Animation Is Film 2022: 5 must-see films at the festival

Animation Is Film Festival, which celebrates some of the world’s finest animation, is back for its fifth edition and the festival grows bigger by extending its programming to a second weekend for the first time.

The festival’s opening night, which kicks off Friday at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters in Hollywood, is acclaimed director Henry Selick’s, co-written with Jordan Peele, “Wendell & Wild.” A special screening of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – directed by Del Toro and Mark Gustafson – will conclude the festival on October 29th.

In addition to these vibrant stop-motion films, AIF will also host the world premieres of “Titina” and “Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom,” as well as the theatrical premiere of the Netflix limited series “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale.” The centerpiece of the festival is the world premiere of the English language version of One Piece Film: Red, based on the long-running hit manga series by Eiichiro Oda.

While the chance to catch lesser-known gems is part of what makes AIF so special, big studio animations are also showcased through special screenings of Turning Red (Pixar) and Luck (Skydance), as well as Work-In-Progress Previews of Strange World (Disney) and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Dreamworks).

Here are five films to watch during the 2022 edition of Animation Is Film Festival:

“Rich in gold and rich in water”

a woman with a puppy being pursued by a man on a bridge under a crescent moon

A promotional image for Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom.

(animation is film festival)

When: Friday at 8 p.m

Based on a popular manga series by Nao Iwamoto, Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom is set in two neighboring countries with a history of warfare over the slightest perceived slight. After erecting a wall along their borders, they make an attempt at peace by agreeing that each kingdom will send one of their best to be married to someone in the other kingdom. Whether each country keeps its promise is another story. Directed by Kotono Watanabe, Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom is a heartfelt romance built around one of the greatest tropes: a marriage of convenience.

“My Father’s Dragon”

a dragon peeking around a tree at a boy

Boris, left, and Elmer in My Father’s Dragon.

(netflix)

When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m

Cartoon Saloon co-founder and Oscar-nominated director Nora Twomey has adapted a popular children’s book for her latest feature film. My Father’s Dragon follows Elmer as he adjusts to a new life in the city after his family business closed. Frustrated at being rejected by his stressed-out mother, Elmer ends up on a journey to rescue a dragon trapped on a remote island as part of his plan to prove he can help. It’s a story about friendship, adventure, and how it’s okay to admit that you don’t always have the answers.

“Perlimps”

thee anthropomorphic animals viewing distant fireworks from a hilltop

A scene from “Perlimps”.

(animation is film festival)

When: Sunday at 1:30 p.m

The hand-drawn “Perlimps” by the Oscar-nominated Brazilian director Alê Abreu is lively, colorful and one of the most visually beautiful films in the festival program. Set in an enchanted forest, Perlimps follows Claé and Bruô, agents from rival kingdoms on a mission to save their world from the “giants”, outsiders who are profiting from the destruction caused by war. Although Claé and Bruô initially distrust each other, they eventually discover that they have the same goal – to find the Perlimps who can help them save the forest.

“Little Santa”

a drawing of a boy coming to life on pages of illustrations

A scene from “Little Santa Claus”.

(animation is film festival)

When: Sunday at 4 p.m

Based on the stories of the popular French children’s character “Le Petit Nicola”, “Little Nicholas” is something of a cross between an adaptation and a biopic. The film, directed by Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre, begins with artist Jean-Jacques Sempé meeting his friend, writer René Goscinny, where they create the title character. Focusing on Little Nicholas’ daily adventures, the sequences playfully use line art and color to give the impression that they are animated cartoons brought to life. More poignant are the scenes in which Goscinny and Sempé interact directly with Nicholas, sharing with him the stories of their childhood and the hardships and dreams that led to their creative careers. Little Nicolas won the top prize at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June.

“Aurora’s Sunrise”

Hands holding a framed family photo over an open suitcase

A scene from Aurora’s Sunrise.

(animation is film festival)

When: Sunday at 6:30 p.m

Aurora’s Sunrise, directed by Inna Sahakyan, is a documentary that blends animation and archival footage to tell the story of Aurora Mardiganian. Mardiganian’s story, a teenage survivor of the Armenian Genocide, was portrayed in the 1919 silent film Auction of Souls starring Aurora as herself. Copies of the film disappeared before parts were recovered after her death in 1994. Mardiganian, a longtime LA resident, has spoken openly about the atrocities her people have been subjected to and her story should not be forgotten.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-10-21/animation-is-film-festival-2022-guide-must-see-movies Animation Is Film 2022: 5 must-see films at the festival

Sarah Ridley

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