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Annecy 2020 Cancelled, Online Edition Announced; Quirino Awards Postponed

As the crisis has engulfed the globe, scores of major events have been cancelled. Annual entertainment events and festivals such as SXSW, Cannes, E3, Tribecca and GLAS have been cancelled. The animation community has been watching for news from the Annecy International Animation Festival, which up until now has taken a "wait and see" approach. This week, the widely anticipated but still sad news came that Annecy 2020 has officially been cancelled.

As a summer event, taking place in June, the hope was that this might have all died down by then. Realistically though, even if French government restrictions had been lifted by then, the likelihood of attendees from overseas being able to attend would seem pretty remote. The organisers have made the tough decision not to postpone the event, but are preparing to launch an online version of the festival instead. The festival proper will return June 14-19, 2021,  when it will celebrate the event's 60th anniversary and spotlight African animation (both of which were due to take place this year). The MIFA industry event, which runs parallel to the festival has also been cancelled.

The full announcement is below.

It is with tremendous disappointment that we are resigned to cancelling the Annecy 2020 edition. Over the past few weeks, driven by our passion and our enthusiasm, despite the confinement constraints we were nevertheless hoping to maintain the exceptional edition that we had in store for you. We were so looking forward to greeting you as we do every year in June, in Annecy, the animation film capital of the world.
But today, the rationale and the international situation compel us to act with lucidity and responsibility. To show our respect and our deep gratitude to the health care providers, as well as all those who choose solidarity and the public interest. Annecy is a party, a "family gathering". We cannot bring ourselves to celebrate animation and our 60th anniversary when some amongst you would not be able to attend. We took the decision not to move the Festival to a later date. The necessary facilities and the regular events’ calendar, as well as scheduled postponements of other events, do not provide us with a reasonable option.
For several weeks, our founding members, partners, suppliers, professionals and creators have been sending us their full support, and for this we are immensely grateful. These encouragements motivate us to offering an Annecy 2020 online version that would give access to exclusive works and original content, despite the current circumstances. The Official Selection will be announced on 15th April; we will then disclose an offer that will be elaborate and up to the expectations of our festivalgoers and loyal Mifa professionals.
The team is mobilised on this project, so see you in the forthcoming days, and from 14th to 19th June 2021 to finally celebrate, as it should be, the Festival’s 60th anniversary, and African animation, in Annecy.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Quirino Ibero-American Animation Awards,  due to take place in Tenerife, Spain have also announced the cancellation of this year's event. As with Annecy, the organisers have announced that this year's iteration will be celebrated online later in the year.

The accompanying co-production and industry forum will also move online for 2020.

This digital edition is being planned to maintain the same objectives of paying tribute to Ibero-American talent and creativity. In addition, it will enhance the co-production and business forum by making a digital version, supporting the economic development of the sector through online meetings so that the animation industry continues to produce and evolve despite the current situation.

Although all this news is disappointing, it's brilliant that animation lovers will still be able to 'attend' both events virtually. And in fact, many people who aren't usually able to attend in person can get a taste of them online for the first time.

We look forward to celebrating all our favourite animation events in 2021.

[Sources: Annecy, Quirino Awards]