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Annecy International Animation Festival 2021 Feature Selection Revealed

We are just weeks away from this year's Annecy International Animation Festival- traditionally one of the main events in the animation calendar. For a second year running, animation industry folk and interested fans can take part in the virtual festival from anywhere in the world from the comfort of their homes. There will also be a limited number of in-person events for those local to the area.

Following the unveiling of the short film selection and work-in-progress line-up, Annecy have now revealed the 2021 feature line-up. Split into the 'Offical Competition' and 'Contrechamps' category, this year's line-up includes new animated features from all over Europe and the wider world.  Films come from artists from Japan, China, The Philippines, France, Denmark, The United Kingdom, Canada, Taiwan, and more.

The films cover a wide variety of subjects, for a range of audiences and feature all forms of animation, from hi-budget CGI to lo-fi indie fare. There should be something for everyone. At the close of the festival, as always, the ceremony will take place to award the coveted 'Cristals', voted on by both expert juries and audiences.

This year's festival will run from June 14 -19 and accreditations are available now. Online access starts at €16.67 (around $20.00/ £14.40) plus VAT. Get your tickets from the festival website today.

Feature Films In Competition

Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Denmark/France/Norway/Sweden) SYNOPSIS: This is the true story of a man, Amin, on the verge of marriage that compels him to reveal his hidden past for the first time. A secret he has been hiding for over twenty years threatens to ruin the life he has built for himself. He recounts his dramatic journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan to Denmark.

Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story (Avid Liongren, Philippines) Nimfa Dimaano, a perfume saleskitty, falls head over paws for Iñigo - a dashing dog about town. Trouble is, Nimfa still shares a shanty with her drab of a lover Roger - a mall janitor mongrel. Could this new dog in her life save Nimfa from her poor cat woes? In this animal world, amorous cats and dogs put their own spin on daytime soap opera.

Jiang Ziya: The Legend of Deification (Wei Li,Teng Cheng, China) After the great Battle of The Gods, when Jiang Ziya is about to be named the Leader of the Gods, he is sent to Earth for a momentary mistake and spurned by the world. Jiang Ziya must make a difficult choice between his heart and his destiny. In the end, he finds his real self and restores the relationship between Human, God and Demon.

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (Kota Tomura, Japan) A young girl Josee, paraplegic from a very early age, lives in her own world between painting, books and her overflowing imagination. Tsuneo, in a marine biology faculty, would like to continue his studies in Mexico to be able to live his ultimate dream: to dive in tropical waters. For that, he needs money. Just then, a job literally falls into his lap when he collides with Josee.

Lamya's Poem (Alex Kronemer, Canada/USA) A young Syrian refugee girl finds a magical gateway to meet the great 13th century poet, Rumi, and helps him write the poem that 800 years later saves her life

My Sunny Maad ( Michaela Pavlatova, France/Czechia) When Herra, a young Czech woman, falls in love with Nazir, an Afghan, she has no idea what kind of life awaits her in post-Taliban Afghanistan, nor of the family she is about to integrate into. A liberal grandfather, an adopted child who is highly intelligent and Freshta, who would do anything to escape her husband's violent grip.

Poupelle of Chimney Town (Yusuke Hirota, Japan) Young Lubicchi and a man made of garbage, Poupelle live among the thick smoke from the chimneys of his isolated town. Lubicchi yearns to see the "stars" and to learn the truth his father always told him about. 

Snotty Boy ["Rotzbub"] (Marcus Rosenmaceller & Santiago López Jover, Austria/Germany) 1960's Siegheilkirchen, a small town in the Austrian hinterland is steeped in reactionary and ultra-Catholic attitudes. The son of a hard-working innkeeper and his wife, called Snotty Boy by all and sundry, is at odds with the narrow-minded confines of his home town. But his unstoppable talent for drawing gives him an outlet for his discontent.

The Ape Star (Linda Hamback, Sweden/Norway/Denmark) The eight-year-old orphan Jonna is longing for a mother. One day, an old car stops outside the orphanage and out steps a gorilla who picks Jonna for adoption. It soon becomes clear that they have more things in common than they initially thought.

The Deer King (Masashi Ando & Masayuki Miyaji, Japan) Van, the former leader of a warrior corps who fight for their homeland, is captured and seized as a slave. One night, vicious mountain dogs attack, causing a mysterious plague. Van escapes the chaos, helping a young girl who he decides to raise. Meanwhile, a doctor seeks a cure for this disease.

Feature Films - Contrechamps

Absolute Denial (Ryan Braund, UK) SYNOPSIS: An obsessive, genius programmer sacrifices everything in his personal and professional life to build a computer of unprecedented power. After weeks in isolation and watching his life crumble around him, he must now confront the ever-increasing problem of a machine that is much smarter than himself.

Archipelago (Felix Dufour-Laperriere, Canada) A true animated film about invented islands. About an imaginary, linguistic, and political territory. About a real or imaginary country, or something in between. "Archipelago" is a feature film drawn free hand and with meticulous language, that tells and dreams of a place and its inhabitants, to tell and dream a little of our world and its times.

Bob Spit: We Do Not Like People (Cesar Cabral, Brazil) Bob Spit, a comic book character, lives in a post-apocalyptic desert inside the mind of his creator, the legendary Brazilian cartoonist Angeli. When Angeli decides to kill off Bob, the old punk leaves this wasteland and faces his creator.

Chicken Of The Mound (Xi Chen, China/Germany) A particularly curious chicken larva did not undergo the adult transformation and did not hide in the cave. Instead, it roamed the plains and mounds wearing robot armour.

City Of Lost Things (Chi-Yen Yee, Taiwan) A 16-year-old struggling teenager, Leaf, runs away from home, skips classes and mysteriously ends up in a peculiar place, the City of Lost Things. There he meets Baggy, a 30-year-old plastic bag. Baggy never sees himself as just another piece of unwanted junk. He has a purpose in life - to lead his tribe to flee City of Lost Things.

Climbing ( Hye-Mi Kim, South Korea) Se-hyeon, a professional climber who recently recovered from a car accident, discovers that she's pregnant just before the World Championships. She struggles to break free from the pressures of motherhood. Meanwhile, she receives texts from herself who's had a completely different life after the accident. Most importantly, she wants to keep her baby.

Cryptozoo (Dash Shaw, USA) As cryptozookeepers struggle to capture a baku (a legendary dream-eating hybrid creature) they begin to wonder if they should display these rare beasts in the confines of a zoo, or if these mythical creatures should remain hidden and unknown.

Mount Fuji Seen From A Moving Train (Pierre Hebert) This is a poetic and animated meditation inspired by two trips the director made to Japan. Images and sounds from daily life as well as recordings of his performances, most notably one with the dancer-choreographer Teita Iwabushi. There is no story as such, but a formal construction with sound and images. What can be seen in Japan when Mount Fuji is invisible, lost in the clouds?

My Uncle Jose (Ducca Rios, Brazil) It begins in 1983 in Salvador city, with the attack against José, an ex-member of a left-wing political group. Meanwhile, his nephew Adonias is worried about an assignment his teacher has given him. Consequently, Adonias has to deal with his family's suffering, conflicts at school, and the anguish of having to write his school essay.