The U.S. is looking to plant its flag in the animation industry, and this latest step was a big one. GKIDS, Variety magazine, and The Annecy International Animated Film Festival are launching an ‘Animation is Film’ Festival in the United States. The 2017 Festival is planning to run from October 20-22nd at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood. The inaugural event will consist of 20 programs—feature films in competition, short film programs, special presentations, and retrospectives.
Annecy’s involvement in the festival instantly gives the event some lofty credibility. Established in 1960, Annecy is the oldest and largest animation film festival in the world. Nearly 10,000 participants, 95 countries, and some 500 films made up France’s 2017 Annecy film festival. And this year has certainly been prosperous for Annecy as well in terms of its world presence. For instance, Annecy has established itself in Cannes, Seong, and now Los Angeles.
Since the U.S. didn’t have a highly acclaimed animation film festival, it was lagging far behind Europe and Asia. The ‘Animation is Film’ Festival is hoping to close that major hole in the United States film industry market. The goal is to create, “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.”
I must also applaud another goal set forth by this festival. ‘Animation is Film’ wants to celebrate those who are under-represented within the film industry. This goal is, “Championing and supporting women filmmakers, and filmmakers from a wide range of cultural, economic, and national and geographic backgrounds.”
Honestly, I can’t think of one female anime director, and they exist. But before now, I didn’t know their names. Just to ease my own mind, here’s a list of 10 female anime directors via Otaku Lounge. Sayo Yamamoto however, is easily the most noteworthy to me (Yuri!!! on Ice, Samurai Champloo, and Lupin the III: The Woman Named Fujiko Mine). It is depressing that I didn’t know who she was.
Consequently, I believe this festival will be good for the US. Mostly because I don’t think anything bad can come from animation receiving more attention, and these directors finally getting the recognition they deserve.
Whether you’re deep in mecha marathons, Japanese news, or anime binge watching, we’d like to hear about it. Click the [CONTRIBUTE] button on our top menu bar and get your thoughts out there.