Animation Is Film reveals jurors and special events


Animation is a movie (AIF) has announced the festival’s jury and special event lineup for its fourth edition, which will take place in person October 22-24, returning to her home at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters in Hollywood. The festival kicks off the opening night with the North American premiere of the highly anticipated Netflix feature film, The Summit of the Gods, followed by an in-person question-and-answer session with award-winning director Patrick Imbert (The big bad fox and other tales).

On October 23, the festival will present the West Coast premiere of GKIDS ‘ Beautiful, directed by Oscar nominated Mamoru Hosoda (Mirai) who will also do an in-person question-and-answer session after the premiere. The West Coast Premiere of the Award-Winning NEON Film To flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, will close the festival on October 24.

Tickets for Animation Is Film are now on sale at

Also announced are the jury members for this year’s festival, special events and the hugely popular Annecy International and Women in Animation program. LAIKA will also host a showcase of the five award-winning animation studio feature films presented in an exhibition in the TCL Hall; characters include: Coraline, Paranormand, Boxtrolls, Kubo and the two strings and Missing link.

“This year’s Animation Is Film jury is made up of a panel of outstanding industry professionals whose uniqueness and diversity match the programming of the competition itself,” said festival director Matt Kaszanek. “They are a really wonderful group, and we are honored to have them.”

JUROR 2021

  • Myke Chilian – Los Angeles-based animator, screenwriter, writer, voice actor, and musician. He is the creator and executive producer of the HBO series Max, Tig is not looking, which is produced by Cartoon Network Studios.
  • Deborah Cook – Originally from England, Cook designed and made costumes for every LAIKA movie (Coraline, Paranormand, Boxtrolls, Kubo and the two strings and Missing link).
  • Peter Debruge – Variety’s chief international film critic and graduate of the Film Studies program at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Sandra Equihua – Graduated from IBERO University with a BA in Graphic Design, she has worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and character designer alongside her husband, Jorge Gutierrez, at companies such as WB, Disney, Nick JR and Nickelodeon. She continues her career as a character designer for the animated film The book of life and she is currently working for Netflix on the animated series Maya and the Three.
  • Dan Krall – An Emmy and Annie award-winning artist, producer and artistic director, he is currently a consultant producer on Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, the upcoming animated series produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Television. Previous credits include popular titles such as Dexter’s lab, Super girls, Jack Samurai, Chowder, Coraline, and Scooby Doo! Incorporated mystery.
  • Kristin Lowe – Creative Director, Features for DreamWorks Animation, Lowe oversees feature film development, casting and artistic management for the studio’s renowned feature film division. DreamWorks Animation’s next 2022 feature list includes The villains, and The puss in boots: the last wish, the sequel to the 2011 Oscar nominated blockbuster.
  • Erick Oh – Oscar nominated Korean filmmaker based in California, Oh’s films have been screened and awarded at numerous film festivals including the Oscars, Annie Awards, Annecy Animation Festival, Film Festival from Zagreb, SIGGRAPH, Anima Mundi and more. Erick became an animator at Pixar Animation Studios from 2010 to 2016. Erick’s last film Opera was nominated for the Oscar and his next project Namoo premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year.
  • Ray Pride – Longtime film critic of Chicago arts monthly Newcity and editor of Filmmaker magazine. His Chicago story “Ghost Signs” in words and pictures will be published in 2022.
  • Raye Rodriguez – Creator and Executive Producer of the upcoming Crunchyroll Original series Elevated Guardian Spice. He graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and began his career as a director, screenwriter, and character designer at Fox Animation Domination High-Definition (Fox ADHD).
  • Charles Solomon – Respected animation critic and historian, Solomon has written on the subject for The New York Times, Newsweek (Japan), Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, Variety, Manchester Guardian and National Public Radio. His books include “The Art of Frozen”, “The Art of Disney’s Guest Books”, “The Toy Story Movies: An Animated Journey”, “A Tale As Old As Time: Art and the making of the Disney animated classic Beauty and the Beast ”,“ The Art of Toy Story 3 ”,“ Enchanted Cartoons: The Story of Animation ”.
  • Ramin Zahed – Editor-in-chief for Animation Magazine, Zahed is an LA-based author and journalist who specializes in animation, visual effects, pop culture and independent films. He has written for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Sight and Sound, and others.


The start of an international showcase of animated short films for women in 2021, organized in partnership with WIA and Annecy. This program offers a wide range of beautiful and vibrant storytelling experiences that cover a wide variety of topics and artistic styles – a concise yet compelling presentation of the vision and voice of women in the global animation community. today.

  • No leaders please – directed by Joan Gratz (United States)
    The inspired works of artists Basquiat, Banksy, Haring and Ai Weiwei represent the self-invented theme of Bukowski’s poem.
  • Art business – directed by Joanna Quinn (UK, Canada)
    Beryl is back Art Affairs, which showcases a family’s quirky yet endearing obsessions with everything from screw thread drawing and pet taxidermy.
  • It is raining (Lluève) – directed by Carolina Corral Paredes and Magali Rocha Donnadieu (Mexico)
    Is this what mass graves look like, one body over another and nothing else? In the rain, Oliver sends signals to his mother to help her uncover the truth.
  • How to be at home – directed by Andrea Dorfman (Canada)
    Lean into solitude – and know that you are not alone. Filmmaker Andrea Dorfman reunites with poet Tanya Davis to create tender and deep isolation-themed animation, providing a wise and lyrical sequel to their viral success. How to be alone.
  • What Resonates In The Silence (What resonates in the silence) – directed by Marine Blin (France)
    Hiding death does not make it disappear. A young girl suffers from the silences of adults and feels dispossessed of her right to mourn. As an adult, she describes the tender gestures that bind her to the dead.
  • The Awakening of Insects (The awakening of insects) – directed by Stéphanie Lansaque (France).
    Mr. Lam is an old man, losing his memory since the death of his wife. On the last day of the “insect hibernation”, he receives an unexpected visit from Ms. Meng, a Taoist exorcist determined to drive demons from his head.


Free and available for viewing on during the festival.

Baobab Studios’ Namoo: A conversation with Eric Darnell and Erick Oh

  • Join Baobab Studios Creative Director Eric Darnell and Erick Oh, the Oscar nominated director of their latest animated short, Namoo, talking about their respective backgrounds within major studios such as DreamWorks Animation and Pixar, embracing new technologies and working in the world of independent cinema. They will discuss their creative freedom from an artistic perspective, as well as the biggest challenges they faced along the way. They will eventually immerse themselves in the creation of the studio’s latest animated short, Namoo, simultaneously for theatrical and VR platforms. Using one of the latest cutting edge animation tools, Quill, along with real-time technology, Namoo – translated as ‘tree’ in Korean – is a handmade narrative poem that follows the beautiful and heartbreaking moments in a man’s life from start to finish.

Animation in video games

  • As video games continue to push the boundaries of narrative animation, Slate’s Allegra Frank leads a discussion about the importance of 2D character design and development in video game storytelling.

Mamoru Hosoda: In conversation with Leonard Maltin

  • On the occasion of the West Coast premiere of his latest film, BeautifulOscar-nominated Mamoru Hosoda chats with critic Leonard Maltin for an in-depth discussion about his career and the new film.

Tale as old as the world: The beauty and the Beast 30 years

  • To celebrate the 30th anniversary, producer Don Hahn hosts a chat with directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise about making a modern animated classic and its legacy 30 years later.

Source: Animation is a movie

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Dan Sarto is publisher and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.


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