New York-based animation producer and distributor GKIDS is partnering with Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Variety magazine to launch an annual animation film festival in L.A. The inaugural Animation Is Film event will feature 20 programs for both adults and families, including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives and short-film programs.
Animation Is Film aims to establish a world-class animation festival in the US market on par with major events in Europe, like Annecy. The festival will run from October 20 to 22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood (Mann’s Chinese Theater).
The festival’s mission is to champion filmmakers creating work outside of the constraints of conventional animation, to support women filmmakers and to spotlight filmmakers from a wide range of cultural, economic, national and geographic backgrounds.
The Animation Is Film organizing committee includes Eric Beckman (founder and CEO of GKIDS, co-founder of New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival), Patrick Eveno (CEO, CITIA – Annecy International Animation Film Festival), Mickaël Marin (CITIA managing director, head of economic development & Mifa), Marcel Jean (artistic director for Annecy International Animation Film Festival), Michelle Sobrino-Stearns (group publisher for Variety), Steven Gaydos (executive editor for Variety), Peter Debruge (chief film critic for Variety) and Fumi Kitahara (chair of publicity for Women in Animation).
GKIDS has scored nine Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations since 2009 for films like The Secret of Kells, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and The Song of the Sea (pictured). GKIDS also handles North American theatrical distribution for Studio Ghibli’s library of films, which includes Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke.
The Annecy International Animation Film Festival, which is currently underway in France, is organized by CITIA and includes feature films, short films, TV and commissioned films, graduation films, tributes, retrospectives, screening events and exhibitions.