‘Animation Is Film’ Festival announces initial feature competition line-up and jury members

Animation is Film has announced the preliminary competition line-up and jury for its second annual festival to take place between 19 to 21 October at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

The Festival will present a selection of new animated features from Asia, Europe, South America and North America, with both juried and audience prizes. Mamoru Hosoda’s hugely successful Mirai will open the festival with Hosoda in attendance.

This year’s festival will feature over 30 titles- 11 films in Competition, three world premieres, four North American premieres and two United States premieres. Two prizes – the Jury Prize (competition films only) and the Audience Award will be awarded.

The festival will also include a four-film retrospective of opening night of Hosoda’s work who will attend all festival screenings featuring his work. Additionally, it will include a celebration of the 20th Anniversary screening of The Prince of Egypt, which received an Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’ –When You Believe. The film pioneered the marriage of traditional ‘hand drawn’ work with state-of-the-art computer animation.  Original creative artists from the film will be in attendance.

The festival will also feature special footage from some of the most anticipated animated features of 2018 including Walt Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet and Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Additional programs and events will be announced shortly.

GKIDS CEO Eric Beckman said, “After last year’s incredible inaugural event, we’re thrilled to present the second annual Animation Is Film Festival in Los Angeles. For film lovers and creators who can’t travel to Annecy or the other major animation events, AIF brings the best animated filmmaking from around the world under one roof for a long weekend of big-screen binge-watching, filmmaker Q&As, red carpet premieres, studio events, workshops and parties. Many thanks to our jury, partners, sponsors and filmmakers! Can’t wait to see everyone there!”


The films in competition this year are Another Day of Life, Bunuel in the Labyrinth Of The Turtles, Funan, I Want To Eat Your Pancreas, Mirai, Okko’s Inn, Pachamama, Penguin Highway, Ruben Brandt, Collector, Seder-Masochism, and Tito And The Bird.

The jury members in 2018 includes- Peter Debruge ( Variety chief film critic/ jury chair), Allison Abbate (Warner Animation Group EVP), Kobe Bryant (Oscar winner and NBA superstar), Melissa Cobb (Netflix VP, Kids and Family), Dean de Blois (director- How To Train Your Dragon 1 and 2), Carolyn Giardina (The Hollywood Reporter editor), Jorge Gutierrez (filmmaker, The Book of Life), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (filmmaker,  Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3), Henry Selic (filmmaker, Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline), Charles Solomon (critic and historian), Mabel Tam (Landmark Theatres VP and head film buyer) and Anne Thompson (Indiewire Critic).

The festival is being produced by GKIDS in partnership with Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Variety and Fathom Events.  Additional sponsors include: Animation Magazine, Cartoon Brew, AWN, Loews Hotels, Shout! Factory, ASIFA-Hollywood, Blue Sky Studios, DreamWorks Animation, ELMA, Paramount Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, UniFrance, CalArts, Consulate of France, UCLA School of Theater, Film & TV and USC School of Cinematic Arts.

‘Ruben Brandt’

“For Annecy, it is a great pleasure to be associated again with GKIDS and all the partners of Animation is Film for this second edition which looks as successful as the first. This is an additional opportunity for Annecy to support films, creators and promote animation in all its dimensions and all its diversity,” added Annecy CEO and director Mickael Marin.

Animation Is Film aims to fill a gap in the market by establishing the first world class animation festival in the US, with its home in the world capital of filmmaking.  The festival embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form on par with live action filmmaking and will be vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their work to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of.