The Annecy Animation Festival
Chris Krupa looks at the prize winners of the 1983 festival.
This year’s main prize winners were as follows:
Grand Prix: THE POSSIBILITIES OF DIALOGUE, Jan Svankmajer Czekoslovakia. (M)
1st Special Jury Prize: DANCE OF DEATH, Dennis Tupicoff Australia. (M)
2nd Special Jury Prize: NIGHT CLUB, Jonathan Hodgson Britain.
3rd Special Jury Prize: THERE WAS ONCE A DOG, Edward Nazaroff USSR.
Prize for a First Work: ALBUM, Kresimir Zimonic Yugoslavia. (M)
Prize for a Sponsored Film: REGRESSION, Pierwigi de bias Italy.
Prize for a ‘Film d’Enterprise’: EQUALITY, Martti Jannes Finland.
Prize for an Educational and Scientific Film: BLOOD, Jacques Rouxel France. (M)
Prize for a children’s film: THE STORY OF BIG RABBIT AND LITTLE RABBIT, Johan Eagelback, Sweden. (M)
(M) indicates selection by majority vote.
The main feature of most of the films shown at Annecy festivals is their very personal nature. Few have straight forward narrative story lines in the manner of TV animation and most contain a political social or personal statement, sometimes obscure, sometimes clearly expressed. The overall approach is that of animation as an art form primarily and as a viable commercial product second.
This is not to say that the films are not commercial. Whilst few attain major cinema release in Britain and Western Europe, they are often given festival showings and there is a growing market in television and the independent cinemas. Indeed visitors to the Cambridge Animation Festival, the London Film Festival or those who saw the various reports shown on Channel Four will have had the opportunity to see some of the films from Annecy. Whether or not they were a representative selection or not is a matter of opinion, as programmers of other events are subject to different constraints from those of the original festival.
Probably one of the more contentious tasks of any film festival jury is the selection of films to be presented with prizes. In order to lessen the impact of personal preference and prejudice both selection and competition juries are chosen from various countries and backgrounds. However, despite the ever increasing number of films entered by women, Annecy’s competition jury was entirely wale, although it must be said that the jury had no say in the choice of its own members. The almost uniform excellence of the films meant that they had quite a difficult choice as to which films should be awarded prizes. Most of the winners were selected by a majority (those marked H) rather than by a unanimous vote. Amongst the audience there was inevitably a diversity of opinion and many other films were felt to justify awards than those which actually received them.