ANIMATION IS FILM is an argument many have made over the years, and now the name of the first major animation film festival in the US.
The festival is being developed by GKIDS, a production and distribution company for animated films like My Life as a Zucchini and My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, two hilarious and innovatively stylish animations whose creators are being heralded as some of the biggest up-and-comers in the industry. GKIDS ensure these films find their way to domestic screens and help other foreign creations, such as Studio Ghibli films, find a place Stateside.
GKIDS will launch the festival this October in partnership with France’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Variety. The first edition of the festival will run Oct. 20-22 at Hollywood’s TLC Chinese 6 Theatre, showcasing 20 programs, including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives and short film programs.
ANIMATION IS FILM will fill the U.S. gap, which is obvious when compared to other countries who have their own animation-centric festivals such as France’s Annecy, Montreal’s Stop Motion Festival and Seoul’s International Cartoon and Animation Festival. In the U.S. most animation films are placed in other sections of larger film festivals while nearly all other countries have film festivals devoted solely to animation.
The festival will also aim to feature female and minority filmmaking, an important facet for a festival looking to lift animation into the upper echelons of cinematic art. GKIDS Founder and CEO Eric Beckman said his hopes for the festival in a statement, “Creating a stateside film festival that recognizes the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form has long been a dream of GKIDS. We are thrilled…[to] bring exceptional animated filmmaking from around the world to audiences.”
You can watch a clip from My Life as a Zucchini here.