In 1989, Bill Kroyer traveled to the beautiful French town of Annecy for the oldest and largest animation festival in the world, coming home with the Apollo Award for his film,
. Twenty-four years later, Kroyer carried the Chapman banner to France, as a Dodge College Professor and Director of the Digital Arts program, serving as an international judge on the short films jury.
More than half a century ago, the Annecy festival was established to offer a platform for animation not available in the Cannes Film Festival. Today, some 7,000 animation professionals from 80 countries gather to see more than 500 films. Kroyer was joined on the short films jury by Montréal based composer Robert Marcel LaPage, who has written scores for hundreds of soundtracks, and Poland’s legendary animator Jerzy Kucia.
Kroyer enjoyed the high honor of being asked to present the Cristal Award, considered the most prestigious prize of the festival, to the Best Short Film. The winner was
, a film by Chris Landreth, who won an Oscar in 2004 for his short film,
. The winner of the Cristal for Best Short Film automatically qualifies for Academy Award consideration.
Among the films screened at the festival, Kroyer says that the short films favored by the European audiences “are rigorously challenging and more non-conventional than ours, a direct contrast to the feature films, which are very audience-appealing and straightforward.” To give students a taste of those non-conventional films, Kroyer directs students to the annual screening of Show of Shows, which producer Ron Diamond brings to Chapman each year. Kroyer expects that Subconscious Password will be among Diamond’s choices this year.