‘Little Nicholas’ wins Best Feature at Annecy 2022 Awards; check out the other winners

The 2022 edition of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and its market, the Mifa, garnered a  record-breaking attendance with 13,248 badge holders (an eight per cent increase compared to 2019), coming from 106 countries, who got together for a week dedicated to animation films. A total of 22 official awards and distinctions were presented by six juries.

“We promised you fireworks but this week was over and above our expectations! Firstly, in terms of attendance, but not only. Annecy 2022 is simply a reflection of how important animation film is worldwide: a major art form and an industry with remarkable agility that is constantly developing”, said Festival organiser CITIA CEO Mickaël Marin.

The amazing works that managed to bag awards are:

Annecy Cristal for Best Feature- Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be

The winner in this category is an animated feature film made using 2D computer and diverse techniques. This French movie is directed by Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre.

The film is about a mischievous and endearing boy, Little Nicolas. From schoolyard games and fights, to summer camp pranks and camaraderie, Nicolas lives a merry and enriching childhood.

The production credits include On Classics, Aton Soumache, Cédric Pilot, Bidibul Productions, Lilian Eche and Christel Henon. The distributors are  BAC Films, David Grumbach, Charades and Pierre Mazars.

Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be

Jury Award for Best Feature & Gan Foundation Award for Distribution- No Dogs or Italians Allowed

The film is directed by Alain Ughetto using clay animation technique. Gebeka Films was responsible for the distribution.

Early 20th century, in the Ughetto family’s home village, Ughettera, Northern Italy. Life in the region had become very difficult and the Ughettos dreamed of a better life abroad. Legend has it that Luigi Ughetto crossed the Alps and started a new life in France, thus changing his beloved family’s destiny forever. His grandson retraces their story.

Jury Distinction for feature films:

1)My Love Affair with Marriage–  Directed by Signe Baumane, the film is produced by Locomotive Productions, Roberts Vinovskis, The Marriage Project, LLC, Sturgis Warner, Anevita Films and Raoul Nadalet.

Synopsis: From an early age, songs and fairytales convinced Zelma that Love would solve all her problems as long as she abided by societal expectations of how a girl should act. But as she grew older something didn’t seem right with the concept of love: the more she tried to conform, the more her body resisted. A story about the acceptance of the inner female rebellion.

2)Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman- The movie directed by Pierre Foldes is made using 2D/3D computer animation and rotoscope. The movie is targeted at young adults.

Synopsis: A lost cat, a giant talkative frog, and a tsunami help an unambitious bank employee, his frustrated wife, and a schizophrenic accountant to save Tokyo from an earthquake and find a meaning to their lives.

Contrechamp Award- Dozens of Norths

The original title of the film made in Japan and France is Ikuta no Kita. Directed by Koji Yamamura, the film is made using drawing on paper and 2D computer techniques.

Synopsis: Here, everything is The North. This is an account of the people I met in The North. However, my fragmented memory doesn’t capture the essence at all.

Contrechamp Jury Distinction- Chun Tae-il: A Flame That Lives On

The South Korean film directed by Jun-pyo Hong is made using 2D computer techniques. 

Synopsis: When Taeil gets hired as a tailor’s assistant, he dreams of becoming a fully-fledged tailor to be able to financially support his family. But he finds himself constantly reminded of the laborers’ inferior working conditions. The young 22-year-old Taeil decides to confront reality and become the flame of hope himself.

Cristal Award for a Short Film and France TV Award for a Short Film – Amok

This film made in Romania is directed by Balázs Turai. The film made using 2D computer techniques is without any dialogue or commentary. 

After losing his fiancée and his good looks in a freak accident, Clyde must confront his inner demon.


Jury Award for a Short Film- Steakhouse 

The film is directed by Spela CADEZ. The short film is made using drawing on paper technique.

Synopsis: The steak has been marinating for a few days now. The pan is hot. Franc’s stomach is rumbling. But Liza’s colleagues prepare a surprise birthday party for her. Will she get home in time?

Jury Distinction Award- Anxious Body

The Jury Distinction “For its beautifully crafted animation and its great physical experience” went to Anxious Body. The short film is directed by  Yoriko Mizushiri.

Synopsis:Living things, artificial things, geometric shapes, and lines. When these different things meet, a new direction is born.

Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for a First Film-  The Record

The film is made using drawing on paper and 2D computer techniques and is directed by Jonathan Laskar.

