Disney’s Paperman & Patrice Leconte’s The Suicide Shop to premiere at Annecy 2012

The opening ceremony of Annecy International Animation Film Festival, on Monday 4th June will get underway with the world premiere of Disney’s latest short, Paperman. Using a groundbreaking new technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction with Paperman. Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in midcentury New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. Using only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him.   Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Paperman pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction.   Imagine a city where people no longer have a taste for life, so much so that the shop that sells poison and rope does the best trade. But things will change when the boss gives birth to a child who is the joy of life incarnate. This is how the synopsis reads for The Suicide Shop, the film that will be lifting the curtain on this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival, on Monday 4th June.   Presented at a Work in Progress session at Annecy 2010, director Patrice Leconte and producer Gilles Podesta will be honouring us with their presence again to offer this sneak preview of the finished project. The famous French filmmaker took up a real artistic and technical challenge with this feature in stereoscopic 2D, his first venture into animation.   This musical comedy film adaptation of the bestseller by Jean Teulé, focuses on the life of a family who is thriving from their business selling paraphernalia needed for committing suicide. However, this comfortable existence in the mortuary trade is disrupted by the birth of their latest arrival, a baby brimming over with the joys of life. Could this be the start of their downfall?   Patrice Leconte: remember that this film aficionado has also dabbled in comic books and written and illustrated for the comics magazine Pilote, between 1970 and 1975, thanks to Marcel Gotlib and René Goscinny. connect@animationxpress.com