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Animated documentary Flee from helmer Jonas Poher Rasmussen has picked up another award, taking the top honor, the Grand Jury Prize, at the 4th Animation Is Film Festival, which wrapped on Sunday in Hollywood.
The jury also honored Belle from Oscar-nominated writer/director Mamoru Hosoda (Mirai) with a Special Jury Prize, and The Crossing with the Audience Award.
Slated for a Dec. 3 release from U.S. distributor Neon, Flee follows a man, Amin (a pseudonym), who recounts for the first time his journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan.
“In the touching and innovative documentary Flee, Jonas Poher Rasmussen takes great care in sharing the personal history of an Afghan refugee. The filmmaker uses the process of animation to protect the identity of his subject, while also bringing an added layer to the material, capturing the impact of trauma on memory and identity in the process,” stated jury chair Peter Debruge of Variety.
Of Belle, which follows the journey of a 17-year-old high school student, Debruge said, “With extraordinary visual imagination and technical skill, Mamoru Hosoda reinvents the classic Beauty and the Beast story for this century. In his telling, a teenage Belle finds her voice and takes a stand on an important social issue.” The film is scheduled for a Jan. 14 U.S. theatrical release from distributor GKIDS.
In Florence Miailhe-helmed The Crossing, Kyona and Adriel embark on a heroic journey that takes them from childhood to adolescence, surviving incredible challenges before reaching a new world, free at last.
“At a time when audiences everywhere are still easing back into theatres, we were positively awestruck by the steady hum of enthusiasm on display this weekend at Animation Is Film. With sold-out screenings every day of the festival, Los Angeles announced itself once again as an epicenter for cinema and animation lovers. We were so happy to see everyone again,” said AIF director Matt Kaszanek in a released statement.
The festival was produced by GKIDS in partnership with Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Variety, which shares a parent company, PMC, with The Hollywood Reporter.
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