Mamoru Hosoda’s “Mirai” will open the second Animation Is Film Festival, slated for Oct. 19-21 at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre. Hosoda will attend the screening, which will be the North American premiere of the film, which debuted in Cannes.
“Mirai” is also among the initial films in competition announced by the festival, produced by independent animation distributor GKids in partnership with animation festival Annecy, Fathom Events and Variety.
Other competition titles hail from all over the world and include “Another Day of Life,” “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles,” “Funan,” “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas,” “Okko’s Inn,” “Pachamama,” “Penguin Highway,” “Ruben Brandt, Collector,” “Seder-Masochism,” and “Tito and the Birds.”
The Animation Is Film jury will once again be presided over by Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge, who will be joined by Warner Animation Group EVP Allison Abbate, NBA star and now Oscar winner Kobe Bryant, Netflix Kids and Family VP Melissa Cobb, Hollywood Reporter tech editor Carolyn Giardina, critic and historian Charles Solomon, Landmark Theatres’ Mabel Tam, IndieWire editor at large Anne Thompson, and noted animation filmmakers Dean DeBlois (the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise), Jorge Gutierrez (“The Book of Life”), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (the “Kung Fu Panda” sequels), and Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Coraline”).
In addition to its competition slate, the festival will feature a retrospective of Hosoda’s work, including screenings of the director’s “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “Summer Wars,” “The Boy and the Beast,” and “Wolf Children.”
Animation Is Film will also present a 20th anniversary screening of one of DreamWorks Animation’s first films, “The Prince of Egypt,” featuring a Q&A with filmmakers Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells along with producers Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkleman Cox.
Also on tap so far are behind-the-scenes looks at upcoming features “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
“For film lovers and creators who can’t travel to Annecy or other major animation events, Animation Is Film brings the best animated filmmaking from around the world under one roof for a long weekend of big-screen binge-watching, filmmaker Q&As, red carpet premieres, studio events, workshops, and parties,” says GKids CEO Eric Beckman.
“For Annecy, it is a great pleasure to be associated again with GKids and all the partners of Animation Is Film for this second edition, which looks as successful as the first,” says Annecy CEO & Director Mickael Marin.
Tickets are on sale now. For tickets or more information, visit the Animation Is Film website.