Written by: Jennifer Phares
Anyone that knows me knows that, well, I am a big kid at heart. Even after turning the big 3-0 this past summer – I still very much enjoy cartoons. Be it reruns of childhood favorites such as Scooby Doo or more recent titles, such as The Amazing Adventures of Gumball; cartoons, or rather, animation has always held a special place in my heart. And I know for a fact that this isn’t a singular experience as there are many other adults who share my passion for such. Perhaps this is because of a certain sense of innocence that animation embodies. The childlike wonder that we as adults, even children, sometimes loose sight of. For as most of us know, life is far from easy.
The medium of animation first began long, long ago before there was a word for it. Cultures from all around the world, in some form or fashion, had some version of this. Despite not having the technological advances that we ourselves have today – nothing could stop the blossoming magic that the world of animation inspired in our ancestors. From early cave drawings of animals on the run, to finely tuned shadow shows in ancient China – animation has always been apart of our species culture.
As early as 1659, animation took its first “moving” steps in a way that might be familiar to us today. A device known as the magic lantern, which was created by Dutch inventor Christiaan Huygens, gave the impression that hand drawn images of a skeleton removing its head, was in fact doing just that. Fast forward another hundred years or so to the mid 1800’s, – the foundations of modern animation would be established by, yet another clever invention known as the phenakistiscope. To best give an example of this, look no further than your favorite GIF. The field of animation would continue to evolve and, in the process, introduce the world to some of the most fantastical places imaginable. It would also reintroduce places that are rooted in our world, but, through a different lens.
Celebrating this incredible medium of entertainment is the 4th annual Animation Is Film festival. Established in 2017, the AIF festival has showcased a variety of impressive, animated films from around the world. Produced by GKIDS, in partnership with Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and Variety – this unique film festival has opened the otherwise limited market that has previously been scarce to animated films. We have all heard of festivals that cater to live actions films, but scarcely to animation-based films. The AIF has changed all of that for the better. Held every October at the legendary TCL Chinese 6 Theaters in Tinsel town, a.k.a Hollywood – the film festival debuts new and original animated creations, as well as those already established. This year, from October 22-24, 2021, the AIF will be presenting over a dozen unique representations of this amazing medium. In addition, fans will be able to interact with the very creators of these films, both new and those not so new, in interactive Q and A’s.
There are several films being introduced this upcoming weekend, such Netflix’s “The Summit of the Gods” – which tells the story of an old Kodak camera being discovered on the famous Mt. Everest by a wayward/outcast climber, determined to prove its authenticity that it was once owned by legendary mountain climber, George Mallory. Did we mention that said outcast climber was believed to be missing for years? This animated feature is set to be the opening film tomorrow evening.
Aside from creating a space to both showcase and celebrate such an incredible facet of entertainment – the AIF also celebrates female filmmakers in ways that aren’t always so prominent…especially in Hollywood. With that being said, we can not wait to see what all is in store for this year’s AIF festival. Stay 2uned has been invited to cover this year’s event and we are beyond humbled for this opportunity. You can catch our in depth review/coverage in the coming days both during and afterwards. In the meantime, you can find additional information on AIF’s official website in the link below. Also, before you go, feel free to check out this amazing their amazing trailer.