'Fantastic Mr. Fox' nabs top prizes at Annecy

Animation Fest saw 10% jump in attendance for 50th edition

PARIS – Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" outfoxed the competition at the 50th Annecy International Animation Film Festival with the film taking top prizes the Cristal for best feature and the Audience Award as the festival ended its six-day run on Saturday night.

Dominique Monfery's "Eleanor's Secret" earned a Special Distinction award in the feature category whose jury included Ari Folman, Tim Rice and Manuela Schobel-Lumb.

Johannes Weiland and Uwe Heidschotter's German title "The Little Boy and the Beast" won the Cristal award for best TV production, Jakob Schuh and Max Lang took home the prize for best TV special for "The Gruffalo," and Michel Ocelot's French show "Dragons and Princesses" was crowned best TV series.

The animation fest aged gracefully with a 10% jump to 7,300 participants for its 50th edition. The parallel MIFA market also saw its attendance figures jump 16% and exhibitors increasing by 20%.

As more than 150,000 public animation-lovers came out for the festival during the course of the week, industry professionals headed to the colorful MIFA market. A Dreamworks master class attracted more than 600 people, the Ile-de-France film Commission held a dinner for American professionals and recruitment sessions and recently-launched Annecy networking initiatives saw participants mingling at all hours of the day and night. Conferences addressed themes including 3D TV, the competitiveness of European studios and VFX and animation.

The 51st Annecy International Animation Film Festival will be held June 6-11, 2011.