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Netflix's Animation Showcase at The Annecy International Animation Film Festival

16/06/2022

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Netflixs Animation Showcase at The Annecy International Animation Film Festival

Entertainment

16 June 2022

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Today, Netflix took over the Th tre Bonlieu stage as it presented its Netflix Animation Showcase at the 61st Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

Featuring award-winning filmmakers and the Netflix team, the showcase celebrated Netflix's variety of animated stories across its preschool, kids, anime, adult, and family tent poles films and series.

Variety's Chief Film Critic, Peter Debruge hosted the event which unveiled exclusive first looks, shared behind-the-scenes clips and featured conversations with an array of filmmakers.

The showcase began with an exclusive sneak peek at The Sea Beast, an epic sea monster adventure directed by Chris Williams, which comes to Netflix on 8 July.

Chris William said, when I was a kid, I loved big adventure stories like The Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong and Lawrence of Arabia, and I wanted to make a movie that captured that spirit. A movie that is forward looking and at the same time acknowledges its influences in those classic adventure stories.

Next up, Henry Selick, director of Wendell & Wild introduced a clip from the animated tale starring Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key.

Henry Selick said, As a filmmaker, I believe animation isnt a genre unto itself, its a way to tell all sorts of stories. I choose stop motion animation which is the oldest type of animation in fact of filmmaking that there is. Stop motion for me is the most magical way to tell stories. It feels like actual magic, real magic and so thats why I am going to stick with it and why the stories I will choose to tell will be told in stop motion.

The director of My Father's Dragon, Nora Twomey took to stage and spoke about working on the creative journey behind her film with the five-time Academy Award -nominated animation studio Cartoon Saloon, the best thing about my job as a director is that I get to guide writers, storyboarders, character animators, FX artists and painters as they build worlds that feel real on an emotional level.

I witnessed each artists thought process - the truth behind every hand-drawn frame. We were a team working together, yet often remotely, through challenging circumstances; each artist crafting a story to help us all feel like were not alone in this scary world, added Nora Twomey.

From a dragon to an elephant, Wendy Rogers, director of The Magician's Elephant presented a special video and said, I think we have been really lucky to be able to make this film at Netflix because there is no house style, so they are open to films that don't fit a mould. This film is different from other films. It has a different tone. I am very excited we are able to bring all of the current animation technology and performance and the maturity of this art form into this film.

The co-directors of Nimona, Nick Bruno & Troy Quane spoke about their animated film based on the award-winning graphic novel by ND Stevenson which stars Chlo Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed and Eugene Lee Yang.

Set in a techno-medieval world unlike anything animation has tackled before, Nimona is a story about the labels we assign to people and the shapeshifter who refuses to be defined by anyone. Nick Bruno & Troy Quane added, This story has everything. Punk rock anarchy, murder, comedy, murder, knights, flying cars, shapeshifters, murder and love.

They went on to say: We couldnt do it alone and some real life heroes stepped up. We like to refer to them as our knights and also our chosen family - Annapurna, DNEG, and of course Netflix."

With more than half of Netflix's estimated global 222 million members having watched anime in the last year, the showcase gave a nod to upcoming anime projects including a sneak peek at Hiroyasu Ishidas Drifting Home.

Talking about the origins of his film, Hiroyasu Ishida said, For the longest time, I feel like I was drawn to the appearance of housing complexes. From the very beginning, I was wondering if there was a way of making a story out of the pair of characters, Kosuke and Natsume, and a housing complex setting. I kept brainstorming on paper, I somehow came up with a scenario that involved drifting. There was a drawing where I simply placed a single housing complex in the middle of the ocean. It was after this drawing that we were able to decide on the general direction of this project. It was the first big step."

Up next was a presentation on the upcoming preschool series, Spirit Rangers created by Karissa Valencia and executive produced by Chris Nee.

Chris Nee said, When I first met Karissa, I knew that she was a young, promising and talented storyteller, and when I found out that she was Native American, I knew that we needed her voice and I wanted to know what stories she wanted to tell from her unique point of view."

Speaking about the representation in the pre-school series, Karissa Valencia said, "Spirit Rangers has been a dream job for me. Not only do I get to make an epic, fantasy show, but I also get to battle those feelings of reassurance that Native kids still deal with today. She went on to add, "I cant wait for Native kids to see themselves on screen for the first time in a long time in modern space."

My Dad The Bounty Hunter co-creator Everett Downing stated that the series is a love letter to animation, science fiction and black families rolled into this action-packed comedy, and co-creator Patrick Harpin added, we thought of everything we loved about sci-fi and put it into the pot from, The Last Starfighter, to John Carpenter movies to The Fifth Element.

In a new Inside the Animation video debuted, Love, Death + Robots executive producer and director David Fincher added My hope is that we never get to a p
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