The first-ever GLAS Animation Festival in Berkeley, California, is just 14 days away. Of more immediate importance, the deadline to purchase a pass online is tomorrow, February 20th.

GLAS gives the American animation community something that we haven’t had in at least a decade: a world-class international animation festival with guests from around the globe and a full-slate of screenings, workshops, lectures, and installations.

Even in this day and age of the Internet, festivals remain the key place where artists gather to share their latest work, meet other artists, and form friendships and collaborations. American filmmakers and animators have lacked such a space for a long time, which is why GLAS is such a momentous occasion. If GLAS is to succeed beyond its inaugural edition, it needs the support of the entire community, especially artists throughout the California animation scene.

The festival schedule has been posted online and it impresses in both quality and breadth. The new GLAS trailer gives some sense of the animation diversity that’ll be on display:

What stands out to me about the program is how well the festival mixes industry and independence, presenting animation from all across the spectrum. In addition to hosting big names from Northern California’s animation scene (Phil Tippett, Henry Selick, Pixar), GLAS presents a variety of guest filmmakers who straddle the line between the independent and commercial scenes, including Hisko Hulsing, who created animation for the Kurt Cobain doc Montage of Heck; Kirsten Lepore, who directed the recent stop-mo Adventure Time episode; and Sara Gunnasrdottír, who made animated inserts for the feature The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

The purely independent will be on display, too, including a retrospective of animation posted on Newgrounds, an overview of recent Japanese indie animation, and a retrospective of work from experimental video label Undervolt & Co., which aims to make video art accessible to audiences beyond the confines of the fine art world.

Over 50 screenings and events are scheduled throughout the four-day festival, which begins on March 3rd. The all-access festival pass costs $200, and offers entrance to screenings, panels, workshops, parties, and special presentations. All-access student passes are discounted down to $160, and ASIFA members can purchase discounted passes for $170. The deadline to purchase passes is tomorrow, February 20.

If you’re unable to make it for the entire festival, individual screening tickets cost $12. Passes and tickets can be purchased through the GLAS website.

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