About the 2022 Festival

FIAF's annual Animation First Festival celebrates the enduring legacy and trailblazing innovation of French animation. Presented for the very first time both in person and online, the Festival's fifth edition will begin with an opening weekend at FIAF from Friday, February 11 to Sunday, February 13, and will then continue online for a nationwide audience from Monday, February 14 to Monday, February 21.

Festival Highlights:

  • 28 US and 23 NY Premieres of feature-length and short films, including Golden Globes Nominee My Sunny Maad, Princess Dragon, and, Archipelago
  • First Female Guest of Honor Florence Miailhe opens the festival with the NY premiere of her award-winning first feature The Crossing
  • Closing night exclusive screening of The Summit of the Gods
  • A special talk on the influence of Disney on French Animation
  • Works in Progress presentations of highly anticipated films with in-person appearances by Jim Capobianco (The Inventor about Leonardo da Vinci), Benjamin Massoubre (Little Nicholas), Alain Ughetto (No Dogs or Italian Allowed)
  • Shorts programs include Best of Annecy International Film Festival and New French Shorts
  • 2nd Annual Student Short Film Competition features emerging talent from top US and French animation schools
  • Plus, video game demonstrations, augmented reality, and virtual reality

Explore the Festival Program now!

From the Festival Curators

“The 5th anniversary of Animation First promises to be another edition full of discoveries and wonder for all audiences. We are thrilled to welcome Florence Miailhe, a fiercely independent filmmaker, to celebrate her first feature film, The Crossing. Throughout the festival, women will occupy a place of choice with New French Shorts, a panel on mid-career professionals, and Best of Annecy’s first-ever shorts program celebrating female directors. A spotlight on emerging talent is also an important component of the program with our second annual US & French Student Short Film Competition, Fresh Out of School shorts program, and a focus on Jean-Charles Mbotti-Malolo, among others. Lastly, as evident from the subjects of several films in this year’s selection, migration, displacement, discrimination, and equity emerge as essential topics. This reflects these artists’ desire to grapple with these important topics, as well as our desire to engage US audiences on these subject matters. In the hand of these talented filmmakers, animation provides a powerful medium to convey their concerns, combining poetry, tenderness and sensitivity with force and a sense of urgency.”

Delphine Selles-Alvarez, FIAF’s Film Curator
Catherine Lamairesse, Director of Special Projects at FIAF
Chloé Dheu, Animation First Programming Associate

About Animation First

Animation First is the only film festival in the US dedicated to the unparalleled legacy and enduring ingenuity of France’s animation studios and schools.

Today, France is Europe’s largest producer and the world’s third-largest exporter of animated film. Since its early beginnings in the late 19th century when Émile Reynaud projected his Pantomimes Lumineuses at the Musée Grévin in Paris, French animation has inspired filmmakers and artists. Their resulting experiments with puppets, cutouts, and stop motion, have been instrumental in inventing important techniques in cinema. Renowned for its stylistic innovation and an approach that integrates artisanal methods with technological ingenuity, French animation continues to garner awards worldwide and spans a diversity of genres. It is responsible for a variety of films from independent art-house successes such as Sylvain Chomet’s The Triplets of Belleville and Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle to those for mature audiences like Persepolis to big-budget blockbusters Ballerina to the Franco-American Despicable Me franchise.

Since its first edition in 2018, Animation First has sought to bring the best of French animation to New York audiences. The Festival has featured the work of and hosted veteran filmmakers such as Anca Damian, Michaël Dudok de Wit, Jean-François Laguioni, and Michel Ocelot, while championing up-and-coming talents such as Charlotte Cambon, Denis Do, Jérémie Perin, and Mai Nguyen. The Festival is a place where audience members can engage with filmmakers, animation professionals, and personalities during behind-the-scene discussions, works in progress, and stimulating talks.

Animation First is presented by FIAF whose mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression.

Festival Sponsors

Lead Sponsors

The Florence Gould FoundationThe Kleinschmidt Family FoundationPictanovo

Supporting Sponsors

Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United StatesNew York City Department of Cultural AffairsNew York State Council on the ArtsQuébec Government Office in New YorkTitra FilmsTV5MONDEUniFrance

Co-Presenting Partners

New York Institute of TechnologyWomen in Animation