Sebastien Laudenbach and Chiara Malta’s French-Italian 2D computer animation Chicken For Linda! won the Cristal for best feature film at Annecy International Animation Film Festival this evening (Saturday, July 17).
It was one of two prizes received by the film, alongside the Gan Foundation award for distribution.
Scroll down for the list of feature film winners
Chicken For Linda! (French title: Linda veut du poulet!) follows a mother and daughter, grieving following the loss of the mother’s late husband, who go on a quest across strike-paralysed Paris in search of the key ingredient for the chicken dish he used to cook.
It is written and directed by Laudenbach, whose previous work includes Cannes 2016 ACID title The Girl Without Hands, and Malta, who directed live-action 2019 Toronto entry Simple Women.
Screen’s review described Chicken For Linda! as “an appealing little charmer of a film, captured with a pleasingly lithe and lively animation style”. France’s Charades handles world sales, with a US deal with GKids struck during the festival.
The Annecy jury award went to Aron Gauder’s Four Souls of Coyote, about Native American teenagers confronting an oil pipeline project on their ancestral land; while the Paul Grimault award went to Japanese anime feature The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes. An audience award was presented to Benoit Chieux’s Sirocco and The Kingdom of the Winds.
In the Contrechamp section, 2D animation Robot Dreams, based on Sara Varon’s graphic novel, took the Grand Prix, with a jury award to puppet animation Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light.
This year’s festival saw the highest attendance yet, with a record 15,820 patrons across the seven days – a 19% increase from 2022. Screenings proceeded as normal after the knife attack in the town three days prior to the festival’s opening, with guests including Illumination’s Chris Meledandri offering their thoughts to the people of Annecy.
“More than ever, Annecy deserves its status as the world capital of animation film,” said Mickael Marin, CEO of Citia, which organises the festival. “This new attendance record symbolises the acknowledgement and trust of industry professionals. It is a community that couldn’t imagine missing this gathering and who showed their commitment, a few days after the events that shook our city.
“It also highlights the dynamism of an industry and the artists’ creativity.”
Major studios showcased upcoming work to the animation-savvy Annecy audience, including Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Universal’s Illumination title Migration, Netflix’s Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget, Apple’s Spellbound and Disney’s Wish.
The festival also confirmed the dates for its 2024 edition, from June 9 to 15, where the country focus will be on Portugal.
Annecy 2023 awards
Cristal for best film – Linda Wants Chicken! (Fr-It) dirs. Chiara Malta, Sebastien Laudenbach
Jury award – Four Souls of Coyote (Hun) dir. Aron Gauder
Paul Grimault award – The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes (Jap) dir. Tomohisa Taguchi
Audience award – Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds (Bel-Fr) dir. Benoit Chieux
Distribution award – Linda Wants Chicken!
Grand prix – Robot Dreams (Sp-Fr) dir. Pablo Berger
Jury award – Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light (Hun-Cze-Slovakia) dir. Filip Posivac
TV and commissioned films
Cristal for best film – November Ultra ‘Come Into My Arms’ (Fr) dir. Tamerlan Bekmurzayev
Jury award – The Beatles ‘I’m Only Sleeping’ (UK) dir. Em Cooper
Cristal for a TV production – Pebble Hill (Bel-Fr-Switz) dir. Marjolaine Perreten
First jury award for a TV series – Shape Island ‘Square’s Big Prank’ (US) dir. Drew Hodges
Second jury award for a TV series – Scavengers Reign ‘The Wall’ (US) dir. Vincent Tsui
Cristal for best VR work – Red Tail (Tai) dir. Fish Wang
Best original music award – La Sirene (Ger-Bel-Fr-Lux) dir. Sepideh Farsi, music by Erik Truffaz