Annecy Animation Festival
For too long there has been a lack of true appreciation for animation as an art form in Hollywood, as has been written about here before.
Looking to take steps towards changing this are distributor GKIDS, the Annecy International Animation Festival, and Variety magazine with the launch of Animation Is Film, a new annual festival in Los Angeles.
According to Variety, the event “aims to fill a gap in the U.S. market by establishing a world-class animation festival on par with major events in Europe and Asia” and “will be a showcase for excellence in animation and for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their art.”
For some background, the biggest animation festivals take place entirely outside of the United States. Annecy, in France, was founded in 1960, making it older festival dedicated entirely to animation. The second oldest is Animafest Zagreb, founded in 1972, which takes place in Croatia and whose Gran Prix winners directly qualify for the Academy Award and Cartoon d’Or. Others include the Ottawa International Animation Film Festival and Anima Mundi in Brazil.
Another mission of the festival will be to “champion and support women filmmakers and filmmakers from a wide range of cultural, economic, and national and geographic backgrounds.”
“Creating a Stateside film festival that recognizes the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form has long been a dream of GKIDS,” founder and CEO Eric Beckman said. Over the years, GKIDS has received nine Oscar nominations, most recently for My Life as a Zucchini this year.
Annecy CEO Patrick Eveno commented, “It’s a very important step in our strategy to expand abroad. This new event is a wonderful opportunity to radiate animation and all its diversity in the heart of Hollywood and is a very important step in our strategy to expand abroad.”
The inaugural outing of the festival will take place from October 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood. This year’s schedule will comprise 20 programs including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives, and short film programs.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor