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Animation First Festival

Image: Kirikou

FIAF’s wildly successful festival of French animation returns for a second edition with provoking feature-length films, exciting shorts, immersive exhibits, video game demonstrations, panels with filmmakers, and much more.
Visitors will be able to play a selection of French video games, including a demonstration of Assassin’s Creed, organized in partnership with the City of Bordeaux, and experience an augmented reality exhibit through a special app in FIAF’s first- floor gallery. Animation First is the only film festival in the United States dedicated to French animation.
Today, France is Europe’s largest producer and the world’s third largest exporter of animated film. Legendary director Michel Ocelot is this year’s guest of honor, and the festival will open with his groundbreaking feature, Kirikou and the Sorceress, celebrating its 20th anniversary. 


Feature films:

Kirikou and the Sorceress
Directed by Michel Ocelot
Year: 1998
Runtime: 70 min
Fri, Jan 25 at 7pm (Opening Night Film)

Ivan Tsarevitch and the Changing Princess
Directed by Michel Ocelot
Year: 2016
Runtime: 53 min
Sat, Jan 26 at 11am

Only Yesterday
Directed by Isao Takahata
Year: 1991
Runtime: 120 min
Sat, Jan 26 at 12:45pm
Introduction by Michel Ocelot

Directed by Denis Do
Year: 2018
Runtime: 84 min
Sat, Jan 26 at 7:45pm
Post-screening Q&A with director Denis Do

Robinson et Companie
Directed by Jacques Colombat
Year: 1991
Runtime: 73 min
Sun, Jan 27 at 11am

White Fang
Directed by Alexandre Espigares
Year: 2018
Runtime: 85 min
Sun, Jan 27 at 12:45pm


Short film programs:

Erotic Shorts
Fri, Jan 25 at 9:30pm

Documentary Shorts
Sat, Jan 26 at 12pm

Best of Annecy Shorts
Sat, Jan 26 at 3:30pm

Late Night Chills
Sat, Jan 26 at 10:30pm

Pinscreen Magic
Sat, Jan 26 at 5:30 pm
Post-screening Q&A with filmmakers Alexander Rockwell, grandson of Alexandre Alexeïeff, and Michèle Lemieux

Michel Ocelot Selected Shorts
Sat, Jan 27 at 3:30pm
Introduction by Michel Ocelot

Comedy Shorts
Sun, Jan 27 at 5:30pm

César-Nominated Shorts
Sun, Jan 27 at 7:45pm
Festival Closing Night


Times Square Arts Midnight Moment: I was crying out at life
Dir. Vergine Keaton
Tuesday, January 1–Thursday, January 31, 2019 from 11:57pm–Midnight
Electronic Billboards throughout Times Square, 42nd Street at Broadway

This January, Times Square Arts will present Animation First artist Vergine Keaton’s I was crying out at life (2009) as its nightly Midnight Moment. I was crying out at life inverts classical hunting and landscape scenes from 19th-century engravings to tell a tale of stags chasing hounds. Then, curiously, the ground shifts and rises, and the animals race together in unison, no longer at odds with one another and vulnerable to a larger phenomenon. Keaton asserts the power of nature through a vision of a world in which competing forces come together despite their instincts. The world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, Midnight Moment showcases a work each month on synchronized electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57 to midnight.

Virtual Reality and Video Games
Saturday, January 26–Sunday, January 27 from 11am–6pm, FIAF Gallery

Throughout the festival the FIAF Gallery will be open for free to the general public to experience virtual reality works and play a selection of video games and demos from France and francophone countries. French company Ubisoft will be providing a demo of the discovery mode of Assassin’s Creed: Origins— the franchise has sold more than 100 million copies making it one of the highest selling of all time. Rayman Legends, Seers Isle, and Ratatouille will also be available for play, as well as a the virtual reality experience Age Old Cities (Cités Millénaires) and a special arcade version of Eagle Flight, which are part of this year’s virtual reality offerings. This exhibit is presented in partnership with the City of Bordeaux.

Augmented Reality exhibit
Saturday, January 26–Sunday, January 27 from 11am–6pm, FIAF Gallery

This exhibition presents the work of Angouleme-based students from their final year at EMCA, one of the top animation schools in France. Each one of the 20 printed designs that will be on display contains a hidden animation. With the help of a smartphone and a specially developed augmented reality app, beautiful and surprising animations will reveal themselves from within the artwork. This exhibit is presented in partnership with Magelis.

More information here