Launched on 9 February 2023 by Aniverse and Visual Arts Foundation (AVF) in partnership with Annecy Festival (France), AniMela will be India’s first-ever international festival. It will be a three-day festival which will most likely be held in November this year in India.
Here’s what Annecy Festival CEO Mickaël Marin expects from AVF and AniMela: “As we live in a world surrounded by negativity, we need light and positivity which comes from pictures and arts; and we want people to share their vision and passion with the world.”
“We are excited,” he continues. “We strongly believe that AniMela can be successful and it is the right time to do it as India is a huge country for cinema and we believe it can be a strong country for animation.”
How will Annecy and MIFA (The International Animation Film Market) support AniMela? “We will be more than happy to share our vision, experience and network with AniMela. We will give our time to AVF and AniMela and come back to India for preparations for the event,” Marin says.
In Marin’s opinion, the Indian animation industry is moving up constantly and at Annecy, they are seeing more original content coming out of India. At Annecy, they have a diversity of formats – short form, student films, feature and others. Marin says that Indian content is doing well in almost all the formats. He further mentions, “Indian animation will now work on two legs – production services and creation of original content.”
The legacy of Annecy film festival is 60 years long and in 2023, it is moving into its 61st edition. This year they plan on having an on-ground event as opposed to previous editions which were conducted virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic in 2019, Annecy witnessed 12,000 attendees from 90 countries and in 2022, they welcomed 13,300 attendees from 106 countries. Marin believes that people are fond of attending on-ground events as opposed to virtual ones, and hopes that this year too brings in more attendees like 2022.
Marin says that the goal of Annecy is to support and encourage the global animation community and states that there is ample content in Africa, South America and Asia.
As Annecy’s focus is empowering the global animation community, this year the country in spotlight at the festival is Mexico. “There will be a huge Mexican delegation with different programs at the festival this year, so we will see a lot of Mexican spirit,” he reveals.
“The Mexican industry is extremely artistic and they are strong in stop-motion animation. There’s a new wave of artists coming up in the country and that’s what we want to showcase to the world this year.”
Interestingly, their selection process for spotlight country is based on the kind of content the country can offer to the attendees of the festival – like the content created in the past (which could also be restored for the screening), the contemporary work done and released in the country and what kinds of projects are coming out of the country in the future.
Marin concludes, “Every year the global animation community pushes technological frontiers and now we see more animated content for adults apart from kids and family. This opens the doors for content creators to think and curate content creatively.”
He hopes to see the Indian animation industry grow in future and is looking forward to see the magic being created at AniMela soon!