With the Cardiff closure, France has become Europe’s toon town. Beyond the floating Cartoon Forum, a combination of MIP Jr. and the Annecy International Film Festival and Market tips the scales in France’s favor. Annecy’s move to become an annual event, a decision that caused much protest and boycotting within animation circles, has killed off the Vital! International Animation Festival, which has been held every year in Cardiff since 1992.
Annecy’s decision to compete with Vital!, rather than continue to run in alternate years, was not the only factor to have an adverse impact on the festival. A crowded calendar of events also saw the London-based Second World Summit on Television for Children, which took place in March, hit Vital!’s attendance figures. U.S.-based animation companies also cut back on their presence this year.