Annecy is to animation as Cannes is to Film. And, just like Cannes, there is no particular reason why this small and rather attractive town on a lake in the French Alps should host the world's biggest animation festival - except for the fact that they have always done so. They got there first, and while many towns and cities now have animation festivals, Annecy is the first, the original, the biggest - and still the best.
You can meet people for tea in the posh hotels, have drinks at the bar, and generally talk shop with other animators and animation film-makers. And, you can try (discreetly) to find a job.
If you don't speak French, don't be put off. This is an international festival, and everyone speaks English. That said, it's wise to try at least a little garbled Franglais now and then just to show you are making an effort.
This year the festival runs from Monday June 9th to Saturday June 14th. MIFA, the industry-focused sales event which runs in parallel to Annecy, is from 11 to 13 June. There are shorts to be viewed, previews of films in production, lectures and workshops, competitions and signing sessions by famous animators.
Typically, over 200 films enter the competition for the Cristal. The categories are:
- Feature films
- Short films
- Commissioned films
- Graduation films
For more information check out their official website here.