Variety has reported that Josee, The Tiger and The Fish, The Deer King, and Poupelle of Chimney Town have been selected as entrants for the Annecy Festival this year. The Annecy Festival, held from June 14-19 this year, is considered one of the world’s most important animation events, and it will be returning to a partly in-person format.
According to Annecy CEO Mickaël Marin, the festival will have a maximum of 5,000 in-person attendees. Online attendees do not need an invitation nor accreditation to access the main program, which will be available globally and costs €20 (US$24.43).
Josee, The Tiger and The Fish by Bones (Noragami series, Carol and Tuesday) has the honor of being the opening screening to kick off this year’s Annecy Festival, and Studio Ponoc’s hand-drawn and hand-painted short film Tomorrow’s Leaves will have its world premiere at Annecy as a prelude before the festival begins. The Deer King by Production I.G (Fate/Grand Order – Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot: Paladin; Agaterám) and Poupelle of Chimney Town by Studio 4°C (Children of the Sea) are entrants in this year’s main feature competition, competing with films from other countries such as the Chinese animated film Jiang Ziya: The Legend of Deification and the film about refugees titled Flee.
Produced by Bones and directed by Kōtaro Tamura, Josee, The Tiger and The Fish follows a college student named Tsuneo (Tashi Nakagawa), who becomes the caretaker for Josee (Kaya Kiyohara), a girl who uses a wheelchair. The movie was released in Japan on December 25, 2020, after being delayed from its original Summer 2020 opening. It was first screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), which was held from October 31 to November 9, 2020. The film has since received critical acclaim, scoring a Japanese Academy Award nomination for Animation of the Year. Josee was adapted from the 1984 original short story of the same name by Seiko Tanabe.
The Deer King (full title: Shika no Ō: Yuna to Yakusoku no Tabi) is set to premiere on September 10 this year in Japanese theaters. Produced by Production I.G and directed by Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji, the film follows Van, the head of a group of soldiers fighting against an empire that wants to colonize their homeland. Instead of being killed, he finds himself thrown into a salt mine as a slave. A mysterious illness breaks out after a pack of strange dogs attack the mine, and Van takes the opportunity to escape and soon meets a young girl.
Adapted from the illustrated children’s book of the same name, Poupelle of Chimney Town is directed by Hirota Yusuke at Studio 4°C, with the book’s author Nishiro Akihiro screenwriting the film. The film follows Lubicchi, the son of Bruno, a tailor and “paper theater” storyteller who has suddenly disappeared from their town. Lubicchi ends up having to quit school, but meets Poupelle, a shunned “trashman” born from one of the town’s countless heaps of smoldering trash, while cleaning chimneys. They soon become friends and set out to discover the world beyond the smoke that engulfs their town.