Bug Therapy, the new comedy feature from 88 Pictures and Citronella Stories, powered by Epic MegaGrants, will make its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival in Texas this month. The flick debuts Sunday, October 24 at 4:30 p.m. with an encore Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., both to be followed by cast & crew Q&A. Directed by Jason Reisig (Smallfoot) and written by Emmy-nominated Tonight Show writer Michael Jann and Michele Jourdan, this lighthearted look at mental health features the voices of Dr. Phil, Meghan Trainor, Jay Leno, Sterling K. Brown, Tom Green, Emily Goglia and Reisig. Read more about the CGI feature film here.
Animation Is Film (AIF) announced the jury members and special events happening at the 4th annual edition (October 22-24), alongside the extremely popular Annecy International and Women In Animation curated program. Additionally, LAIKA, will host a showcase of all five of award-winning animation studio feature films presented in a curated display in the TCL lobby, characters include: Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link. The Festival takes place in-person and returns to its home at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood.
- This year’s jury comprises Myke Chilian (Animator; Creator, Tig ‘n Seek), Deborah Cook (Stop-Motion Costume Designer), Peter Debruge (Chief Film Critic, Variety / Jury Chair), Sandra Equihua (Creative Consultant, Maya and the Three), Dan Krall (Artist, Producer, Dexter’s Laboratory), Kristin Lowe (CCO of Features for DreamWorks Animation), Erick Oh (Oscar Nominee for Opera), Ray Pride (Film Critic), Raye Rodriguez (Creator & Executive Producer, High Guardian Spice), Charles Solomon (Critic and Historian) and Ramin Zahed (Editor-in-Chief for Animation Magazine).
- This year’s free Virtual Program spotlights Baobab Studios’ Namoo: A Conversation with Eric Darnell and Erick Oh, Animation in Video Games, Mamoru Hosoda: In Conversation with Leonard Maltin and Tale as Old as Time: Beauty and the Beast Turns 30.
- Best of Annecy: Spotlight on Women Filmmakers will include No Leaders Please (Joan Gratz, U.S.), Affairs of the Art (Joann Quinn, U.K./Canada), It Rains (Carolina Corral Paredes & Magali Rocha Donnadieu, Mexico), How to Be at Home (Andrea Dorfman, Canada), What Resonates in Silence (Marine Blin, France) and The Awakening of the Insects (Stephanie Lansaque, France).
The Czech Centre announced the 25th Made in Prague Festival (Nov. 7-Dec. 10; London, U.K.) will present a screening of animated feature My Sunny Maad, to be attended by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Michaela Pavlátová. Based on the novel Freshta by Petra Procházková, the film focuses on a Czech student who falls in love with an Afghan man, and moves to Kabul to live with his extended and welcoming family. My Sunny Maad will play as part of the “Contemporary Czech Cinema” program at The Gate, Notting Hill. (Want to learn more about the movie? Don’t miss the December issue of Animation Magazine, available soon.)
imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content, delivers in-person and virtual events from Toronto October 19-14. Among the selection of over 145 works from artists representing 51 Indigenous nations and 26 Indigenous languages are a good number of high profile animated shorts screening in various programs: Ajjigiingiluktaaqtugut (We Are All Different) by Lindsay McIntyre, Angakusajaujuq – The Shaman’s Apprentice by Zacharias Kunuk, Maple Sugar Moon by Jay Havens and Spy Dénommé-Welch, Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics by Terril Calder, Nuevo Rico by Kristian Mercado, Premonition: on the eve of signing Treaty 6 by Barry Bilinksy, The Train Station by Lyana Patrick, Tussle by Christopher Grant and Will Flowers? by Kay Chan.
Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz (TRK), the performance space at Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles, will present Animation Fest on International Animation Day, Thursday, October 28 at 8 p.m. (in person) and 8:30 p.m. (online), showcasing the unlimited expressive potential of French animation in a collection of eight ambitious, award-winning shorts for mature palates:
- The World Within – Sandrine Stoïanov, Jean-Charles Finck
- Under the Skin, the Bark – Franck Dion
- D’ats real good? – Marc Faye
- My Friend Who Shines in the Night – Jawed Boudaoud, Simon Cadilhac, Grégoire de Bernouis, Hélène Ledevin
- Precious – Paul Mas
- Absence – Marc Héricher
- Sweet Madness, Hard Madness – Marine Laclotte
- Asmahan the Diva – Chloé Mazlo
The Italian TV Festival (ITTV), returns to Los Angeles October 30-November 2, kicking off with a family friendly, free opening night premiere event at Little Italy in San Pedro. The public screening event features a theme named, “The Young TV”, in conjunction with this year’s Festival focus on writing for TV series, animation and LBE. The opening night, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles, ENIT, Italian National Tourist Board and Little Italy of Los Angeles Association. is dedicated to animated short films and television series for children and families:
- Pinocchio and Friends (U.S. Premiere feature) – created by Rainbow Group and Rai Ragazzi
- Puffins – a three episode series featuring the voice of Johnny Depp
- Arctic Friends – a two episode series by ILBE Group Productions
- Mila – a CG animated short film about a little girl who survived bombings during WWII in Trento, Italy during 1943, by Cinzia Angelini
- 44 Cats – created by Iginio Straffi
- Winx Club – created by Iginio Straffi
Open the Portal is hosting the world premiere of its first original pilot, Psycho Psalms, on Saturday, October 23 at Cinelounge Outdoor Theater in Los Angeles. The event is hosted by Mauricio Alvarado and Jerry Beck, and will include a Q&A/meet and greet with the all-star animators who worked on the project — including veterans of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Gumby and Coraline — plus adult beverages, food truck grub, gourmet popcorn, merch from RockinPins.com and original artwork by the pilot artists. The premiere is being held in conjunction with the retro spooky toons screening Betty Boop’s Halloween Party.
Five compelling titles from around the world have been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Film category of the 14th Asia Pacific Screen Awards. The award ceremony on November 11 will launch the 3rd Asia Pacific Screen Forum; both presented by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy with the support of Griffith Film School. The nominees are:
- Beauty Water (S. Korea) – dir. Kyung-hun Cho, prod. Byung-jin Jeon
- Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (Japan) – dir. Ayumu Watanabe, prod. Sanma Akashiya, Eiko Tanaka, Shu Kamigaso, Mitsugu Yamada
- The Knight and the Princess (Saudi Arabia/Egypt) – dir. Bashir el Deek, Ibrahim Mousa; prod. Alabbas bin Alabbas
- The Nose or The Conspiracy of Mavericks (Russia) – dir./prod. Andrey Khrzhanovsky
- Where Is Anne Frank (Belgium) – dir. Ari Folman, prod. Jani Thiltges, Yves Kugelmann, Ari Folman, Alexander Rodnyansky
In 2022, FMX – Film & Media Exchange will return to its home base in Stuttgart, Germany after having been hosted online in 2021. From May 3-5, FMX will open its doors with a first-class program on site at Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart. On May 6, FMX will shift to virtual mode, offering an exclusive online program that will be available worldwide. The conference will be inspired by the central theme Changing the Game, with director and producer Hasraf ‘HaZ’ Dulull (The Beyond, 2036 Origin Unknown, Fast Layne) joining FMX as its first ever Program Chair.