for August.
Here’s the full memo from Annecy:
It is with tremendous disappointment that we are resigned to cancelling the Annecy 2020 edition.
Over the past few weeks, driven by our passion and our enthusiasm, despite the confinement constraints we were nevertheless hoping to maintain the exceptional edition that we had in store for you. We were so looking forward to greeting you as we do every year in June, in Annecy, the animation film capital of the world.
But today, the rationale and the international situation compel us to act with lucidity and responsibility. To show our respect and our deep gratitude to the heh care providers, as well as all those who choose solidarity and the public interest.
Annecy is a party, a “family gathering”. We cannot bring ourselves to celebrate animation and our 60th anniversary when some amongst you would not be able to attend.
We took the decision not to move the Festival to a later date. The necessary facilities and the regular events' calendar, as well as scheduled postponements of other events, do not provide us with a reasonable option.
For several weeks, our founding members, partners, suppliers, professionals and creators have been sending us their full support, and for this we are immensely grateful. These encouragements motivate us to offering an Annecy 2020 online version that would give access to exclusive works and original content, despite the current circumstances.
The Official Selection will be announced on 15th April; we will then disclose an offer that will be elaborate and up to the expectations of our festivalgoers and loyal Mifa professionals.
The team is mobilised on this project, so see you in the forthcoming days, and from 14th to 19th June 2021 to finally celebrate, as it should be, the Festival's 60th anniversary, and African animation, in Annecy.
Everything is delayed, canceled, or on hold at the moment due to the coronavirus COVID-19, which means that film festivals are having to make some tough choices. Cannes is postponed. SXSW was canceled, but they recently announced they would try to put together an online film festival with Amazon Prime Video. TIFF has yet to make a decision one way or another, but festival runners Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey mentioned last week that they were considering a potential digital festival. Digital film festivals are a distinct possibility in several locations, but there’s one fest that has flat-out refused to go digital: the Venice Film Festival.
With the coronavirus continuing to upend film festivals across the globe, some are wondering if virtual, online film festivals might be the solution for the time being. And while some fests – SXSW, TIFF – are open to this idea, the Venice Film Festival isn’t having it. Speaking with Variety, a Venice spokesperson said: “The Venice Film Festival cannot be replaced by an online event,” adding that “there is obviously the possibility that we use technology for some initiatives, [but] it’s too early for this to be decided.”
The Venice Film Festival is supposed to run in September, and as of now, everyone involved with the fest is still operating under the assumption that the festival is still on. Organizers have put out a call for “projects for its Final Cut in Venice co-production workshop dedicated to supporting works from the Middle East and Africa, currently scheduled to be held during the fest.”
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera was quoted as saying he and his team “are working just the same as in past years” and that they “cannot provide specifics about the future.” The only thing they can confirm is that no matter what happens, the festival will not go digital. While some are more than happy to accept the idea of a digital festival – no travel fees! – not everyone is okay with the idea. For one thing, if a film without distribution were to debut digitally and then immediately be pirated, it would hurt its chances at eventual purchase. Plus, many filmmakers and producers long for that festival buzz that can only be achieved by screening titles for a live audience.
But we remain in uncharted territory for the moment, and it’s unclear just when the coronavirus situation will end. As of now, Italy remains in strict lockdown, and if that continues into the fall, there’s very little chance the Venice Film Festival will go off as planned.
The 60th anniversary edition, set for June 15-20, will instead take place June 14-19, 2021.
The Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and its associated market, has been called off this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 edition, set to be Annecy's 60th anniversary, was scheduled to run June 15-20. Instead, the event will be held June 14-19, 2021.
Organizers made the announcement "with tremendous disappointment" Tuesday.
"Over the past few weeks, driven by our passion and our enthusiasm, despite the confinement constraints we were nevertheless hoping to maintain the exceptional edition that we had in store for you," they said in a statement. "But today, the rationale and the international situation compel us to act with lucidity and responsibility. To show our respect and our deep gratitude to the health care providers, as well as all those who choose solidarity and the public interest."
Calling the Annecy festival "a party, a family gathering," organizers said they could not bring themselves "to celebrate animation and our 60th anniversary when some amongst you would not be able to attend."
Pushing the festival to a later date this year was not possible, Annecy said, because of other events on the industry calendar. The 2020 Cannes Film Festival, which has been postponed, is eyeing a possible alternative date in late June or early July.
Annecy still plans to unveil its official selections for the 60th anniversary festival April 15, though the films won't be screened until next year. On April 15, organizers said, they will also announce details for industry attendees.
Annecy is the world's number one festival for animated film and has become a favorite event for studios and independents to launch new projects or kick off global marketing campaigns. At last year's festival, Disney screened the first footage of Frozen 2 and Netflix gave a sneak peek at images from several animated projects in development, including Ricky Gervais' The Willoughbys.