Last Saturday, the curtains were wrung down on the Annecy Animation Film Festival in France.
Before the event came to an end, the organisers announced that a second major animation event bearing the Annecy trademark and named the Annecy Asia International Animation Festival will be held in Seoul, South Korea.
The inaugural event will take place September 2019 at the Digital Media City, a high-tech complex spanning over six million square feet that includes theaters, museums, exhibition spaces, and conference rooms.
The new Asian festival would represent a partnership between CITIA (the French organization that runs the Annecy festival) and SBA Animation Center (organizers of SICAF, Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival), in addition to Korean telecommunications company SK Broadband.
“The Annecy Festival, set in a town with a beautiful landscape, will be associated with Seoul, Asia’s central city that has its own history and is also developing technology of the future,” said Hyungcheol Joo, CEO of SBA Animation.
“Together, we will create the most popular animation festival in Asia.”
In many ways, launching a new festival in the heart of the Asia’s scorching-hot animation industry is a no easy task. But it also represents a gamble on Annecy’s part to dissociate the festival brand from its French location, which is key to its uniqueness.
But, one thing that comes to mind is will the animators who used to come to Annecy fest, France all the way from Asia, now return back?