"One of the most prestigious events of its kind, and undoubtedly the oldest, France’s Annecy Intl. Animated Film Festival is set to once again become the temporary international capital of cartoons from June 9-14”. -Variety Magazine
In June of 2014 the first season of “Tumble Leaf” won the prestigious, Jury Award for a Television Series at the Annecy Film Festival in Annecy, France. For many in the international animation community, Le Festival International du Film d’Animation d’Annecy (AIAFF) is the best of the international animated film festivals.
“There are so many animation festivals out there, that we don’t have the space to list them all here. What we can do is provide details for at least the top 10 animation film festivals that routinely rate among the best in the world. Here you go:
1. Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Annecy, France - Described as “the world's top reference for animation films,” the Annecy International Animated Film Festival dates back to the 1960s, making it the world’s oldest film festival dedicated entirely to animation. This “friendly” event that’s open to all” highlights open-air screenings, exhibitions, and signing sessions. Categories include Feature Films, Short Films, TV and Commissioned Films, and Graduation Films. The festival, which receives more than 2,600 films from all over the world each year, typically takes place annually in June.” -The rest of the list can be found here.
This year’s festival at Annecy featured the genius of stop motion animation from an international array of the most talented stop motion producers. Over the six-day festival, the city came to life with professionals and enthusiasts of the genre. Films were shown all day at various venues and also at night - including a huge outdoor screen on the lakeside promenade.
“The Annecy International Animated Film Festival was founded in 1960. The festival during its initial years used to take place every two years, but from 1998, it has become an annual event. The thing which is special about this festival is that it showcases various techniques of animated films, be it modelling clay or cut-out papers or animated drawings.” Wonderlist.com
Enjoying an outdoor screening at the Lakeside Promenade - Annecy, France
“Going to Annecy was a shock to the system. After working almost every day for over a year, we finally wrapped the last shot of “Tumble Leaf” Season One on a Friday night and then the next morning, we were on a plane to France! At the beginning of the week, the town felt like a confusing maze of cobblestones and narrow shops, but at the end it felt like our hometown…”
-Drew Hodges Creator, Executive Producer
Bix Pix Team had a Phenomenal Time in Annecy
The “Tumble Leaf” group from Bix Pix Entertainment made the most of every moment that they spent in Annecy, whether it was walking enjoying the shops, riding bicycles through town and along the canals, having fun on or parasailing above the Lake… all of that and attending the festival - watching the most amazing animation in the world.
BixPix Soars at Annecy - Kelli Bixler & Parasailing Instructor above Lake Annecy
BixPixers Take to the Water - Front Row L-R: Jodi Downs, Monica Dennis. Back Row L-R: Jason Kolowski, Rachel Larsen, Kelli Bixler, Drew Hodges
Canals Annecy, France - Strolling the shops
“Annecy is magical. On the Annecy International Film Festival’s reputation alone, it’s an enormous honor to be selected to participate in this festival, but who knew I’d fall completely and totally head-over-heels in love with the lake, the village, and the people of Annecy. If I could afford a home-away-from-home, I’d run – not walk – to Annecy, France!” -Kelli Bixler, Executive Producer
Time with Willis H. O’Brien - ‘O’Bie’
Along with devouring all of the Stop Motion Animation submissions to the festival at Annecy, our Bix Pix Entertainment group made sure that they didn’t miss the tribute to famed Animator, Willis O’Brien, aka, O’Bie. O’Bie wasn’t the first person to incorporate Stop Motion Animation into a film, but he put it on the world map by animating the dinosaur scenes in the 1925 silent movie, “The Lost World” adapted from a book by Arthur Conan Doyle. Photo: O’Bie on the set of “The Lost World” 1925
O’Bie is probably best known for his work on the 1933 film, “King Kong”. O’Bie animated the ill-fated gorilla throughout the movie, culminating in his trip up the Empire State Building. Here, it is Kong vs. T-Rex and we all know who wins this match!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) proposed giving O'Bie an Oscar for his technical effects on King Kong but O’Bie insisted that each of his crew receive an Oscar statue also, which the AMPAS refused to do, so O'Bie refused to accept the Oscar award for himself. This act of refusing his Oscar hurt O'Brien's reputation as a "player" in the Hollywood establishment, forever making him a semi-"outsider" in the industry. One of O'Bie's crew was Linwood G. Dunn, who did all of the optical composites for “King Kong” and “Son of Kong”, and who was a future Treasurer and President of the AMPAS. revealed this story in private conversations with various visual effects associates years later, long after O'Bie's death.
O’Bie’s legacy as a stand-up guy and a brilliant animation pioneer lives on in film-making history.. What an inspirational Annecy Tribute to Willis Harold O’Brien!
Saturday evening, June 14, 2014 - The last day of the Annecy Film Festival and time for the awards ceremony. Time for those butterflies to take over in the nominee’s stomachs… but at the Annecy Awards Ceremony there is really no stress. The ceremony takes place in an auditorium with open-seating, most of the audience has just come from an early dinner, wearing casual clothes, it’s not the kind of award’s show where you have to be in Prom attire and hire a make-up artist and a hair stylist. Everyone just wished everyone, “Bonne Chance!”
“…we had such a wonderful experience (in Annecy) that by the time the Award’s Ceremony came around, we felt like we had already won and were just grateful for a nice rest in the theater. But just as we were getting our translators working, we heard them call “Tumble Leaf”! And in complete bewilderment, I walked up to the stage, gave a very brief speech where I quoted “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”, walked off of the stage to get a glass of champagne wondering, ‘What… just… happened?’ I’m still asking that question today, but grateful all the same, for that unexpected adventure in Annecy.’
-Drew Hodges, Creator, Executive Producer
And… as the evening drew to a close, with it being their last night in beautiful Annecy…. our BixPix team sipped Champagne, recounted all of their lovely experiences in both the town and at the festival, and the word on everyone’s lips was a resounding, “FORMIDABLE!” “AMAZING!”