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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 health 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 health 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...
UCP is developing dark comedy series The Resort from Andy Siara, writer of Sundance breakout Palm Springs, and Sam Esmail’s Esmail Corp, which is under a deal with UCP, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios. Anonymous Content is producing. The series will be shopped to premium and streaming platforms.
The Resort explores love and the weird things we do in the name of it, encased in an elaborate true-crime conspiracy, with each season set in a unique picturesque vacation destination. The first season takes place at an all-inclusive resort along the Mayan Riviera, when a married couple on the brink of divorce inadvertently becomes embroiled in one of the Yucatan's most bizarre, unsolved mysteries that, somehow, is part metaphysical detective story, part Indiana Jones-esque adventure, part coming-of-age romance.
The Siara-written Palm Springs, which stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, is one of the buzziest titles coming out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. As Deadline reported, sources familiar with the heated multi-bidder auction said the pic sold to Hulu/Neon for close to $22 million, far and away the biggest Sundance deal of all time.
Siara is currently a co-producer on UCP/EsmailCorp's limited series Angelyne for Peacock, NBCUniversal's upcoming streaming service, with Emmy Rossum starring in the title role and Lucy Tcherniak directing.
UCP's relationship with Esmail began with the award-winning drama Mr. Robot which wrapped its fourth and final season on USA Network in January. Esmail currently executive produces three series for UCP: USA’s new anthology series Briarpatch, Amazon's Homecoming and Angelyne.
Previously, Siara was a staff writer on Lodge 49. He started his career touring the country with his indie rock band The Henry Clay People before getting an MFA in screenwriting from AFI in 2015. Siara is repped by LBI Entertainment and Morris Yorn.
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 2006 Oscars will forever be remembered as the infamous ceremony where “Crash” beat “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture. Ang Lee’s groundbreaking gay romance was the critical favorite and it won three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for that year: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. Headlining actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both earned Oscar nominations for their performances. The actors were asked to present during the 2007 Oscars telecast, but Gyllenhaal revealed in a recent interview with Another Man magazine via NME that Ledger turned down the opportunity because it would mean making jokes at the expense of the gay “Brokeback” love story.
“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” Gyllenhaal said. “And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, 'Oh, okay... whatever.' I'm always like, ‘It's all in good fun.’ And Heath said, 'It's not a joke to me — I don't want to make any jokes about it.’”
Gyllenhaal, “That's the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, 'No. This is about love. Like, that's it, man. Like, no.'”
Ledger was nominated in the Best Actor category but lost to “Capote” star Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gyllenhaal lost to George Clooney in “Syriana” for Best Supporting Actor. “Brokeback Mountain” marked the first Oscar nominations for both actors. Ledger would go on to be nominated and win his Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor race for his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Ledger received the Academy Award posthumously. “Brokeback” remains Gyllenhaal’s sole Oscar nomination to date.
Gyllenhaal has previously spoken about Ledger’s disdain for “Brokeback Mountain” jokes, but this is the first time the actor has revealed his late co-star turned down the Oscars. Gyllenhaal told “Today” in July 2019 that “Brokeback” marked a pivotal moment in his career. “It opened tons of doors,” he said. “It was crazy. It was amazing. It's defined my career in different ways. [But the film] is bigger than me...It has become not ours anymore. It's the world's.”
Read Gyllenhaal’s latest interview in its entirety on the Another Man website.