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Variety Launching Animation Is Film Festival With Annecy and GKIDS

Producer and distributor GKIDS, the Annecy International Animation Festival, and Variety magazine are partnering to launch Animation Is Film, an annual event in Los Angeles. The first edition will run Oct. 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood.

The inaugural event will showcase 20 programs including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives, and short film programs.

The festival aims to fill a gap in the U.S. market by establishing a world-class animation festival on par with major events in Europe and Asia. Located in the world capital of animated filmmaking, the festival will be a showcase for excellence in animation and for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their art.

Championing and supporting women filmmakers and filmmakers from a wide range of cultural, economic, and national and geographic backgrounds will also be a key mission of the festival.

GKIDS has scored nine animated feature Oscar nominations, with films including “Boy and the World” and “When Marnie Was There” in 2016, and “My Life as a Zucchini” in 2017. The Annecy festival is one of the world’s top animation events, with almost 10,000 participants, 95 countries represented, and some 500 films screened.

GKIDS founder and CEO Eric Beckman said, “Creating a Stateside film festival that recognizes the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form has long been a dream of GKIDS. We are thrilled that Annecy and Variety have partnered with us to launch Animation Is Film and bring exceptional animated filmmaking from around the world to audiences in Los Angeles, the world capital of filmmaking.”

“The Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market are very excited to be working together with Variety and GKIDS to create Animation Is Film,” said Annecy CEO Patrick Eveno. “It’s a very important step in our strategy to expand abroad. This new event is a wonderful opportunity to radiate animation and all its diversity in the heart of Hollywood and is a very important step in our strategy to expand abroad. The festival is another occasion, following Annecy Goes to Cannes and the creation of the Annecy Asia International Animated Film Festival in Seoul, which we announced on Tuesday, to promote films and artists from all over the world to an even wider audience.”

“We are honored to partner with GKIDS and Annecy to bring the best of animated films to Los Angeles through the launch of Animation Is Film,” said Variety group publisher and CRO Michelle Sobrino-Stearns. “The festival will be a champion of excellence in animation, an exciting audience event, and a significant new addition to the cultural landscape of Los Angeles.”

The festival’s organizing committee includes Beckman, founder and CEO, GKIDS, co-founder, New York International Children’s Film Festival; Eveno, CEO, CITIA – Annecy International Animation Film Festival; Mickaël Marin, CITIA managing director, head of economic development & Mifa; Marcel Jean, artistic director, Annecy International Animation Film Festival; Sobrino-Stearns, group publisher, Variety; Steven Gaydos, executive editor, Variety; Peter Debruge, chief film critic, Variety; and Fumi Kitahara, chair of publicity, Women in Animation.

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