“Animation Is Film” Festival Announces 2021 Slate

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“This year’s Animation is Film lineup represents the very best feature animation from around the world, bringing to Hollywood world premieres as well as critically acclaimed, prize-winning titles from the Cannes, Annecy, Sundance, Telluride and Toronto festivals. After last year’s hiatus due to COVID, the Los Angeles animation and film communities are clamoring to gather together to see these films on the big screen, and we at AIF are enormously proud to present them.”
Matt Kaszanek, Director of AIF

“Animation is back in Los Angeles and that’s excellent news! As one of the festival’s co-founders, we are thrilled to support the fourth edition of Animation is Film. This year’s lineup is exceptional by its quality and its diversity: more than ever, animation is film!”
Marcel Jean, Artistic Director, Annecy International Animation Film Festival

Belle (Japan / dir. Mamoru Hosoda, West Coast premiere)
© 2021 Studio Chizu
Visionary director Mamoru Hosoda (AIF ’18, Mirai) returns to Animation Is Film with Belle, a GKIDS release. Suzu is a 17-year-old high school student living in a rural village with her father. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. One day, she enters “U,” a virtual world of 5 billion members on the Internet. There, she is not Suzu anymore but Belle, a world-famous singer. She soon meets with a mysterious creature. Together, they embark on a journey of adventures, challenges and love, in their quest to become who they truly are.
* Director/Producer Mamoru Hosoda will appear in-person.
The Deer King (Japan / dir. Masashi Ando & Masayuki Miyaji, West Coast premiere)
©2021「鹿の王」製作委員会
The Deer King, a GKIDS release, is a sweeping fantasy epic, and the directorial debut of acclaimed animator Masashi Ando, whose work on such landmark films as Spirted Away, Paprika and Your Name helped shape the world of modern Japanese animation.
Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (Japan / dir. Ayumu Watanabe, U.S. premiere)
Ayumu Watanabe (AIF ’19, Children of the Sea) returns to Animation is Film. The story revolves around a mother named Nikuko and her daughter, Kikuko. Both live on the same boat due to different circumstances. Daily life under this umbrella will lead them to live different types of problems and experiences that will help them grow as a family.
Pompo the Cinephile (Japan / dir. Takayuki Hirao, U.S. premiere)
©2020 杉谷庄吾【人間プラモ】/KADOKAWA/ 映画大好きポンポさん製作委員会
Pompo is a talented, gutsy, and unapologetic movie producer. She works on her filmmaking day and night in the movie capital Nyallywood. Gene is tasked with directing the next script for his boss, will he succeed his first time as a director and create a “masterpiece”? He sets out to find out, with a script built around the legendary aging actor Martin Braddock (think Brando) and a young actress seeking her first big break. Feature is a GKIDS release.
Poupelle of Chimney Town – English dub (Japan / dir. Yusuke Hirota, World premiere)
It is the story of young Lubicchi living among the thick smoke from the chimneys of his isolated town, yearning to see the “stars” — to know the truth — his father always told him about. One Halloween night he meets Poupelle, a man made of garbage, and together they look to the sky as their adventure begins. This feature is an Eleven Arts release.
* Virtual Q+A with director Yusuke Hirota and screenwriter Akihiro Nishino
My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission (dir. Kenji Nagasaki, U.S. Premiere)
Animation-Is-Film-Logo “Animation Is Film” Festival Announces 2021 Slate
U.A. High School students Izuku Midoriya, Shoto Todoroki, and Katsuki Bakugo face the greatest crisis in My Hero Academia history, with only two hours to save the world! During their internship with the number one Pro Hero Endeavor Agency, Deku and his new friend Rody find themselves wanted nationwide for a crime they didn’t commit. Can Deku and his friends stop Humarise’s global plans of eliminating all Quirks?
* Special guests TBD
Returning for its third straight year, Animation Is Film is proud to present this essential showcase featuring some of the best animated shorts directed by women in 2021. Programmed in partnership with Annecy and Women In Animation, this special program features a diverse array of beautiful, thought-provoking short films from around the world.
Source: Official Press Release


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