There are 20 features competing in the two categories (Official and Contrechamp) from France, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Chile, Mauritius, and Egypt. Standouts from the Official category include Takashi Yamazaki’s “Lupin the 3rd: The First,” the latest in the popular “gentleman thief” heist franchise, which GKids picked up for theatrical release this year; “Calamity: A Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary,” the biopic about Martha (Calamity) Jane’s empowering journey West in 1863, from French director Rémi Chayé (“The Long Way North”); and “The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks,” an experimental drama about Stalin’s reign of terror from Russian director Andrey Khrzhanovsky.
The Official competition also includes Seven Days War” (Japan), an anime about young adult social rebellion from Yuta Morano; “Bigfoot Family” (Belgium, France), a CG preschool comedy about saving a wildlife reserve in Alaska, directed by Ben Stassen and Jérémie Degruson; “Ginger’s Tale” (Russia), a hand-drawn adventure about a magical Stone of Fire, from Konstantin Shchekin; “Jungle Beat: The Movie” (Mauritius), a CG comedy based on the popular online series about talking animals and an alien, directed by Brent Dawes (launching June 26 on VOD); “Kill It and Leave This Town” (Poland), a black-and-white hybrid dystopian drama about a despairing guy who hides in his memories, directed by Mariusz Wilcznski; “Nahuel and the Magic Book” (Chile), a hybrid adventure about a young boy from a fishing town who discovers sorcery, directed by Germán Acuna; and “Petit Vampire”(France), a CG comedy about a bored vampire, directed by Joann Sfar (“The Rabbi’s Cat”).
The Contrechamp category, meanwhile, includes “Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus” (Croatia), a rotoscoped drama about a couple on the run in a revolutionary commune, directed by Dalibor Baric; “Beauty Water” (South Korea), a hybrid drama about a magical skin cosmetic, from Kyung-hun Cho; “Lava” (Argentina), a 2D drama about a mass media invasion, directed by Ayar Blasco; “My Favorite War” (Latvia, Norway), a personal story from Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen about growing up during the Cold War using cut-outs; “Old Man: The Movie” (Estonia), a stop-motion comedy about a runaway cow, from Mikk Magi and Oskar Lehemaa; “On Gaku: Our Sound!” (Japan), a hybrid manga adaptation by Kenji Iwaisawa about three high school friends who decide to start a band; “The Knight and the Princess” (Saudi Arabia, Egypt), a hybrid sword and sorcery adventure, directed by Basheer El Deek and Ibrahim Musa; “The Legend of Hei” (China), a 2D fantasy about co-existing with demons by Ping; “The Shaman Sorceress” (South Korea), a hybrid drama from Jaehuun Ahn about a family that must confront mixed religious beliefs; and “True North” (Japan, Indonesia), a drama from Eiji Han Shimizu about a boy’s survival in a North Korean prison camp.
The VR category contains seven works, rooted in reality and history, highlighting photorealism and stop-motion.
In April, Annecy 2020 Online unveiled the short film selections in competition. More than 3,000 films were received in all categories, from 94 countries.
Meanwhile, the popular work-in-progress and making of events, in which Hollywood studios offer sneak peeks of their movie and TV slates, will start being announced later this week. Last year, Netflix led the pack with four presentations (including the Oscar-nominated “Klaus” and “The Willoughbys”), DreamWorks Animation touted “Trolls World Tour,” and Warner Bros. teased “Scoob!,” among others.
As the storied animation festival celebrates its 60th anniversary, many prestigious tributes will be rolled over into Annecy 2021 along with a special tribute to African animation.