China Academy of Art China Academy of Art

Just the other day, Cartoon Brew reported from Feinaki Beijing Animation Week, a dynamic Chinese festival committed to showing top-flight artistic animation. And now we’ve got wind of another event like it: The West Lake International Animation Festival (IAF), whose inaugural edition will be held in Hangzhou on April 16–19, 2020. It will subsequently be held every two years.

Animation festivals in China are hit and miss, with many privileging spectacle over screenings. IAF is shaping up differently, with an esteemed curatorial team and ambitious programming. The artistic director is Liu Jian, the acclaimed director of indie feature Have a Nice Day. Among the experts assisting with the event is Gerben Schermer, the former director of the now-defunct Holland Animation Film Festival. He resigned last year following an acrimonious dispute with the festival’s board.

For its first edition, the festival, which is hosted by the China Academy of Art (see images above and below), will feature three strands: a competition, a non-competitive screening section, and a forum. The competition will be divided into international shorts and international student films. At the forum, animators, scholars, and producers will be invited to run seminars, workshops, and other activities.

The festival’s website currently lists two out-of-competition screenings: a panorama of Chinese independent animation since 1990 and a program of recent films from across the world. There will also be exhibitions devoted to illustration and comics.

The festival is accepting submissions for the competition until January 31, 2020. Entry is free. For more information and to submit, head to the official website.

China Academy of Art China Academy of Art West Lake IAF poster

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