Animation is Film Animation is Film

L.A.’s Animation is Film (AIF) festival, founded by distributor GKids and the Annecy Festival, has unveiled its 2022 competition lineup, special events, and presentations for this year’s larger-than-ever edition, including a trio of world premieres.

Animation is Film 2022 will take place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood October 21-23 and, for the first time in AIF history, expand into a second weekend with events programmed for October 29.

Opening night will feature the U.S. premiere of Henry Selick’s stop-motion feature Wendell & Wild. After the screening, Selick will host a Q&A session with the audience.

Several other directors will be in attendance with their latest films as well, including Nora Twomey (My Father’s Dragon), Kajsa Næss (Titina), Inna Sahakyan (Aurora’s Sunrise), Mascha Halberstad (Oink), Alê Abreu (Perlimps), and Alberto Vázquez (Unicorn Wars).

AIF will mark the world premiere for two features: Næss’s Titina and Kotono Watanabe’s Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom. Tonko House’s Netflix event series Oni: Thunder God’s Tale, directed by Dice Tsutsumi, will also get its theatrical world premiere at AIF.

In addition to the finished features screening at this year’s event, two works in progress sessions are planned for Dreamworks Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and Disney’s Strange World.

AIF will also host three short film programs, including among them a Student Showcase; a panel on designing storytelling; and another on the difficulty in making an independent feature with a bare bones crew.

AIF 2022 will also give a special recognizing the career of Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, a producer on Wendell & Wild and the founder and CEO of Gotham Group.

Matt Kaszanek, director of AIF, said of this year’s program:

Animation continues to redefine the scope of what cinema is capable of offering. With this, our fifth iteration, we submit to you a list of not only some of the most essential animated films of the year, but the most essential films period. The world has changed in the last five years, but the festival’s mission has not: Animation is film, and we are proud to continue screaming it from every rooftop.

Marcel Jean, artistic director at Annecy, added:

As one of the festival’s co-founders, Annecy is proud to support the fifth edition of Animation is Film. Every year, this event brings an exceptional lineup of features and short films to the Los Angeles audience. Many of the films were screened in Annecy last June, including Le petit Nicolas, which was awarded with the Cristal du long métrage Award for feature film. It is the ideal time in film to take the pulse of the state of the animation nation.

Feature Competition Lineup

  • Wendell & Wild – Henry Selick (U.S.)
  • Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom – Kotono Watanabe (Japan)
  • Titina – Kajsa Næss (Norway, Belgium)
  • Aurora’s Sunrise – Inna Sahakyan (Armenia, Germany, Lithuania)
  • My Father’s Dragon – Nora Twomey (Ireland, France)
  • Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be – Amandine Fredon, Benjamin Massoubre (France, Luxembourg)
  • Oink – Mascha Halberstad (Belgium)
  • Perlimps – Alê Abreu (Brazil)
  • Unicorn Wars – Alberto Vázquez (Spain, France)

Special Screenings

Work In Progress Presentations

  • Puss In Boots: The Last Wish – Joel Crawford
  • Strange World – Don Hall (U.S.)
Tickets for this year’s Animation is Film are available now on the festival’s website.

Pictured at top: AIF premieres Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom, Titina, and Oni: Thunder God’s Tale