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Animation First French Animation Festival Goes Digital For 2021

Animation First, the only festival dedicated to French Animation in the US is held annually at the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in New York. With the 2021 edition unable to go ahead as normal, FIAF have announced that the fourth edition of Animation First will be an all-digital event, available nationwide in the US.

The festival will run from Friday, February 5 to Monday, February 15. This year's line-up will include 55 US and 14 NYC premieres or shorts and feature films and includes restorations of both famous and less well-known films. It will feature work-in-progress sessions of highly anticipated films talks with filmmakers, a new student competition, and also online workshops. Additionally, interactive graphic novels and VR and AR content will be available throughout the festival.

Animation First 2021 - Festival Trailer from FIAF on Vimeo.

Receiving their US premieres are feature films are animated biography Josep from acclaimed cartoonist Aurel, family feature Stinky Dog, Happy Life In Paris, and hard-hitting documentary Zero Impunity. 

TV specials Shooom's Odyssey and  My Life In Versailles will be screening, alongside a selection of episodes from TV series Women Undercover and Fail in Love. 

This year's special guest is Wes Anderson, who has selected four animated films that influenced him. His choices Bambi (in a new restoration), The Plague Dogs, A Doonesbury Special and Peter and The Wolf will screen throughout the festival. A tribute to French animation legend Paul Grimault (1905–1994) will include eight of his shorts and his cult classic feature The King and The Mockingbird. 


The shorts line-up will include the Festival's traditional Best Of Annecy selection as well as two programs of new French Shorts, Documentary Shorts, a Family-Friendly program, and a program of shorts by artist and animator Florence Miailhe. The new Student Award will see students from six prestigious Animation schools in the United States and France- including Gobelins, Paris and CalArts- compete for juried and audience awards.

Florence Miaihe's new feature The Crossing will be given the work-in-progress treatment, as will The Island from Anca Damian whose Marona's Fantastic Tale screened at last year's festival. Benoît Chieux will preview his upcoming feature Sirocco And The Kingdom Of The Winds.

For $20, a pass will get you full access to the ten-day festival. To grab a pass or check out the full line-up, visit the FIAF website.