Animation First Festival (France) will open with the film about Calamity Jane

Animation First Festival (France) will open with the film about Calamity Jane

The French Alliance Française Institute (FIAF) has announced additions to 2021 Animation First Festival, which will be held from Friday 5th February to Monday 15th February. The opening night will now feature the American premiere of Calamity Jane (Calamity, une enfance de Martha Jane Cannary) by the director Rémi Chayé, who will be a special guest of the festival.

Winner of the Crystal for Best Feature Film at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2020, Calamity Jane is based on the early life of the legendary Wild West figure. This feminist retelling shows how young Martha Jane Cannary fought against a macho, male-dominated society to become an iconic frontier woman.

Read more about the film here.

Chayé, who will be a special guest at the festival, will talk about his latest film in a live speech on Saturday 6 February at 14pm. EAST. His 00 animated film, Long Way North (Tout en haut du monde), about another young adventurous girl - this one based in Russia - will be screened during the Festival.

“It is an honor to bring Calamity Jane at FIAF's Animation First, ”said Chayé. "Being an American short story, adapted by a French director, it seems particularly suited to having its US premiere at this Festival, and I can't wait to discuss the years-long process to bring it to fruition with American audiences" .

Yop City Aya

The FIAF is also collaborating with Dr. Boukary Sawadogo, a professor of film studies at City College of New York and founding director of the Harlem African Animation Festival, on two programs that highlight animation from Africa. Considering animation as "another lens to look at Africa", according to the writings of Dr Sawadogo, the program marks the 50th anniversary of independence for 17 different African nations.

The feature of 2013, Aya of Yop City (Aya de Yopougon), adapts Marguerite Abouet's best-selling graphic novels about three teenage friends to the screen. A short film program brings together directors from Ghana, Tunisia, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso via Canada, showing the different storytelling and filmmaking techniques multifaceted across the continent. The shorts selected are:

  • Black Barbie, Dir. Comfort Arthur, 2016, 4 min, Ghana
  • The Cora Player (Joueur de cora), Dir. Cilia Sawadogo, 1996, 7 min., Canada
  • Afropower (Afreupouvoir), Dir. Manohiray Randriamanantsoa, ​​2010, 5 min, Madagascar
  • The Ambouba, Dir. Nadia Rais, 2010, 9 min, Tunisia
  • اغتراب Trays, Dir. Alaeddin Abou Taleb, 2018, 13 min, Tunisia
  • Prince Lesono, Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, 2004, 29 min, France and Belgium

Animation First 2021 - Festival Trailer from FIAF on Vimeo.

As previously announced, Animation First 2021 will include 55 premieres of US feature films and shorts, including Aurel's award-winning debut. Josep, the family film Stinky Dog, Happy Life in Paris!, based on the popular book series about a mutt living in a Parisian garbage can. Making his first in New York is Zero Impunity (Zero impunity), a powerful documentary giving a voice to victims of sexual violence around the world created by brothers Stéphane Hueber-Blies and Nicolas Blies.

The programs will also cover works by students from the best US and French film schools, a The best of Annecy shows short films, focus on materially eclectic works by Florence Miailhe (whose next feature film The Crossing (The crossing) part of the work-in-progress line up), award-winning TV specials, provocative web series (Fall in Love, Women Undercover), WIP sessions on Anca Damian's The island and Benoit Chieux's Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds (Sirocco and the kingdom of the winds), as well as conferences and workshops with industry luminaries such as Kristof Serrand.

The King and the Mockingbird

The King and the Mockingbird

Also, special guest Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Isle of Dogs) presents a selection of four films that inspired his legendary film career: Disney Bambi (1942), presented in both Hindi and French; Adapted by Richard Adams The dogs of the plague (1982); and short films nominated for an Oscar A Doonesbury special (1977) and Peter and the wolf (2006). Animation First will also present a tribute to the French animation icon Paul Grimault (1905-1994) with a special screening of his cult classic satirical masterpiece The King and the Mockingbird (Le Roi et l'Oiseau) and eight recently restored short films produced from 1942 to 1973.

"Animation First this year promises to be the richest in the history of the Festival," said FIAF President Marie-Moniqu Steckel. “We are delighted to have so many exciting new movies, cult classics and our first American special guest, Wes Anderson. It is particularly gratifying to offer, in the United States, at a very affordable price, the possibility of discovering the fantastic world of French animation “.

Unlimited access passes for the Animation First 2021 festival are on sale on

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