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Feature FilmFestivals

LA’s Animation Is Film Festival Announces Initial Feature Competition Line-up

A major animation festival is coming to Los Angeles for the first time in many years. The inaugural edition of Animation Is Film is set to to take place October 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood.

Uniquely, Animation Is Film is dedicated primarily to animated features, a reflection of the incredible growth and quality of recent foreign animated features from regions like Asia, Europe, and South America. The festival is produced by GKIDS in partnership with Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Variety.

In advance of the full festival line-up, which will be released on September 20, the festival organizers have announced an initial line-up of eight features that will be screened in competition. Among those films are many of the season’s key Oscar contenders. The films are:

  • The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales (U.S. Premiere)
    Directors: Patrick Imbert, Benjamin Renner, France, 2017
  • Big Fish and Begonia(North American Premiere)
    Directors: Liang Xua, Zhang Chun, China, 2016
  • Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Los Angeles Premiere)
    d. Alberto Vázquez & Pedro Rivero, Spain, 2015
  • The Breadwinner (U.S. Premiere)
    d. Nora Twomey, Ireland/Canada, 2017
  • Lu Over The Wall (North American Premiere)
    d. Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2017
  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower (North American Premiere)
    d. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017
  • Tehran Taboo (North American Premiere)
    d. Ali Soozandeh, Germany, 2017
  • Zombillenium (North American Premiere)
    d. Arthur de Pins & Alexis Ducord, France, 2017

Besides screenings, the festival will also include red carpet premieres, filmmaker Q&As, receptions, both juried and audience awards, and other special events.

The jury chair will be Variety’s chief film critic Peter Debruge, with the rest of the jury comprised of Allison Abbate (EVP of Animation Warner Brothers Pictures and producer on The Iron Giant, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Lego Movie), Bonnie Arnold (DreamWorks Animation producer, How to Train Your Dragon), Jorge R. Gutiérrez (director, Book of Life), Charles Solomon (film critic/historian), and Mabel Tam (head film buyer, Landmark Cinemas).

Tickets for the festival go on sale starting September 20 at

  • My gosh…

    I have a huge dire need to see so many of these films so freaking badly!!!

    I’ve already own a copy of The Big Bad Fox graphic novel and I’m very happy to say that I’ve already fallen in love with it and so I know that I will absolutely love the movie when it comes out on DVD. Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner looks freaking amazing and me being a huge fan of the studio, I know for sure that I’m going to love it just as much as their other past projects. As for Big Fish and Begonia, I’ve actually watched the trailer a few days ago and my goodness, I was just completely blown away of how gorgeous the visuals were! If that ever comes out on DVD in North America, you definitely know for sure that I will pick up a copy of that movie. It also looks like one of those movies that will be a huge tear jerker.

  • Xe4

    Too bad I don’t lives in LA. I wan’t to see… basically all of those films.

    I’m almost tempted to drive to LA from New Mexico, and would if I wasn’t stupidly busy and broke.

  • Cameron Ward

    i WISH I could go there…I would LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE to watch all of those films…..too bad they can’t bring this to Austin, TX.

  • Marc Noel

    Lu over the wall played at the Montreal Fantasia festival this past july,so it’s not a north american premiere,just saying.

  • ea

    That looks like a better lineup than what the Oscars will probably nominate next year due to the rules-change.

    • Alex Hartsell

      I don’t know I have all my bets on The Breadwinner, Coco, Captain Underpants, The Lego Batman Movie and Mary and the Witch’s Flower to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature 2017 and to be the best animated films of 2017.

  • These look pretty impressive based on the screen shots alone.