Synopsis: A traveller gives an antiques dealer a magic vinyl record: “It reads your mind and plays on your lost memories”. Obsessed by this endless record, he listens to it again and again.

Off-Limits Award – Intersect

Intersect is directed by Dirk Koy. This is a visual investigation of the interface of the real and virtual world in 5 chapters. Digital interventions are made using natural surfaces.

Cristal for a TV Production- My Year of Dicks

The TV special for young adults is directed by Sara Gunnarsdottir.

Synopsis: Hilarious and genre-mashing, an imaginative 15-year-old is stubbornly determined to lose her virginity despite the pathetic pickings in the outskirts of Houston in the early 90’s.

Jury Award for a TV Series- Two Little Birds “Too Much Feathers”

The 03 min 30s × 20 episodes series is directed by Alejo Schettini and Alfredo Soderguit. 

Synopsis:Two little birds living in the same tree. One is white and the other is black. Both live in peace and harmony until something new enters the scene.

Jury Award for a TV Special- The House

The special is made using diverse techniques including animated objects, puppets and live action sequences. It is directed by  Emma De Swaef, Marc James Roels, Niki Lindroth Von Bahr and Paloma Baeza.

Synopsis: Across different eras, a poor family, an anxious developer and a fed-up landlady become tied to the same mysterious house in this dark comedy.

Cristal for a Commissioned Film- Save Ralph

The educational film is directed by Spencer Susser.

Meet Ralph, a modest rabbit, as we follow him throughout a typical day as a product tester in this mockumentary style stop-motion animation. A poignant and heartbreaking critique of animal testing.

Jury Award for a Commissioned Film- Aline

This is a 2D animation music video directed by Wes Anderson.

Wes Anderson has directed a new animated music video for Jarvis Cocker’s rendition of the 1965 Christophe track “Aline”, performed as the fictional pop star Tip Top.

Cristal for a Graduation Film-  Persona

This graduation short film is directed by Sujin Moon. The film is about the process of being encroached upon by a persona.

Jury Award for a Graduation Film- A Dog Under a Bridge

This film is made in China using 2D/3D computer techniques alongside live action sequences. The film is directed by Rehoo Tang. 

Synopsis: I’m a dog who lives under a bridge in a park…

Jury Distinction for a Graduation Film- Mom, What’s up with the Dog?

The film is directed by Lola Lefevre.

Synopsis: Gwen is a young girl who just turned 11. As she is discovering her sexuality, she catches her dog laughing.

Cristal for the Best VR Work- Glimpse

The film is directed by Benjamin Cleary and Michael O’Connor.

A highly emotive, visual feast set in the imaginative mind of a heartbroken panda called Herbie, who has recently broken up with his deer girlfriend Rice.

Jury Distinction for the Best VR Work- Goliath: Playing With Reality

The short film is directed by Barry Gene Murphy and May Abdalla. 

After a decade of isolation in psychiatric institutions, Jon, a paranoid schizophrenic, finds his salvation in online video games.

The winners of special prizes include: City of Annecy Award- Reparations (directed by Wilson BORJA), YouTube Award- The Invention of Less (directed by Noah Erni), Festivals Connexion Award-Terra incognita (directed by Pernille M. A. Kjaer and Adrian Dexter), André-Martin Award for a French Short Film- Histoire pour 2 Trompettes (directed by Amandine Meyer), Best Original Music Award for a Feature Film, sponsored by the SACEM- Quantum Cowboys (directed by Geoff Marslett), Best Original Music Award for a Short Film, sponsored by the SACEM & Young Audience Award- The Queen of the Foxes (directed by Marina Rosset) and  CANAL+ Junior Jury Award- La calesita (directed by Augusto Schillaci).

During the same evening, Director Guillermo del Toro, originally from Guadalajara, announced to the audience that Mexican animation will take pride of place in 2023, and in the presence of the Mexican Ambassador in France, Madame Blanca Elena Jiménez Cisneros. For this tribute, creator of Maya and the Three and El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, Jorge Gutiérrez will be designing the 2023 Festival poster.

“Mexican animation is little known and deserves to be the focus of a great National overview. Over the last 20 years, discerning moviegoers have discovered works from incredible short film directors: René Castillo, Karla Castañeda, Sofía Carrillo, Rita Basulto, Andrea Robles Jiménez, and Aria Covamonas. It’s time for the international animation film community to take a closer look at the country who has also given us some of the major creators of contemporary live-action filmmaking,” said artistic director Marcel Jean.