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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...
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....
A record 62 women have been nominated for Academy Awards across all branches this year. Eight of them will be joining the annual Women’s Panel of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The popular event moderated every year by Madelyn Hammond will take place on Saturday January 25th at the Lobero Theatre at 11AM.SBIFF
Participating are Anne Morgan, nominated for Make Up and Hairstyling for Bombshell; Set Decorator Regina Graves up for Production Design for The Irishman; Arianne Phillips , a nominee for Costume Design for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood; Mayes C. Rubeo also nominated for Costume Design from Jojo Rabbit; Bonnie Arnold producer of Animated Feature nominee How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; Julia Reichert, director of Documentary Feature nominee American Factory; Aneta Hickinbotham, producer of International Film nominee from Poland, Corpus Christi; and Rosana Sullivan , director of Pixar’s Animated Short nominee, Kitbull. Joining them will be Sarah Finn, casting director of Oscar nominees Avengers: Endgame and The Lion King.
When nominations were announced last week the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences made it a point to show the progress they have made towards the inclusion of female filmmakers in many different walks of the industry. This panel will be proof of that and signifies likely the largest gathering of its kind for women nominees this season.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival runs from January 15 thru the 25th.
Infinity and Beyond is a regular bi-weekly column documenting the 25-year filmography of Pixar Animation Studios, film by film. In today’s column, writer Josh Spiegel highlights Monsters, Inc.
Thursday, November 1, 2001 ought to have been a very exciting day for Pete Docter. The stalwart Pixar animator, writer, and director was just hours away from a true milestone: the first feature film bearing his name as director was going to be released in theaters nationwide. It would be the fourth feature film from Pixar Animation Studios, and a milestone for the Emeryville, California studio: this was going to be their first film not directed by John Lasseter. It was going to be another wholly original story with an incredibly high-concept hook, big-name stars, and solid interest from audiences.
The day should have been exciting. But Pete Docter was nowhere near Hollywood, or even Emeryville, that day. He was stuck in a courthouse in Wyoming, where lawyers representing Pixar would have to convince a judge to allow Monsters, Inc. to be released at all.Put That Thing Back Where It Came From
Like a number of Pixar’s most daring original films, Monsters, Inc. began its life at the Hidden City Cafe in California, during a now very well-known lunch between a number of the men who would direct some of the studio’s most beloved films. Pete Docter that day pitched the nugget of an idea that would lead him through the next seven years of creation. The nugget was simple: a film about monsters. He didn’t have too much else at that point, but the idea eventually expanded into a what-if: what if the monsters every child believed was hiding in his or her closet was not only real, but scared those children just because it was their job?
Docter, even in 2001, was one of the longest-tenured employees at Pixar. He was the tenth employee hired at the studio, and just the third animator; he began his career at Pixar in 1990, hired the day after his college graduation. Though Docter was credited as part of the crews for A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2, he was largely not a huge part of those productions. After the roaring success of Toy Story, on which he was credited as one of the story writers, Docter was tasked with bringing his monster-film idea to life, as the fourth feature released from Pixar, and the first not directed by John Lasseter. Considering that Lasseter was the face of Pixar for its earliest feature-film years, this was a big leap forward.
As has been the case for many of Pixar’s films, the story of Monsters, Inc. didn’t come together on its first try. The film that we all know focuses on two best friends, Mike Wazowski voiced by Billy Crystal and James P. Sullivan John Goodman, living in Monstropolis. Mike and Sulley aren’t just best friends; they live together and work in tandem at...