Warner Bros. and Amblin Host Annecy Premiere of HBO Max’s “Gremlins” Series


HBO Max’s “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” is set for a world premiere at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 13.

Produced by Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Animation, the highly anticipated animated prequel series to the now classic film franchise will see its first episode set in Annecy’s largest auditorium, the lakeside Grande Salle de Bonlieu.

The world premiere will feature executive producers Tze Chun and Brendan Hay, as well as Joe Dante, director of the “Gremlins” films and consulting producer for the series. They will participate in a Q&A discussion after the screening on the making of the series in 10 half-hour parts.

Award-winning American film and television screenwriter, director, producer, and showrunner Tze (pronounced “Z”) Chun, founder of TKO Studios, a graphic novel and book publisher, also serves as series showrunner and wrote the series. An Emmya nominated television writer, Hay served as executive producer and showrunner on “Dawn of the Croods” and “Harvey Girls Forever!” Both of which are from DreamWorks Animation/Netflix. He also served as head writer for Lucasfilm Animation’s animated comedy series, “Star Wars Detours.”

In production since at least February 2021, when Variety unveiled the series, the plot and the voice of the series have been announced: a period piece set in 1920s Shanghai, it reveals how a 10-year-old Sam Wing – who becomes the future owner of the shop, Mr. Wing in the 1984 film – met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. They strike up a lifelong friendship as Wing attempts to return Gizmo to his family, occasionally encountering and battling colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. Meanwhile, the two and street thief Elle are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.

The announcement that “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” will air not only on HBO Max but also on Cartoon Network, along with a first image (seen above) of a very young, fresh-faced Gizmo playing on a device rolling, has fueled speculation that the series may be more specifically geared towards children than the movies. Whether this is true may well now be revealed in Annecy.

‘Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai’ marks the second major world premiere to be confirmed for this year’s Annecy Animation Festival after it was announced on Monday that Universal/Illumination’s ‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru’ will debut in Annecy, opening this year’s festival on June 13.

Many other big announcements are expected in the coming weeks, said Mikaël Marin, CEO of Citia, the organizer of the Annecy festival. Varietyconfirming that Annecy, after a fully online 2020 edition and a 2021 hybrid event, will return this year to a fully on-site festival where competition titles, masterclasses and work-in-progress unveilings will only be accessible at public present in Annecy.

Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2022
Courtesy of Annecy

No-show in China, but Annecy is currently preparing for a dynamic rebound in 2022

As it stands — although final participation depends on how COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine play out, Marin insisted —

This year’s Annecy is shaping up to be a dynamic event, although attendance levels are already affected by new outbreaks of COVID-19 in China and Hong Kong and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As of now, most countries have confirmed their flags except for China, Marin said. Variety. Russian state organizations will not be welcome in Annecy, he added.

Despite the loss of most delegates from the world’s largest economy, the reserved exhibition area in Annecy already reaches 7,000 square meters, which is not much lower than the 2019 all-time high of 8,000, said Véronique Encrenaz, MIFA market manager. .

Attendance stands at some 10,000 MIFA-accredited festival-goers or delegates for this year’s edition, compared to 12,300 in 2019.

Several factors explain Annecy’s rebound. The basic fundamentals that have fueled the growth of the global animation business since the turn of the century have not let up, despite the pandemic: studios and now streaming platforms are creating ever-increasing demand for animation; around the world, more and more countries are producing more and more content, Marin said.

Many studios and some countries – Canada, the UK, Spain, for example – seem ready to send larger delegations, in part because the demand for recruitment is intensifying. Hotels in Annecy are already fully booked, Marin said.

Coming out of a pandemic, there are a lot of projects and shows that need to be pitched in Annecy.

“There are countries still struggling with COVID. We still don’t know how Brazil will handle this year, for example,” Ecrenaz said.

She added, “On the other hand, we have countries that have grown so much because of content but haven’t spent so much. Two years without travelling. So now they want to spend a lot, they want to send their teams, the whole company, to enjoy the events.

The battle for Annecy, however, remains “to find a way to help all types of films and show the diversity of animation,” Marin explained, citing Denmark’s “Flee.” The now three-time Oscar-nominated animated documentary was shown as a project and then a work in progress at Annecy before winning the festival’s Best Crystal Award last year.

“We don’t have a red carpet but we have diversity, creation, new countries. It’s our red carpet and what we can give to the animation community and the world,” Marin said.

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Veronique Ecrenaz, Mickael Marin
Courtesy of ANNECY and MIFA


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