‘Memoir of a Snail’ named best feature at Annecy Film Festival

Adam Elliot at Docklands.

Adam Elliot’s Arenamedia-produced animated feature Memoir of a Snail will come into August’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) with no shortage of momentum, having been named Best Feature at this year’s Annecy International Animation Festival.

The stop-motion drama, which features the voices of Sarah Snook, Jacki Weaver, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Magda Szubanski, and Eric Bana, took home the Cristal prize for feature film, following its world premiere at the French festival.

Snook voices Grace Puddle in the 70s-set story, which picks up with the lonely hoarder collecting snail ornaments to cope with having her family unit ripped apart and being separated from her twin brother. The film follows Grace as she embarks on a new friendship that gives her the courage to learn to love and let go of the things that clutter her home and mind.

Saturday’s award win was preceded by some favourable early reactions, with Variety‘s Peter Debruge noting the director’s knack for inserting “thoughtful and emotional” story devices “to the point you forget you’re watching people made of Plasticine”, while The Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney wrote that the film’s “quirky charms sneak up on you and the elaborate creation of an absurdly surreal, at times grotesque world is undeniably impressive”.

Speaking to IF, producer Liz Kearney said the critical reception and Cristal award were an apt recognition of not only Elliot’s “immense talent and distinctive style and voice” but also the “incredible skill and hard work of the crew and cast involved”.

Memoir of a Snail has been an 8-year journey for Adam and I and we are so excited that the film is finally out in the world,” she said.

“Winning the Cristal at Annecy is huge – the film is an independent stop motion feature, and only the third stop motion feature film ever made in Australia, so to receive such a great reception on an international level is significant.”

Memoir of a Snail will be released in cinemas via Madman Entertainment on October 17, following its Australian premiere at MIFF.