The third installment of the Despicable Me franchise will make its world premiere in Annecy. In what has become a tradition, the Paris-based Illumination MacGuff will debut its latest Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig comedy in a special event at the animation festival in the French Alps ahead of its U.S. release June 30.
The star-studded Animal Crackers, which is voiced by Emily Blunt, John Krasinski and Sylvester Stallone, will also premiere in competition ahead of its September release.
It will debut as one of the ten films in competition among Tehran Taboo, which will compete in the Critics' Week sidebar in Cannes, and Jian Liu's Have a Nice Day, which was in official competition in Berlin.
Director Celine Sciamma, writer of the Oscar-nominated My Life as a Zucchini, Ernest & Celine co-producer Stephan Roelants, and Mohamed Beyoud, artistic director of the Meknes Animation Festival will make up this year's jury.
Horror/comedy comic book adaptation Zombillenium from directing duo Arthur De Pins and Alexis Ducord, will be the opening night film, screening in competition.
Japanese animation made a strong showing in the competition selections with three films including Masaaki Yuasa's Lu Over the Wall, Naoko Yamada's A Silent Voice, and Sunao Katabuchi's In This Corner of the World.
The U.K.'s Ethel and Ernest, voiced by Jim Broadbent and Vanessa Redgrave from director Roger Mainwood, and U.K.-Poland co-production Loving Vincent from directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman,
China's entry is Xuan Liang and Chun Zhang's Big Fish & Begonia, and China will be featured as the country of honor with a special exhibit in the city's hillside castle.
The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales from Oscar-nominated Ernest & Celine director Benjamin Renner will also debut ahead of its June 21 release.
Pixar's short Coco, due in the U.S. in November, will have a special presentation ahead of the Cars 3 screening, opening the same day as its U.S premiere.
Captain Underpants, starring Kevin Hart and Jordan Peele, will make its French premiere following its June 2 release in the U.S.
Netflix's Blame!, an adaptation from Tsutomu Nihei's beloved manga of the same name, will drop on the SVOD in May but have a big screen special event in Annecy.
Oscar-nominated director Guillermo Del Toro attended Annecy for the first time last year to give a masterclass, and has now signed on as the patron of the first MIFA Campus program geared towards students and young professionals and tied into the accompanying market. He'll be the featured speaker and reflect on his career path.
Among the major executives giving keynotes are Sony Pictures Animation president Kristine Belson and Disney Television senior vp of original programming/general director Eric Coleman.
Oscar-nominated directing duo Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski will give a masterclass.
The festival will also add a VR section in partnership with Google, showing its Saturn Bars from a Gorillaz music video and the Sundance winner Dear Angelica from Oculus Story Studio.