• Charlotte Grant

International Festival of Animation in Annecy!

Now I've recovered a little from traveling, I guess it's time to post about Annecy!

A small group of 3rd years, a hand full of 1st years and myself as a lone 2nd year, along with Kathy and Nick two of our lecturers attended the event. It was my first time on a plane and my first time abroad and if I'm to be honest, I was completely blown away by the experience! France and Annecy in particular is breathtakingly beautiful and the animation we saw there and the people we met were just so inspiring! I'm definitely going to have to save up and attend again next year :D

Now for some photo's of my trip ^^ This might end up being more of a personal blog post, than a uni related one, as myself and Connor (my flatmate and a 3rd year on our course) ended up doing a heck ton of sight seeing in between screenings c: Our lecturer Kathy put a beautiful write up about the event on the official Falmouth Animation blog too, definitely go check it out, if you have time :)

The view from the plane, overlooking lake Geneva! I actually really enjoyed flying, despite being super worried about it beforehand, we were flying home at exactly the right time to see the the sunset, it was stunning!

Our mobile home! Connor and I somehow got a great deal and ended up having a 4 person mobile home to ourselves.....we don't really know how that happened, because we had 5 homes to share between 16 of us. A lot of the first years wanted to stick together, so we ended up with tons of space in ours! They were absolutely beautiful homes too, the campsite was on top of a huge hill, so our view was stunning (an our calf muscles made of steel by the end of the trip). The second photo is the view from our kitchen window in our mobile home and the third is the view during sundown by the campsites swimming pool ^^

Some more photo's of the scenery, it was such a beautiful and atmospheric place and the lake was just amazing (I took SO many pictures of the scenery and there's way too many to post in a blog, so you can view all of the photos I took on the trip here) Connor and I took some pedalos out on the lake on one of the last days (they look easier to control than they actually are xD) It was a lot of fun!

A usual day on the trip would be a 9am start to walk down and catch the shuttle bus into Annecy (we were staying in a nearby town about 5 miles away called Servier) grab a baguette at the bread shop opposite the bus stop for breakfast and catch the bus into Annecy.

We'd then go to as many of the films in competition screenings as we could (they were incredibly inspiring) have lunch, spend a couple of hours exploring (we went geocaching too!) Have dinner somewhere, we met up in old Annecy with the lecturers and eat dinner and draw in the beautiful cafe's there, by the riverside. We'd then finish the day off with one last screening and then the outdoor showing of whatever film was playing that day :) The shuttle buses back to Servier came in around 8pm and continued running until 1am, so it became very common for all of us to be trekking up the hillside to our campsite by moonlight at 1am :)

The older area of Annecy, where we'd often meet up for dinner :) The area in the middle has a beautiful little cafe called 'cafe du arts' where we'd often meet up with other people from the course to cool down, in between showings. This place was especially amazing at night, with violin players and lots of people sat around drinking wine, eating food and chatting. It was a really beautiful place!

There was animation EVERYWHERE! Even the pharmacy and jewelry shops had animation themes to them, one having characters like Skrat from ice age clinging or holding up jewelry, the pharmacy decorated with a massive film reel and animation imagery. The shopping center had animation process tutorials and puppets or props from popular stop motion films and shorts!

These two look familiar :D

One thing I didn't know about France was their affinity for comics, they're so much of a big thing over there compared to here and I wish comics would be taken more seriously in England. Annecy has several huge comic book shops, selling art books and really stunning French comics, I picked up a couple of volumes of a comic called "Les Carnets de Cerise" (Which I think means The book of Cherry? or Cherries) They're gorgeous comics and I kinda wish my French was better so I knew what was being said. But the artwork is magnificent either way.

Here's a video from youtube of the artist announcing the comic :) There's some previews of some of the pages nearing the end of it, so you can see just how amazing the artwork and character design is in these books.

Along with going to see tons of the showings and talks, we also attended the outdoor screenings on later at night. The atmosphere of these was incredible! We ended up going to a few of them though out the week, Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart was one of the films we got to watch during it (a really incredible French film with a unique style and a killer soundtrack) and The Boy and the World, the film that ended up winning the feature film category!

My camera isn't great at taking photos in the dark, but here's a couple I took, just to give you a taste of the atmosphere there :D 5000+ turn out every night, moonlit next to the lake on a massive screen!

On the second to last day, Connor and I went to visit MIFA. A convention hall set up for the more 'business' side of animation :) There were hundreds of stands representing dozens of different companies in the industry, from Ubisoft to huge VFX companies, to the creators of TV paint, Celaction and Toonboom :D

We got to talk to some people from Illumination Entertainment, who looked over Connors portfolio and gave him some advice before he graduated. I also got to chat to one of the representatives from TV Paint, who was lovely and I mentioned our project Deep being created in TVpaint. She gave a couple of us a discount for TV paint, which I'll definitely be making use of once my grants come through in September, as it's a wonderful program and it'll be great to work with it from home and when I leave university and no longer have access to the studio.

Whilst there, I also got to speak briefly to someone from Cinema Chile, who worked on 'Bear Story', a really sweet little film from a company in Chile, which was shown in the films out of competition category and had me uncontrollably sobbing by the end of it. Here's the trailer for it, it was animated in a clockwork style and was just incredibly beautiful, even the trailer makes me well up a little bit.

But yeah, Overall, Annecy was absolutely amazing! The location was just stunning and I met so many amazing people and saw so many inspiring animations during my time there!

Au Revoir Annecy, hopefully I'll be back next year ^^