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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

"Animation Is Film" Festival

The Animation Is Film Festival has announced the preliminary competition line-up and jury for its very first year edition. The Festival will present a selection of new animated feature films from Asia, Europe, South America and North America. The full festival line-up will be announced and tickets will be on sale starting a month before hand on September 20th at Launching this October the festival will take place the 20th through the 22nd at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood. In addition to presenting a highly selective showcase there will be red carpets, filmmaker Q&As, special events, receptions, and both juried and audience awards. The inaugural event is being produced by GKIDS in partnership with Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Variety, with additional sponsors and media partners Google and Fathom Events.

Animation Is Film has ambitious goals. It aims to fill a gap they perceive to be in the market by establishing the first world class animation festival in the US, basing its home in the world capital of filmmaking, Hollywood. The Festival encourages and embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form. It not only considers, but celebrates the genre to be on par with live action filmmaking. Ideally, the festival will place itself in position to be the leading advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their work to the fullest range of expression of which the medium of animation is capable.

The current list of films in competition include the French entry, The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales (U.S. Premiere) directed by Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner (Oscar® nominees for Ernest & Celestine), a Chinese entry celebrating its North America premier, Big Fish and Begonia directed by Liang Xua and Zhang Chun, a Spanish film in its Los Angeles premier, Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (which has the distinction of being the Best Animated Feature at the 2017 Goya Awards) directed by Alberto Vázquez & Pedro Rivero, The Breadwinner, which is an Irish/Canadian c0-production celebrating its U.S. Premiere directed by Nora Twomey (co-director of the Oscar®-nominated The Secret of Kells), the Cristal Award Winner of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Lu Over The Wall directed by Japenes filmmaker Masaaki Yuasa, another Japanese film, Mary and the Witch's Flower directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Yonebayashi received an Oscar® nomination for When Marnie Was There), Germany's Tehran Taboo (Official Selection 2017 Cannes Film Festival) directed by Ali Soozandeh, and another French entry, Zombillenium directed by Arthur de Pins & Alexis Ducord.

The 2017 Jury so far (additional jurors to be announced) include Peter Debruge Chief film critic, Variety (jury chair), Allison Abbate, EVP Theatrical Animation, Warner Brothers Pictures and producer of The Iron Giant, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Lego Movie. Also included are Bonnie Arnold of DreamWorks Animation and the producer of Toy Story, and How to Train Your Dragon, Jorge R. Gutiérrez, director of Book of Life, film critic and historian Charles Solomon, and Mabel Tam, head film buyer at Landmark Cinemas.

More information will be released as it becomes available, but in the mean time I suggest you get your tickets now. It's not every day you have the opportunity to be a part of something at as it's beginning. Something tells me this beginning is going to be something.

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