ANIMATION IS FILM Festival Announces 2017 Winners

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 & 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
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.

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
Director. Nora Twomey, Ireland/Canada/Luxembourg, 2017
Release date: November 17, 2017
From executive producer Angelina Jolie and Cartoon Saloon, creators of the Academy Award®-nominated “The Secret of Kells” and “Song of the Sea,” comes the highly-anticipated new feature based on Deborah Ellis’ bestseller. “The Breadwinner” tells the story of Parvana, a 12-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana dresses as a boy in order to work and provide for her family. Together with her best friend Shauzia, she risks discovery to try to find out if her father is still alive.
“The Breadwinner” is produced by Aircraft Pictures in Canada, Cartoon Saloon in Ireland, and Melusine Productions in Luxembourg.
Directors Patrick Imbert, Benjamin Renner, France, 2017
Release date: February 2018
The countryside isn’t always as calm and peaceful as it’s made out to be, and the animals on this farm are particularly agitated: a fox who mothers a family of chicks, a rabbit who plays the stork, and a duck who wants to be Santa Claus. If you think life in the country is a walk in the park, think again! “The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales” is co-directed by Academy Award®-nominee Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert. Based on Renner’s own graphic novel, “The Big Bad Fox,” the film is a hilarious compilation of three outlandish tales set on an everyday farm. “The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales” is produced by Folivari in France.

LEATHERFACE arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital December 19

The origins of the infamous Texas Chain Saw Massacre are finally revealed when Leatherface arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital), DVD and Digital December 19 from Lionsgate. The film is currently available On Demand. Starring Stephen Dorff as a vengeful Texas sheriff and Lili Taylor as the Sawyer family matriarch, the legendary monster gets his mask after three asylum inmates escape and leave a blood-soaked trail. From French filmmakers Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside), the Leatherface Blu-ray and DVD are loaded with never-before-seen special features, including deleted scenes, an alternate beginning and alternate ending, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.



In Texas, years before the events of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, in the early days of the infamous Sawyer family, the youngest child is sentenced to a mental hospital after a suspicious incident leaves the sheriff’s daughter dead. Ten years later, he kidnaps a young nurse and escapes with three other inmates. Pursued by authorities, including the deranged sheriff out to avenge his daughter’s death, the Sawyer teen goes on a violent road trip from hell, molding him into the monster now known as Leatherface.



  • “Behind the Bloody Mask: Making Leatherface” Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
    • o Alternate Opening
    • o “Betty”
    • o “Clothes”
    • o “The Pit”
    • o “Trailer Confession”
    • o Alternate Ending



Steven Dorff Blade Franchise, The Iceman

and Lili Taylor The Conjuring, “Hemlock Grove,” “American Crime”

New NSFW Trailer: The Hitman’s Bodyguard Feat. Samuel L. Jackson Voice-Over

In anticipation of the Digital HD release of The Hitman’s Bodyguard on Tuesday, November 7, we have an all-new NSFW trailer featuring voice-over by the legend himself, Samuel L. Jackson.

Also starring Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Elodie Yung, The Hitman’s Bodyguard will arrive on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on November 21 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Call Me By Your Name | Soundtrack Featuring Sufjan Stevens Available NOW!

To Purchase Or Stream
In select theaters November 24th
Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel
Directed By: Luca Guadagnino
Screenplay By: James Ivory
Based on the Novel by André Aciman
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Rated: R
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman. It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17- year-old American-Italian boy, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella (Amira Casar), a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows wit h natural delights. While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.



The all-star lineup for director Jon Favreau’s new take on Disney’s 1994 classic animated film “The Lion King” includes stars from the film, TV, theater and music arenas. Featuring pioneering filmmaking techniques, the film welcomes back to the big screen iconic characters that audiences have long treasured—but in a whole new way. From Disney Live Action, “The Lion King” is slated for U.S. theaters on July 19, 2019.


“It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life,” said Favreau.


Lions rule the African savanna in “The Lion King,” which welcomes Donald Glover (“Atlanta,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story”) as future king Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (“Dreamgirls,” “Lemonade” visual album) as Simba’s friend-turned-love interest Nala, and James Earl Jones (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Field of Dreams”) as Simba’s wise and loving father, Mufasa, reprising his iconic performance from Disney’s 1994 animated classic. Chiwetel Ejiofor (“Twelve Years a Slave,” Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange”) was called on to portray Simba’s villainous uncle Scar, and Alfre Woodard (“Juanita,” Marvel’s “Luke Cage”) portrays Simba’s no-nonsense mother, Sarabi. JD McCrary (OWN’s “Tyler Perry’s The Paynes,” Apple’s “Vital Signs”) fills the shoes of Young Simba, a confident cub who can’t wait to be king, and Shahadi Wright Joseph (NBC’s “Hairspray Live,” Broadway’s “The Lion King”) brings tough cub Young Nala to life.


Every kingdom comes with a trustworthy advisor or two. John Kani (“Coriolanus,” Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Civil War”) was cast as the wise baboon Rafiki, and John Oliver (HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”) was tapped as hornbill Zazu, Mufasa’s loyal confidant. When Simba goes into exile, he relies on two newfound friends—Seth Rogen (“Sausage Party,” “Neighbors”) lends his comedic chops to naïve warthog Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner (“Billy on the Street,” FX’s “American Horror Story”) joins the cast as know-it-all meerkat Timon.


While most of the animals in the kingdom respect the king, the hyenas have other plans. Florence Kasumba (NBC’s “Emerald City,” Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther”) portrays Shenzi, Eric André (Adult Swim’s “The Eric André Show,” FXX’s “Man Seeking Woman”) is Azizi, and Keegan-Michael Key (“Predator,” Netflix’s “Friends from College”) plays Kamari.


“The Lion King” is directed by Favreau (“The Jungle Book,” Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man”) and produced by Favreau, Jeffrey Silver (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Edge of Tomorrow”) and Karen Gilchrist (“The Jungle Book,” “Chef”). Jeff Nathanson (“Catch Me If You Can,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”) penned the screenplay based on the 1994 screenplay by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton. Tom Peitzman (co-producer “Kong: Skull Island,” “Alice in Wonderland”) and Thomas Schumacher (“The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast”) are executive producers, and John Bartnicki (“The Jungle Book,” “Chef”) is co-producer. The award-winning team of artists tapped to bring the African savanna and its animal inhabitants to life include visual effects supervisor Rob Legato, who conceived the virtual production on “Avatar,won Academy Awards® for his work on “The Jungle Book,” “Hugo” and “Titanic,” and was nominated for an Oscar® for his work on “Apollo 13.”


The film’s animation supervisor is Oscar®-winner Andrew R. Jones (“The Jungle Book,” “Avatar,” “World War Z”). VFX supervisor is Adam Valdez (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”), who won an Oscar for his work on “The Jungle Book.” Five-time Oscar nominee Caleb Deschanel, ASC, (“Jack Reacher,” “The Patriot”), is director of photography, and James Chinlund (“War for the Planet of the Apes,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) serves as the production designer. Oscar winner Ben Grossman (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Hugo,” “Star Trek into Darkness”) is virtual production supervisor, and Mark Livolsi, ACE, (“The Jungle Book,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Blind Side”) and Adam Gerstel (“Transformers: The Last Knight,” “The Jungle Book”) are editors. Hans Zimmer (“Dunkirk,” “Hidden Figures”), who won an Oscar for his score for the animated classic, will score the adventure.


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