The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Animated Film Centre (CICA), in collaboration with the Association of French Animated Cinema (AFCA), hope to show the richness of animated cinema through its creativity but also its many techniques.

The diversity of this approach is reflected in some 40 films selected on the basis of 5 themes: The Menagerie, Modern Tales, Whodunits and Chases, Taking Flight, and Familiar and Unusual Worlds.

“In December 1998, a young scrap of a lad, hero of a feature film called Kirikou and the Sorceress, left home to conquer the public. His triumph showed that France could easily hold its own in animated film. In fact, statistics demonstrate that in the last fifteen years, France has become the European leader, and third in the world, in the production of animation.

To produce a lot is good, but to produce good films is better. Despite the considerable problem of career survival, France's makers of short films have succeeded in marrying quality with quantity. Although their work will never screen as often as the major animated series that populate children's TV, these auteurs continue to work behind the scenes, often entirely on their own, and sometimes for entire months, for films of just a few minutes.

They have faith in what is the only art form to be mastered by a filmmaker to a fraction of a second. They know that, as René Laloux (director of The Fantastic Planet) said, “Time does not respect what we do without it.”

In looking back over ten years of French production, these five programs illustrate this vitality admirably. All the different techniques are represented: clay modeling, puppets, pastel under camera, scratching on film, and even computer-generated images. All fields of expression are covered as well: humour, poetry, surrealism, allegories, and so on.

This festival of images, truly an event for the mind, the spirit, and the imagination, proves to us that the new wave has become well established, and the 21st century will be a very animated one.” – Bernard Génin, journalist.