If you’re in the advertising industry, you’d associate the month of June with one thing (begins with a ‘C’ and ends with an ‘S’) but for those of us belonging to the world of animation, it marks the glorious week of the long-awaited, Annecy International Animation Festival (AIAFF). 

The small and picturesque French town of Annecy may seem an odd choice for this gathering of the world’s greatest animation talents however, animation purists will know that it has been the world capital of animation since 1960! 

This year, Unlisted’s talented roster of directors and partner studios had a strong showing of work in the program, so let’s dive into a selection of the key films that excited audiences and critics alike...

Leading the charge is Melbourne-based stop-motion filmmaker, Adam Elliot, whose storytelling prowess has previously earned him both Oscar and BAFTA accolades. This year, Elliot returned with his feature film Memoir of a Snail, earning him the Cristal Award for Best Feature Film. Despite the film’s impressive ensemble of Australian talent, including Jacki Weaver, Eric Bana, and Nick Cave - it’s Elliot’s unique claymation style, combined with his emotive storytelling that solidifies him as a master in the film space.

Another standout has been the innovative work showcased by Passion Animation Studios, particularly their Alzheimer's Research project; Change The Ending. This initiative not only highlights the studio’s commitment to using animation for social good but also demonstrates the potential of animated storytelling in raising awareness and fostering understanding about complex issues.

Adding a touch of controversy and excitement to this year’s lineup is Temple Cache's Étoile Filante, which has sparked lively discussions amongst traditionalists and modernists alike. This piece utilises AI in its creation process - blending roto, 2D matte-painting, 3D modelling and interestingly, scenes from famous Hollywood films. Its acceptance and applause at Annecy could signify a growing appreciation for AI as a tool in creative expression, an approach Unlisted enthusiastically supports.

Victor Haeglin’s collaboration Too Late with Chinese Man ft. Stogie T brought a fresh, multicultural vibe to the festival. Their music video, an eclectic mix of animation and live-action, captured the dynamic flow and rhythm of global urban culture, appealing to a diverse audience.

Jesica Bianchi’s My Way, presented by Rudo Company, offers a whimsical yet profound exploration of identity and self-perception, marking another high point in the festival’s offerings.

We could go on and on! It’s safe to say that there’s a plethora of new animation talent, creative and techniques to get animated by in the second half of 2024... So, watch this space!