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FIAF’s Animation First Festival Moves Online February 5-15

Program highlights include US and New York premieres of 69 feature length and short films; animated selections by special guest Wes Anderson; a tribute to French animator Paul Grimault; and shorts program including the best of Annecy International Film Festival; and an inaugural student short film competition.

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) has announced that the 2021 Animation First Festival, featuring the work of France’s animation studios and schools, will be presented exclusively online from February 5-15.  Highlights this year will include the US and New York premieres of 69 feature-length and short films. An additional four animated films have been selected and added by this year’s special guest, Wes Anderson. Screenings will include new restorations of popular and lesser-known masterpieces as well as works in progress of new, highly anticipated films. This year’s event will include a new student competition; talks with filmmakers; workshops; and interactive graphic novels as well as augmented and virtual reality programs.

“This year's Animation First promises to be the richest in the Festival's history,” commented FIAF president Marie-Monique Steckel. “We are delighted to have so many exciting new films, cult classics, and our first American special guest, Wes Anderson. It's particularly gratifying to offer, across the United States, at a very affordable price, the chance to discover the amazing world of French animation.”

US and New York premiers include:

  • Josep, the award-winning debut feature by Le Monde cartoonist Aurel, makes its US premiere on Thursday, February 11 at 6:30pm.
  • Stinky Dog, Happy Life in Paris! (Chien Pourri, La Vie À Paris!), based on the popular “Chien Pourri” books, it follows the adventures of a smelly mutt who lives in a Parisian garbage can.
  • Zero Impunity by brothers Stéphane Hueber-Blies and Nicolas Blies, gives voice to the victims of sexual violence around the world and those who have dedicated their lives to fighting it.

Selections by festival special guest Wes Anderson, director of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Isle of Dogs, and the forthcoming The French Dispatch:

  • Disney’s 1942 Bambi shown in an unusual presentation in both Hindi and French.
  • The Plague Dogs (1982), an adaptation of Richard Adams’s novel about two escaped lab dogs who may be spreading a deadly disease, finds renewed relevance in our current moment.
  • A Doonesbury Special (1977)
  • Peter and The Wolf (2006)

French animator Paul Grimault (1905–1994) will be given a special tribute with a screening of his cult classic, The King and The Mockingbird (Le Roi Et L’oiseau).

Top US & French schools participate in Student Short Film Competition:

A new student competition will bring together emerging talents from six schools in the US and France. Five films will be selected from each one of the participating schools—CalArts (California), Ringling School of Art and Design (Florida), SVA (New York), EMCA (Angoulême, France), Gobelins, l’École de l’Image (Paris), and RUBIKA (Valenciennes, France). The 30 entries will compete for juried awards as well as an audience award.

Additional programming includes:

  • Shorts, Shorts, Shorts! - a popular slate of eclectic shorts returns in 2021, showcasing the best of the Annecy International Film Festival
  • Award-winning TV specials – includes Shooom’s Odyssey winner of the Crystal Award for Best TV Production at the 2020 Annecy International Animated Film Festival
  • Provocative web series
  • Works in Progress - sneak peek of several anticipated films including Anca Damian’s newest project, The Island.
  • Talks and Workshops – including a collaboration with the New York Institute of Technology providing a tutorial on how to create your own augmented reality using a smart phone and Snapchat

For complete program information visit the event website.

Source: FIAF