At the Annecy festival, “Memoir of a snail” finishes first

At the Annecy festival, “Memoir of a snail” finishes first
At the Annecy festival, “Memoir of a snail” finishes first

The animation festival awarded the Australian film by Adam Elliott the Feature Film Crystal. Other strong works were awarded prizes, such as “Flow”, by Latvian Gints Zilbalodis, jury prize.

The “Memoir of a Snail” team received the Feature Film Crystal on June 15.

The “Memoir of a Snail” team received the Feature Film Crystal on June 15. Annecy festival

By Cécile Mury

Published on June 16, 2024 at 11:13 a.m.

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Ha tribute to the marginalized, to the lost souls, to the modest but stubborn survivors: after a joyful and vibrant week, the 48th edition of the Annecy festival ended yesterday evening with the triumph of a handful of singular and strong works, all entirely attached to the praise of difference.

The proof, above all, by the precious Crystal for the feature film in the official competition, the supreme award awarded this year to Memoir of a snail, by Australian Adam Elliott, chronicle both tender and cruel in stop motion of the little life of Grace Pudel, shy orphan and snail collector, who slowly comes out of her shell, after many setbacks in a gray, cold society and hostile, involving a lost twin, a fetish lover and a fanciful old girlfriend. A pale antiheroine, with shaggy hair and big ringed eyes, modeled in the same poetic and melancholy modeling clay as the endearing lost people of Mary & Maxthe filmmaker’s masterpiece, applauded by critics in 2009.

Much more sunny, but just as poignant, is the eccentric little heroine of Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Windowby the Japanese Shinnosuke Yakuwa, winner of the Paul Grimault prize (which rewards “ singularity and spirit of innovation », according to Marcel Jean, the artistic delegate of the festival). Where, in the middle of the Second World War, an eccentric and restless kid finally finds her place and her happiness in an atypical school, a sort of Japanese version of Montessori. Inspired by a true story (the autobiography of Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, a classic of children’s literature in Japan), this beautiful cartoon bathed in warm colors and compassion fully deserved to be distinguished.

This is also the case of Flow, a dreamlike adventure by Latvian Gints Zilbalodis, our favorite this year, who won no less than three prizes: that of the Jury, that of the public, and the Gan Foundation Prize for Broadcasting, with another wandering hero – this time, he is a simple cat, adorable and smart – lost in a world submerged by water, who, by meeting other animal species, learns to be open to otherness and mutual aid. We would have gladly given the Crystal to this cinematic experience of dazzling originality, produced by an artist barely thirty years old, who, in 2020, produced the dazzling film all alone in front of his computer. Elsewhere. But it is clear that, in an excellent 2024 vintage in official selection (with, among others, the very touching and delicate Slocum and me by Jean-François Laguionie, or even The most valuable commoditythe masterpiece by Michel Hazanavicius, already in competition at Cannes last month), the choice was thorny to say the least.

In the Contrechamp category, reserved for experimental films, the directors are celebrating: The Sueño of the Sultanaby the Spanish Isabel Herguera, a feminist odyssey in search of a utopian land, which won the grand prize, while Life, basically, by Czech filmmaker Kristina Dufkova, a stop-motion fable about adolescence, receives the jury prize.

While waiting for the other release dates of this batch of animated dreams, you can already award your own reward to the extraordinary Flowin theaters from October 30.

The complete list:

Feature films

Feature film crystal: Memoir of a Snailby Adam Elliot

Jury prize: Flowby Gints Zilbalodis

Paul Grimault Prize: Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Windowby Shinnosuke Yakuwa

Audience Award: Flowby Gints Zilbalodis

Gan Foundation Prize for Broadcasting: Flowby Gints Zilbalodis

Contrechamp Grand Prize: The Sueño of the Sultana by Isabel Herguera

Contrechamp jury prize: Life, basically by Kristina Dufková

Short films :

Short film crystal: Percebes by Alexandra Ramires and Laura Gonçalve

Jury prize: The car that came back from the sea by Jadwiga Kowalska

Audience Award : Hurikan by Jan Saska

Alexeïeff – Parker Prize: Beautiful Men by Nicolas Keppens

“Jean-Luc Xiberras” Prize for the first work: [S] by Mario Radev

“Off-Limits” Film Prize : Glass House by Boris Labbé

Television and commissioned films

Cristal for a commissioned film : Pictoplasma Opener 2023 by Will Anderson

Crystal for a TV production: A guitar in the sea by Sophie Roze

Jury Prize for a commissioned film : Ted-ED “How Did South African Apartheid Happen, and How Did It Finally End?” » by Aya Marzouk

Jury prize for a TV special: Lola and the Noise Piano by Augusto Zanovello

Jury prize for a TV series: Castle Life “The Ghost of Versailles” by Clémence Madeleine-Perdrillat and Nathaniel H’Limi

Graduation films

Crystal from the graduation film: carrotica by Daniel Sterlin-Altman

Jury prize: Pubert Jimbob by Quirijn Dees

Lotte Reiniger Prize: Maatitel by Govinda Sao

VR category

Best VR Artwork Crystal: Gargoyle Doyle by Ethan Shaftel

The entire list of winners can be found on the official website of the Annecy festival

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