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GKIDS Films, Annecy and Variety Launch 'Animation Is Film' Festival in LA.

Are you a US-based animation fan who has been jealously watching all the exciting news coming out of this year's Annecy International Animation Festival in France?  Be jealous no more, as the inaugural Animation Is Film Festival plans to bring an Annecy-like experience to the United States later this year.

Animation Is Film is a joint-venture between GKIDS Films, Variety and the organisers of the Annecy Festival. This is the second sister festival revealed at this year's Annecy, following the announcement of Annecy Asia earlier in the week.

The event will take place October 20-22 at Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. It will feature a total of 20 programs that will include feature film in competition, shorts films, retrospectives, and special presentations.

The press release says that AIF "aims to fill a gap in the US market by establishing a world-class animation festival on par with the major events in Europe and Asia - and locating it in the world capital of animated filmmaking. The Festival will be a vocal advocate, in the heart of Hollywood, for excellence in animation, and for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their art to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of."

Their mission is to showcase the best in animation around the world, both for adults and family audiences. They also aim to champion and support women filmmakers and filmmakers from "a wide range of cultural, economic, and national backgrounds."

GKIDS Founder 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. We look forward to working with an expanding group of partners and supporters to grow the festival over the coming years."

It's not insignificant to see as big a name as Variety involved in this either, as it can be seen as evidence of the growing importance of animation. All brilliant news for animation fans, particularly those based in or around LA. We'll bring you more information as soon as we get it.