Netflix’s the Summit of the Gods Kicks off Opening Night, Followed By Gkids’ Belle as Centerpiece, With Neon’s Flee Closing the Festival
What You Need to Know:
- ANIMATION IS FILM (AIF) announced today the competition line-up and other special events for its fourth edition, which takes place in-person October 22-24 and returns to its home at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The festival kicks off Opening Night on Friday, October 22 with the North American premiere of the highly anticipated Netflix feature, The Summit Of The Gods, followed by an in-person Q&A with award-winning director Patrick Imbert (The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales). On Saturday, October 23, the Centerpiece film features the West Coast Premiere of GKIDS’ Belle, directed by Oscar® nominee Mamoru Hosoda (Mirai) who will also do an in-person Q & A following the premiere. The West Coast Premiere of NEON’s award-winning Flee, directed by Jonas Rasmussen, will close the festival Sunday, October 24. Tickets for ANIMATION IS FILM are now on sale at animationisfilm.com.
- AIF partnered up with multiple industry organizations to present this year’s festival: ASIFA-Hollywood, Cartoon Network, Crunchyroll, Dreamworks, ELMA, Fathom Events, Funimation, Illumination, Laika, Netflix, Paramount Animation, Pixar, Shout! Factory, Sony Pictures Animation, Unifrance, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Warner Animation Group (WAG), and Warner Bros. Animation. The festival, founded by GKIDS and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, presents a selection of new animated feature films from Asia, Europe, South America and North America, with both juried and audience prizes. This year, AIF proudly presents 12 features in competition, 20 programs overall with shorts, and Behind-the-Scenes presentations of Disney’s upcoming Encanto presented by its director in person.
- AIF will also host the North American premiere of Funimation’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission, the third feature film in the global hit anime franchise, offering a sneak peek to fans ahead of its U.S. theatrical release on October 29, 2021. The Festival is also proud to present Studio on the Big Screen, a slate of studio titles that were not able to screen in a theatrical setting upon release and will be offered to cinema-going public for the first time in Los Angeles: Pixar’s Luca, presented in-person by director Enrico Casarosa and producer Andrea Warren; and Sony Pictures and Netflix’s The Mitchells vs the Machines, presented in-person by producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and co-director Jeff Rowe; and Vivo, presented in person by directors Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords.
- Other special sections include the popular Best of Annecy: Female Directors shorts block, presented in partnership with Annecy and Women In Animation. In addition to on-screen programming, AIF is proud to include, for the first time, a special in-lobby exhibit. Award-winning animation studio Laika will display a variety of puppets and sets in the lobby of the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, available to all audiences, for the duration of the Animation Is Film weekend.
- To see the full list of of films at the event, make sure to visit the link, here: animationisfilm.com.
"This year’s Animation is Film lineup represents the very best feature animation from around the world, bringing to Hollywood world premieres as well as critically acclaimed, prize-winning titles from the Cannes, Annecy, Sundance, Telluride and Toronto festivals. After last year’s hiatus due to COVID, the Los Angeles animation and film communities are clamoring to gather together to see these films on the big screen, and we at AIF are enormously proud to present them."
Matt Kaszanek, Director of AIF
“Animation is back in Los Angeles and that's excellent news! As one of the festival’s co-founders, we are thrilled to support the fourth edition of Animation is Film. This year’s lineup is exceptional by its quality and its diversity: more than ever, animation is film!”
Marcel Jean, Artistic Director, Annecy International Animation Film Festival
2021 Animation Is Film Slate of Japanese Films
Belle (Japan / dir. Mamoru Hosoda, West Coast premiere)
Visionary director Mamoru Hosoda (AIF '18, Mirai) returns to Animation Is Film with Belle, a GKIDS release. Suzu is a 17-year-old high school student living in a rural village with her father. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. One day, she enters “U,” a virtual world of 5 billion members on the Internet. There, she is not Suzu anymore but Belle, a world-famous singer. She soon meets with a mysterious creature. Together, they embark on a journey of adventures, challenges and love, in their quest to become who they truly are.
* Director/Producer Mamoru Hosoda will appear in-person.
The Deer King (Japan / dir. Masashi Ando & Masayuki Miyaji, West Coast premiere)
The Deer King, a GKIDS release, is a sweeping fantasy epic, and the directorial debut of acclaimed animator Masashi Ando, whose work on such landmark films as Spirted Away, Paprika and Your Name helped shape the world of modern Japanese animation.
Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (Japan / dir. Ayumu Watanabe, U.S. premiere)
Ayumu Watanabe (AIF '19, Children of the Sea) returns to Animation is Film. The story revolves around a mother named Nikuko and her daughter, Kikuko. Both live on the same boat due to different circumstances. Daily life under this umbrella will lead them to live different types of problems and experiences that will help them grow as a family.
Pompo the Cinephile (Japan / dir. Takayuki Hirao, U.S. premiere)
Pompo is a talented, gutsy, and unapologetic movie producer. She works on her filmmaking day and night in the movie capital Nyallywood. Gene is tasked with directing the next script for his boss, will he succeed his first time as a director and create a “masterpiece”? He sets out to find out, with a script built around the legendary aging actor Martin Braddock (think Brando) and a young actress seeking her first big break. Feature is a GKIDS release.
Poupelle of Chimney Town - English dub (Japan / dir. Yusuke Hirota, World premiere)
It is the story of young Lubicchi living among the thick smoke from the chimneys of his isolated town, yearning to see the “stars” — to know the truth — his father always told him about. One Halloween night he meets Poupelle, a man made of garbage, and together they look to the sky as their adventure begins. This feature is an Eleven Arts release.
* Virtual Q+A with director Yusuke Hirota and screenwriter Akihiro Nishino
Special Event Screening
My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission (dir. Kenji Nagasaki, U.S. Premiere)
U.A. High School students Izuku Midoriya, Shoto Todoroki, and Katsuki Bakugo face the greatest crisis in My Hero Academia history, with only two hours to save the world! During their internship with the number one Pro Hero Endeavor Agency, Deku and his new friend Rody find themselves wanted nationwide for a crime they didn’t commit. Can Deku and his friends stop Humarise’s global plans of eliminating all Quirks?
* Special guests TBD
Best of Annecy: Spotlight on Women Directors
Returning for its third straight year, Animation Is Film is proud to present this essential showcase featuring some of the best animated shorts directed by women in 2021. Programmed in partnership with Annecy and Women In Animation, this special program features a diverse array of beautiful, thought-provoking short films from around the world.
Source: Official Press Release