Our Favorites from Annecy

Our first Annecy trip was overwhelming, inspiring, frustrating and wonderful. As a follow up to our blog post “Why We Released Our Film Online”, it is worth noting that the short films that won the Annecy Cristal and the Special Jury Award, “Pixels”, and “Big Bang Big Boom”, have been online for quite some time and enjoyed considerable internet ubiquity.

We didn’t go to all of the student screenings and missed the TV screening, but here are some of our favorites from the festival:

Studio AKA’s Grant Orchard plays an absurd New York moment over the course of 100 years. Three distinct graphic stylings and a peppy score.

I was charmed by Patrick Doyan’s funny and poignant day-in-the-life of a bored little boy. The beautiful, illustrative animation sets a warm tone for the piece. Very nice use of scale and graphic representation to conceal and reveal story elements.

Juan Pablo Zaramella’s pixilation masterpiece was clearly the crowd favorite. The photography is controlled and the animation feels lively and expressive. Not easy to pull off with pixilation. What I enjoyed most was the fact that Zaramella used a natural byproduct of the pixilation process, light moving across the frame, as a storytelling device. He really breathed new life into an old technique.

In Tor Fruegaard’s “Venus”, a couple with sex problems visit a swingers club in an attempt to salvage their relationship. While the premise begs for loads of juvenile jokes, “Venus” never veers too far in that direction. Instead, Fruegaard uses the experiences to show a very real relationship. Terrific dialog performances and understated animation.
Warning: The trailer below is NSFW and may be inappropriate for younger audiences.

Directed by Polynoid from Filmakademie Baden-Wurttenberg, “Loom” depicts a dramatic moment when a moth is trapped in a spider’s web. While the photorealistic realistic rendering is a remarkable achievement, what I responded to most was the abstraction of insect inner-space and the brilliant sound design.

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