The third edition of the GLAS Animation Festival, which has previously announced its special guests and competition line-up, unveiled its full programming line-up today, and also made a major prize announcement.

First, the prize: FX Networks will award one of the films in competition this year the FXX Elevation Award. The award will honor a film that “embodies distinctive characters, bold storytelling, and a singular point of view.” But here’s the big news: the winning director will receive a $25,000 grant to develop an original animated project with FXX. As far as animation festival prizes go, that’s a major financial investment in a single artist, and signifies the growing profile of GLAS as an important place to discover talent.

The newly released trailer below offers a taste of the films that’ll be in competition for the FXX Elevation Award:

Speaking of the commercial animation industry, the festival revealed today that both Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network will hold portfolio reviews and artist development sessions this year. Additionally, Pixar and Google Spotlight Stories will each be the subject of panels, and there will be a conversation with The Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller and a talk by The Book of Life director Jorge Gutierrez.

The industry-focused events provide a nice balance to the festival’s strong focus on independent filmmakers, who will be well represented with talks and retrospectives devoted to a huge group of international indies, among them David OReilly, Ruth Lingford, Jonathan Hodgson, Réka Bucsi, Boris Labbé, Sophie Koko Gate, Michael Frei, Nikita Diakur, and Sawako Kabuki.

And then there’s a whole lot of other programs, such as a historical overview of the “Zagreb school of animated films”; a talk about Tonko House, the Bay Area studio founded by former Pixarians Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo (The Dam Keeper); a found-footage exploration of vintage virtual reality; and a performance by the half-real/half-virtual band John Daker.

I’ll personally be moderating a first-of-its-kind filmmaker forum to discuss strategies and techniques for distributing short films online. If you’re an animation filmmaker who posts your films online or are thinking about doing so, this discussion forum promises valuable insights and frank discussion from the short film community.

The GLAS Animation Festival takes place March 22-25 in Berkeley, California. Passes for the festival are available on the GLAS website, as well as
the full list of programs and a schedule of times and locations.

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