Animation Is Film (AIF) announced the competition line-up and other special events for its fourth edition of Animation Is Film Festival, which takes place in-person from 22 to 24 October and returns to its home at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood.
Kicking off on 22 October is the North American premiere of the highly anticipated Netflix feature, The Summit of The Gods, followed by an in-person question and answer session with award-winning director Patrick Imbert (The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales). The Summit of the Gods is an adaptation of the popular manga and tells the story of a Japanese adventure photographer and mountain climber obsessed with finding a legendary climber obsessed with scaling Mount Everest.
On 23 October, the festival will feature the west coast premiere of GKIDS’ Belle, directed by Oscar nominee Mamoru Hosoda (Mirai) who will also do an in-person question and answer round following the screening. Belle is the fantastic 2D musical rework of Beauty and the Beast. The west coast premiere of NEON’s award-winning Flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, will close the festival on 24 October. Flee is a 2D animated documentary about an Afghan refugee describing his 20-year survival story.
“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,” said AIF director Matt Kaszanek.
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 in late October. The festival will even 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; Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon and Vivo, presented in person by directors Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords.
AIF has 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.
Some other special sections of the 2021 event include the popular Best of Annecy: Female Directors shorts block, presented in partnership with Annecy and Women in Animation. “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,” said Annecy International Animation Film Festival artistic director Marcel Jean.