The prestigious Berlin International Film Festival will open its 68th edition on February 15, 2018 with the world premiere of Wes Anderson’s stop motion feature Isle of Dogs.

Isle of Dogs will mark the fourth time that Anderson has had a film in the Berlinale competition, preceded by The Royal Tenenbaums (2002), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2005), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), the latter of which also opened the festival and won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.

“I’m most delighted that Wes Anderson will kick off the Berlinale Competition again,” festival director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement. “Isle of Dogs will be the first animated film to open the festival – a film that will capture audiences’ hearts with its Wes Anderson charm.”

It’s quite notable that Berlin is choosing an animated film to launch its festival. That’s because most non-animation film festivals continue to have a stigma against animated films, no matter how great the films may be. Take the Sundance Film Festival, which just announced its 110-film feature film line-up, and did not include any animated features, except for two which were relegated to the kids category. Even though it took Wes Anderson, a live-action filmmaker, for the Berlinale to give animation its opening night stage, they could have still chosen any number of other live-action films. They made a bold choice to go with animation, and will hopefully inspire other film festivals to treat animation as film.

Berlin’s choice will also continue the impressive buildup for Isle of Dogs. Early buzz for the film has been quite strong, and the online reception to the first trailer released a few months ago was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic, with the official Youtube copy of the trailer having accrued nearly 7 million views, making it the 12th-most-viewed video ever on distributor Fox Searchlight’s channel. As it’s shaping up, Anderson may have both a critical and commercial hit on his hands, and the film is almost certainly guaranteed to outperform his first stop motion outing, the charming Fantastic Mr. Fox, which grossed just $21 million at U.S. theaters.

For more on the creative talent involved with the film, see our earlier post.

Isle of Dogs opens in U.S. cinemas on March 23, 2018, followed by international rollout in April 2018. Fox Searchlight Pictures distributes worldwide in partnership with Indian Paintbrush.