This year in Annecy 2019 the XR industry had a warm welcome. With a hard reboot on immersive contents – from MIFA’s conferences, the immersive Dome to VR Competition – the biggest animation film festival in the world created a real place to discuss innovations and storytelling under the (almost) sunny weather of Annecy. Here’s why it makes sense.
In XR, animation is key
It’s hard to miss the opportunity of stepping in an animated world in VR or AR. It’s the perfect material to embrace all creative possibilities and directions you may have under a headset. It’s no surprise the jury choose to reward GLOOMY EYES, co-produced with talents between Argentina (3Dar – our interview) and France (Atlas V, ARTE). Alongside 8 others experiences, the selection was a great representation of our industry’s vitality, paving the way of future interactive worlds you don’t want to miss.
And yes, next year is Annecy’s 60th birthday and we don’t want to miss this party.
In MIFA you’ll meet people & projects
There are few places in the creative world you’ll meet quite everyone. If Cannes is the definitive business center on this side of the planet, Annecy is really at the crossroads of studios (animation, VFX…), industries (software, clusters, countries…) and creation (artists, producers…). With more than 4000 attendees from cinema and television, gathering creative talents and production people, work-in-progress, MIFA’s market was already XR ready.
This year MIFA’s team built more bridges to connect animation and XR than ever, from common backgrounds to future of storytelling. And yes, the XR industry is still looking for its core business between cinema, gaming or videogames. And maybe we don’t need to search for a unique model. But animation’s DNA is everywhere, in the softwares you’ll use, the production assets you’ll need or the stories you’ll tell.
Work on your IP
Intellectual Property is a great way to develop universes of multi-platforms, and the animation world is already aware of that. This year PLAYMOBIL the movie opened the festival, and 2 experiences (the third one is coming this summer) were presented at the XR Dome, with more than 5700 people dancing and cooking with headsets. We watched DOCTOR WHO: THE RUNAWAY, an experience where you were lucky enough to travel with the Doctor for a short adventure together. GLOOMY EYES or WOLVES IN THE WALL (from Neil Gaiman’s novel) were presented as first episode of 3.
And there are worlds to conquer. Gathering new media at Annecy makes sense that way; from a unique creation perspective, everything is here to open new interactive doors for storytellers. As we’re looking for better contents and easier productions tools, Annecy 2019 was the best rendez-vous for these questions.
Media is everywhere at Annecy 2019
2019 is a year of huge development for the XR community in visibility. Main artistic events have now consolidated their actions, followed now by others. In the US, it’s no secret Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca are keys. In Europe and Asia more festivals are opening their selections and competitions to virtual and augmented realities. But there is one thing missing: real media coverage and feedbacks.
In the US, few journalists and influencers – Jesse Damiani and Charlie Fink for Forbes, Kent Bye or Lucas Rizzotto – are working hard to ask questions and reports every time possible. But the XR creative world is still missing some highlights, despite showcasing innovative experiences and great talents (from Eliza McNitt to Jan Kounen, from Pete Billington to Céline Tricart). In Annecy, the press is here and looking for new things to watch and critic. What should we do to help them in 2020?