Annecy International Animation Film Festival and its Market (MIFA)

The charming town of Annecy in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps has very many attractions and one of them is its importance in the film world.

Every year, at the beginning of June, the town hosts the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. This event has been staged since 1998 when it first became an annual festival; before that it had been held every two years.

The Annecy International Animation Film Festival and its market is abbreviated to “MIFA”. It is one of four international festivals that are focused on animated films, and this popular event is sponsored by the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation (or ASIFA), which in English, is the International Animated Film Association. Many international animation studios take part in the MIFA market, and this is the place for film distributors, directors and producers to meet and strike deals.

This prestigious film festival features contests for the various different types of animated film-making, for techniques such as by using cartoon drawings, paper cut-outs and figures made from modelling clay. There are categories for the different types of animated films being shown in the competitions. The categories are as follows: Feature Films, Short Films, TV Films, Student Films and Internet Films. The animated films made for the Internet have been included since 2002.

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival really shows the world that it is not just children that enjoy cartoon films, because very many adults do too, and there are many animated films made with adult audiences in mind.  The festival runs free screenings at the various cinemas of Annecy, as well as an open-air night-time film show every evening at the Pâquier parkland area of the town, near Lake Annecy. Other locations showing evening screenings outside include the Musée-château, La Turbine, the Auditorium in Seynod and the Parc Vignières-Pommaries.

Over the years that the Annecy International Animated Film Festival has been running, very many animated films have been announced as winners. In 2015, which was a record-breaking year for many reasons, the Japanese anime film Miss Hokusai, directed by Keiichi Hara, won the Jury Award. There were 11 special prizes awarded in 2015 and one of them was Konstantin Bronzit’s ‘We Can’t Live Without Cosmos’ which won the Junior Jury Short Film Award.

This year’s programme

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2016 is taking place from 13 to 18 June, and the full programme will be announced in May. The festival is sure to attract many visitors so hotels in Annecy are likely to fill up, and it is recommended that you book in advance if you are coming to the town in festival week. Besides enjoying the event, if you are learning French, Annecy is a wonderful place to learn and practice the language because, not only is it in France, but it has its own French Language School.

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