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Studio Ghibli’s American Distributor Is Launching a New Festival That Could Change Animation in America

GKIDS has announced its ambitious new ANIMATION IS FILM festival, and it looks promising. Plus: More festival highlights.

“My Life as a Zucchini”

Lineup Announcements

– The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) has announced the complete lineup for the 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF) which returns to July 20 – August 6. Entering its 37th year, thefestival is expecting an audience of over 40,000 moviegoers at various theaters around the Bay Area.

The festival will open on Thursday, July 20 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco with the Tribeca Film Festival award-winning narrative “Keep the Change,” with director Rachel Israel and invited guests in person. The festival will close on Sunday, July 30 with the Closing Night film “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.” You can check out the full lineup right here.

– The Woods Hole Film Festival (WHFF), the oldest film festival on Cape Cod and the Islands, has announced the lineup of its 26th edition, which runs July 29 – August 5, at five different venues in the village of Woods Hole and in Falmouth. More than 130 films — 52 narrative and documentary features and 81 narrative, documentary, and animated shorts—from everywhere from Mashpee to Maine and South Africa to Sri Lanka will screen during the festival.

“We received nearly 1,000 submissions from around the world, from both first-time and veteran filmmakers, enabling us to create an impressive and diverse line-up of independent film,” says Founder and Director Judy Laster. “Although film festivals are always changing, we are committed to supporting emerging independent filmmakers by creating a festival environment that is both intimate and thought-provoking, enabling both filmmakers and audience members to have real conversations with one another in an inspiring setting.” You can check out the full lineup right here.


– The American Film Institute has announced the AFI DOCS 2017 Audience Award winners, concluding the five-day festival in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD.  This year’s Audience Award for Best Feature went to “Step,” directed by Amanda Lipitz.  This year’s Audience Award for Best Short went to “Fish Story,” directed by Charlie Lyne. You can see the full list of winners right here.

– The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) has announced tonight the award winners of this year’s festival. Winners include “Little Pink House,” “I Am Evidence,” “Victor & Isoline,” and “Brigsby Bear.” You can see the full list of winners right here.

As previously announced, Sofia Coppola was presented with the 2017 Filmmaker on the Edge Award in conversation with PIFF resident artist John Waters; Chloë Sevigny received the Excellence in Acting Award; and Aubrey Plaza received the Next Wave Award.

Kyle Mooney in Brigsby Bear

“Brigsby Bear”

Courtesy of Sundance

– The first annual Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival (JTIFF), which was held June 8 – 11 at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in historic Jim Thorpe, PA, has announced its first set of winners, including “Palacios,” “Sweet Maddie Stone,” and “Even Lovers Get the Blues.” You can see the full list of winners right here.

Honors and Tributes

– Telluride Film Festival, presented by National Film Preserve LTD., has announced its 2017 Guest Director, Joshua Oppenheimer. The award-winning documentarian is set to select a series of films to present at the 44th Telluride Film Festival running over Labor Day Weekend, September 1 – 4.

Festival organizers annually select one of the world’s great film enthusiasts to join them in the creation of the Festival’s program lineup. The Guest Director serves as a key collaborator in the Festival’s programming decisions, bringing new ideas and overlooked films to Telluride. In keeping with Telluride Film Festival tradition, Oppenheimer’s film selections, along with the rest of the Telluride lineup, will be kept secret until Opening Day.

“The Guest Director program is one of the most essential and wonderful parts of our festival,” said Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger. “Joshua has been a part of the SHOW with several of the incredible films he has made in the past, and now as our Guest Director. His rare combination of intelligence and down-to-earth understanding of humanity will make for a remarkable presentation of films our audience will not want to miss.”


– The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) has announced the award scholarships to five graduating seniors in East End high schools from the support of The Hilaria & Alec Baldwin Foundation. The inaugural scholarship fund will honor one student each from Southampton, East Hampton, Bridgehampton, The Ross School, and Pierson High School in Sag Harbor. Students will receive $1,000, as well as a Filmmaker Discovery Package to attend the 25th anniversary HIFF taking place October 5 – 9.

This year’s recipients include: Amanda Mintz, Sophie Rhind, Gaby Arevalo, Eve Bishop, and Sarahi Negrete.

“Our youth are the next generation of storytellers, and it is important that HIFF continue to provide access to the filmmaking arts,” said Anne Chaisson, Executive Director. “Our goal is to give students the opportunity to discover what inspires them, and to explore their dreams.”

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