Annecy animation fest draws screening sked

New Bill Plympton film in competition

PARIS -- Organizers of the 2008 Annecy Animation Festival have named the toons set to screen at the event's 32nd edition, which promises to serve a main dish of Franco-American-Japanese fare with a side of Indian flavor when it runs in the South-Eastern French town June 9-14.

Competition titles vying for the festival's Cristal award for best feature include Shinji Aramaki's "Appleseed: Ex Machina" and Masayuki Jokima's "Piano no mori" from Japan, Nina Paley's "Sita Sings the Blues" and Bill Plympton's "Idiots and Angels" from the U.S., French films Christian Hincker's "Peur(s) du noir ...," Guillaume Ivernel's "Chausseurs de dragons" and Olivier Jean-Marie's "Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure," plus German Hayo Freitag's "Die Drei Rauber" and Adria Garcia's "Nocturna" from Spain.

In all, 1,867 films competed for the coveted slots, with 284 making it into the official selection and 216 selected for the competition category; including nine feature films, 43 short films, 45 TV movies, 44 advertising clips and 75 student films. Organizers cited an "explosion in Japanese participation" this year with 119 films sent in.