Annecy Prizes: ‘Little Nicholas,’ ‘My Year of Dicks’ Win Feature, TV Series

“Little Nicholas – Happy As Can Be” scooped this year’s Annecy Animation Festival’s top Cristal Award for best feature in a 20 plaudit award adjudication which also saw Wes Anderson win a Jury Award for best commissioned film.

The biggest winners at Annecy this year, however, was the Festival itself, animation at large and, when it came to movie prizes, France in particular.

Directed by Benjamin Massoubre and Amandine Fredon, Annecy’s top feature winner is classic French animated feature fare in artistic and industrial terms: 2D, based on a literal source – writer René Goscinny and illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé’s comic-strip, and featuring large Gallic IP : Little Nicholas, France’s quintessential schoolboy, who here meets his makers, Goscinny and Sempé.

Produced by Aton Soumache, one of the dominant figures on France’s animation scene and producer of “The Little Prince,” France’s biggest movie export in 2015, “Little Nicholas” may look exquisite at times, but, family fare, packs a more modern pace and focus on entertaining than much arthouse 2D cinema.

The top Crystal for “Little Nicholas” surprised some. “Unicorn Wars,” “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” and even “Nayola,” from Portugal’s José Miguel Ribeiro were all talked up during the week as competition frontrunners.

As prizes played out, the artistically ambitious “Blind Willow” – a feature which mixes rotoscoping, 2D and 3D, freely blending short stories from Haruki Murakami – had to settle for a Jury Mention.

Loved by stop-motion fans at Annecy, “No Dogs or Italians Allowed” – directed by France’s Alain Ughetto and based on the works of his grandfather, an Italian immigrant – snagged the festival’s Jury Award and a GAN Foundation Award.

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No Dogs or Italians Allowed
Foliascope – Les Films du Tambou

Signe Baumane’s gender role farce, “My Love Affair With Marriage,” about a woman suffering throughout her life the pressures of conformist gender typecasting, received a popular Jury Award mention.

Running June 13-18, the 2022 Annecy International Animation Film Festival issued 13,248 accreditations, including MIFA market badges, 8% up on total attendance in 2019, its prior all-time high.

Such record attendance “simply reflects how important animation film is worldwide: a major art form and an industry with remarkable agility that is constantly developing,” Annecy Director Mickaël Marin declared during Annecy’s closing ceremony.

In town to present “Pinocchio” for Netflix and satiate his love of animation, Guillermo del Toro had already announced that Mexico will be the guest country at Annecy in 2023. Jorge Gutiérrez, creator of “Maya and the Three,” will design the 2023 festival poster. “Mexican animation is little known and deserves to be the focus of a great national overview,” said Annecy artistic director Marcel Jean.

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My Year of Dicks
Credit: Cats Pajamas

2022 ANNECY INTL. ANIMATION FILM FESTIVAL OFFICIAL PRIZES

FEATURE MOVIES

GAN FOUNDATION AWARD FOR DISTRIBUTION

“No Dogs or Italians Allowed,” (Alain Ughetto, France, Italy, Switzerland)

MENTION JURY

“My Love Affair with Marriage,” (Signe Baumane, Latvia, USA, Luxembourg)

MENTION JURY

“Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman,” (Pierre Foldes, France, Luxembourg, Canada, Netherlands)

JURY AWARD

“No Dogs or Italians Allowed,” (Alain Ughetto, France, Italy, Switzerland)

CRYSTAL FOR A FEATURE FILM

“Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be,” (Amandine Fredon, Benjamin Massoubre, France, Luxembourg)

COUNTERCHAMP

CONTRECHAMP JURY DISTINCTION

“Chun Tae-il: A Flame That Lives On,” (Jun-pyo Hong, South Korea)

CONTRECHAMP AWARD

“Ikuta no Kita,” (Koji Yamamura, Japan, France)

SHORTS MOVIES

AWARD FOR A FIRST FILM

“The Record,” (Jonathan Laskar, Switzerland)

MENTION JURY

“Anxious Body,” (Yoriko Mizushiri, France, Japan)

JURY AWARD

“Steakhouse,” (Spela Cadez, Slovenia, Germany, France)

CRYSTAL FOR A SHORT FILM

“Amok,” (Balázs Turai, Hungary, Romania)

FILM GRADUATION

MENTION JURY

“Mom, What’s up with the Dog?,” (Lola Lefevre, France)

JURY AWARD

“A Dog Under a Bridge,” (Rehoo Tang, China)

CRYSTAL FOR A GRADUATION FILM

“Persona,” (Sujin Moon, South Korea)

SHORTS MOVIES

Animation “Off-Limits”

“OFF-LIMITS” AWARD

“Intersect,” (Dirk Koy, Switzerland)

VRWORKS

MENTION JURY

“Goliath: Playing With Reality,” (Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla, United Kingdom, France)

CRYSTAL FOR THE BEST VR WORK

“Glimpse,” (Benjamin Cleary, Michael O’Connor, France, Ireland, United Kingdom)

TV AND COMMISSIONED FILMS

TV Movies

JURY AWARD FOR A TV SPECIAL

“The House,” (Emma de Swaef, Marc James Roels, Niki Lindroth Von Bahr, Paloma Baeza, United Kingdom, US)

JURY AWARD FOR A TV SERIES

“Two Little Birds,” (Alejo Schettini, Alfredo Soderguit, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay)

CRYSTAL FOR A TV PRODUCTION

“My Year of Dicks,” (Sara Gunnarsdottir, US)

commissioned films

JURY AWARD FOR A COMMISSIONED FILM

“Aline,” (Wes Anderson, France)

CRYSTAL FOR A COMMISSIONED FILM

“Save Ralph,” (Spencer Susser, UK)