Top Cartoons From Around the World Are Celebrated at the Animation Is Film Festival.

In its fifth physical iteration, the Animation Is Film Festival continues to champion the best in stop-motion, CGI, and hand-drawn animation.

The American premiere of Henry Selick’s stop-motion film “Wendell & Wild” on October 21 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood serves as the festival’s official opening. After the film, Selick will be present to answer questions from the audience. The festival will conclude with a Q&A with director Guillermo del Toro following the screening of “Pinocchio”

Every special holiday is unique in its own way, to paraphrase a remark from Tolstoy. Most clearly, it’s noteworthy when a true master of the craft releases his first movie in more than a decade, as Henry Selick did with “Wendell & Wild.” The release of an Oscar-winning “live-action” director’s first animated film, a labour of love that took years to complete, like Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, is also noteworthy, according to Matt Kaszanek, managing director of Animation Is Film.

This year’s No. 1 movie in Japan is “One Piece Film Red,” which has outperformed “Top Gun: Maverick” in terms of ticket sales. and has surpassed “Avatar” in ticket sales to be the No. 11 movie of all time! That’s unique. A closer inspection, Nine films are in competition at the Animation Is Film Festival this year, and two-thirds of them are directed by women.

That’s unique, he continues, asking if there has ever been a year with the release of two animated studio pictures that were both completely directed by women. We are screening both Domee Shi’s “Turning Red” and Peggy Holmes’ “Luck,” which are not only noteworthy but also historically significant. After COVID, I recall telling a coworker that I was concerned that production delays would result in a subpar festival in 2022. How absurdly mistaken I was. The lineup for this year is strong.


Its jury competition and audience prizes will be presented in the feature picture and shorts categories during the course of Animation Is Film, which begins on October 21–23 and ends on October 29. This is the first time the festival has expanded to a second weekend. AIF will award a special honor to “Wendell & Wild” producer and founder/CEO of the Gotham Group Ellen Goldsmith-Vein for her contributions to the animation sector.

The lineup for the competition includes entries that showcase the diversity of world animation, such as Kotono Watanabe’s “Gold Kingdom and the Water Kingdom,” Kajsa Naess’ “Titina,” Inna Sahakyan’s “Aurora’s Sunrise,” Nora Twomey’s “My Father’s Dragon” (pictured), Mascha Halberstad’s “Oink,” Alê Abreu’s “Perlimps,” Amandine Fred

Disney’s “Strange World” and DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” two works-in-progress that appear to be front-runners in the race for the best-animated film Oscar, are also on the festival’s schedule.

With creator-director Dice Tsutsumi, producer Sara K. Sampson, exec producer/production designer Robert Kondo, and exec producer Kane Lee in attendance, anime fans can catch the newest installment in the “New Gods” universe from Light Chaser Animation, “New Gods: Yang Jian” from GKids, and “Oni: Thunder Gods Tale” from Tonko House/Netflix Anime.

As with all great art, Kaszanek says, “animation is continuously growing, and so has our understanding of it.” More movie buffs are starting to believe that animated movies are just as important (with a capital I!) as the other live-action movies we’ve always regarded as being important. And that’s the main concept behind Animation Is Film.

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