Animation is Film Festival Announces 2017 Award Winners

LOS ANGELES (October 24, 2017) – Animation is Film announced the winners of its inaugural festival today with “The Breadwinner,” directed by Nora Twomey, sweeping both top honors of The Grand Prize, selected by the festival jury, and the Audience Award, selected by festival attendees. Twomey co-directed the Oscar®-nominated “The Secret of Kells” from Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon, the animation studio behind the Oscar-nominated “Song of the Sea.”  Additionally, “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales,” from Oscar-nominated Benjamin Renner (“Ernest & Celestine”) and Patrick Imbert, took home The Special Jury Prize. The film was produced by Oscar-nominated Didier Brunner (“Kirikou and the Sorceress,” “Triplets of Belleville,” “The Secret of Kells,” “Ernest & Celestine”).

Speaking on behalf of the entire jury, festival jury chair Peter Debruge, said “‘The Breadwinner’ is not just an incredibly important film, but one that reminds us of the power of animation to communicate serious issues in the world. Transforming hardship into a warm and moving story, the movie represents a triumph by its director, Nora Twomey, in terms of script, voice acting, design, music and editing. The films in competition this year illustrated the many techniques and possibilities of animation, but “The Breadwinner” was a clear favorite among our jury. Special Jury Prize goes to “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales” a comedy that celebrates the joys of traditional cartoon animation.”

The inaugural edition of Animation is Film took place October 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood. The Festival presented a selection of twelve new animated feature films in competition, with selections from Asia, Europe, South America and North America, and filmmakers attending for most screenings. Additionally, the festival presented studio events, special screenings, short film programs, and a VR lounge, with the majority of screenings selling out. The festival was presented by GKIDS, Annecy Int’l Animation Film Festival, Variety, and ASIFA Hollywood, with major sponsors LA Times, IndieWire, Cartoon Brew, Fathom Events and Google.  Full 2017 film lineup is available at AnimationIsFilm.com.

Animation is Film fills a gap in the market by establishing a world class animation festival in the US, with its home in the world capital of filmmaking. The Festival embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form on par with live action filmmaking and will be vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their work to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of.

Animation is Film is produced by GKIDS in partnership with Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Variety and ASIFA-Hollywood, with major sponsors The Los Angeles Times, Google, Fathom Events, Cartoon Brew and IndieWire. Industry partners, hospitality partners and supporters include Loews Hollywood Hotel, Bogart Spirits, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Sony Pictures Animation, Warner Animation Group, Cartoon Network Studios, DreamWorks, Paramount, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Shout! Factory; Visual Effects Society; Unifrance; Goethe Institut, ELMA; Women In Animation; Women In Film, Animation Magazine;, Animation World Network, Art Center, CalArts, Chapman University, Ireland Week, Irish Film Board, MovieMaker Magazine;, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

2017 ANIMATION IS FILM JURY

Peter Debruge, Chief film critic, Variety, jury chair

Allison Abbate, EVP Theatrical Animation, Warner Brothers Pictures; Producer of “The Iron Giant,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Lego Movie”

Bonnie Arnold, DreamWorks Animation; Producer of “Toy Story,” “How to Train Your Dragon”

Brenda Chapman, Oscar®-winning director of “Brave”

Carolyn Giardina, Tech Editor, The Hollywood Reporter

Jorge R. Gutiérrez, Director of “Book of Life”

Mabel Tam, Head film buyer, Landmark Cinemas

Charles Solomon, Film critic and historian

Anne Thompson, Editor-At-Large, IndieWire