Animation First Festival

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2021

New York, NY 10001

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Join us for the fourth edition of Animation First, FIAF’s wildly successful festival celebrating the artistry of French animation! Presented entirely online, the Festival will stream across the US from February 5–15, reaching its broadest audience yet.

An affordable $20 pass provides access to the entire 11-day Festival program including 55 US and 14 NY premieres of feature-length and short films, new restorations of favorite and lesser-known masterpieces, works in progress presentations of highly anticipated films, a new US and French student film competition, LIVE talks with acclaimed filmmakers, interactive graphic novels, augmented and virtual reality programs, and more.

Feature Film - Josep
US Premiere

Mature Audiences

A touching tribute from one illustrator to another, this award-winning debut feature film by Le Monde cartoonist Aurel recounts a painful chapter of French history through the life of Catalonian artist Josep Bartolí.

Feature Film - The King and the Mockingbird
Le Roi et l'Oiseau

Ages 8 And up

This gem by the legendary French animator Paul Grimault-based on a tale by Hans Christian Andersen—follows a shepherdess and chimney sweep on the run from a tyrannical king with some help from a talking bird. This wildly satirical and surreal masterpiece tells of the corrupting nature of power.

Feature Film - Stinky Dog, Happy Life in Paris!
Chien pourri, la vie à Paris !

Ages 4 And up

The creators of A Town Called Panic are back with a new film featuring Chien Pourri, a naïve and filthy dog who lives in a Parisian trash can with Chaplapla, his faithful feline friend. Both adults and children will discover Paris anew from a dog’s eye level in this charming quadrupedal adventure.

Feature Film - Zero Impunity
Mature Audiences

This essential documentary gives voice to victims of sexual violence across the globe. Using the courageous testimony of victims as well as interviews from journalists, academics, and political leaders, Zero Impunity is part of a global social impact movement to raise awareness of this vital issue.

Wes Anderson Selects:
For the first time, Animation First has invited an acclaimed American filmmaker to be a special guest of the Festival: Wes Anderson, director of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Isle of Dogs, and the forthcoming The French Dispatch. An avowed fan of animation, Anderson has selected four films that have inspired him to be shown during the Festival.

Wes Anderson Selects
Feature Film - The Plague Dogs

Ages 10 And up

In this stunning adaptation of Richard Adams’s eponymous novel, two dogs, Snitter and Rowf, break out of a research laboratory. Once free, they meet Tod, a cunning fox, who helps them survive in the wild.

TV Special - A Doonesbury Special
Mature Audiences

This blast to the past based on Garry Trudeau’s popular “Doonesbury” comic strip originally aired on NBC in 1977. As Mike Doonesbury searches for meaning, he muses on gender and racial relations, Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret Mead, football, and pot smoking, bringing an unexpected profundity to the holiday primetime special.

Short Film - Peter and the Wolf
Ages 8 And up

Unlike previous animated adaptations of this classic fairy tale, director Suzie Templeton forgoes a narrator and sets Prokofiev’s beloved score in the harsh modern-day Russian countryside. Charming, beautiful, intense, and dark, Peter and the Wolf won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Animated Short.

TV Special:
My Life in Versailles
La vie de Château

Ages 8 And up

Recently orphaned, 8-year-old Violette is sent to live with her uncle Régis, who works as a groundskeeper at the Palace of Versailles. At first, Violette hates him. Régis is not keen on being her caretaker either. On the manicured grounds of Versailles and in the opulent rooms of the castle, Violette and Régis learn to trust each other.

Shooom’s Odyssey
L'Odyssée de Choum

Dir. Julien Bisaro, 2019
Ages 3 And up

This heartwarming tale is set in a seaside town inspired by a lush Louisiana bayou. Born in the midst of a storm, baby owl Shooom must fend for herself and her unhatched sibling before she even leaves her nest. Against all odds, she is determined to find her mother, be it an alligator or a squirrel.

TV Series
Fail in Love
L’Amour a ses reseaux

Mature Audiences

Funny, quirky, and at times cruel, this web series illustrates real-life dating mishaps, fantasies, and creepy encounters. Through these personal stories, we see traditional and new means of seduction, as well as the triumphs and pitfalls caused by apps and their algorithms.

Women Undercover
Les Espionnes racontent

Mature Audiences

What if 007 was a woman? This riveting series follows a journalist as she interviews the spies who penetrated top-secret government circles.

Special Tribute: The Animated World of Paul Grimault
US Premiere

All Audiences

A selection of newly restored shorts open a window into the imagination of Paul Grimault, an icon of French animation. They showcase his trademark poetic style, exquisite colors, and wry wit.

Best of Annecy Film Festival
All Audiences

The Annecy International Animation Film Festival is the biggest animated film festival in the world. Straight from the 2020 edition, the first to be held on a virtual platform, this program of films includes a series of notable award-winning shorts.

Documentary Shorts
Mature Audiences

Carefully shortlisted by the Festival curators, these shorts, based on recorded audio interviews and other documents, show animation at its best. In their recounting of real events, the invisible is brought to light and the unspoken surfaces.

Family Friendly Shorts
Ages 3 And up

From enchanted worlds to coming of age themes, these shorts dazzle with an array of virtuoso techniques. Children and adults will be charmed by the use of puppets, stop motion, 2D drawings, watercolors, and pencil drawings.

New French Shorts
Straight from France, these two eclectic programs bring together films from established filmmakers as well as emerging talents. Each one opens up a unique world such as a parallel dimension or the surprisingly sensual side of PowerPoint.

Spotlight on Florence Miailhe
Mature Audiences

Over the course of her three-decade career in animation, Florence Miailhe has created a small but precious body of award-winning films. Her richly picturesque films often explore subjects such as femininity, the human body, and desire.

New! Student Competition:
New: US And French Student Short Film Competition
All Audiences

The 2021 Animation First Festival is launching a new Student Competition. It brings together emerging talents from six prestigious schools in the US and France. Five films will be selected from each one of the participating schools. The 30 entries will compete for juried awards as well as an audience award.

Special Interviews:
Taped Talk
Fontevraud Residency
In English

Go inside one of the most desirable incubators for animated film, the International Residency for Animated Films at the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud in Loire Valley, and meet a new generation of French animators.

Work In Progress:
The Crossing
Taped Conversation with Florence Miailhe

In English

Acclaimed artist and animator Florence Miailhe, interviewed by Dimitri Granovsky, speaks about her soon-to-be-released debut feature film, The Crossing. The highly anticipated film tells the story of two young migrants—a brother and a sister-left to fend for themselves after their parents’ arrest.

Live Talks, Works In Progress, and Workshops:
6:30pm Live Talk
Work In Progress:
Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds
Live Conversation with Benoit Chieu

In English

César Award–nominated Benoît Chieux discusses his much-anticipated feature film Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds. Two sisters embark on an unforgettable adventure when they find a secret passage and step into the extraordinary universe of their favorite book.

Online Exhibitions:
Interactive Graphic Novels

A pair of interactive graphic novels will be available during the Festival: the environmental parable Phallaina, and Panama Al Brown: A Mysterious Force, the story of a once famous but now forgotten boxer from the 1930s.

Augmented Reality

Discover hidden messages in the midst of everyday life with two augmented reality projects that use smartphone technology to unlock these secret images.

Virtual Reality

A selection of five immersive virtual reality experiences transport you to rich worlds that illuminate the past, bring great works of art to life, and open up new perspectives.

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