le MIAFF Preview: Your Guide to a Weekend of Awesome Animated Films

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Montreal summer is a great time for film festivals. Fantasia, FIFA, FNC, WFF – there’s something for everyone to go to, no matter where your interests in film are. A festival I look forward to covering for the first time is starting today: the Montreal International Animation Film Festival, or MIAFF.

As much as MIAFF is a film festival, it’s also an event. This year’s fest will feature panel discussions on stop-motion animation and the development process that takes an idea from your head to animated reality, as well as master classes with animation legends Co Hoedman and Heavy Metal director Gerald Potterton.

But what of the films, you ask? MIAFF’s lineup this year is a startlingly diverse smorgasbord of animated films from all over the world, ranging from the deadly serious to the fun and light hearted.

From Germany is The Land of the Magic Flute, a gorgeous looking motion comic billed as a re-imagining of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. The Land of the Magic Flute will be part of MIAFF’s opening night, and feature live music by Philip Lambert.

108 demon kings poster108 Demon Kings is a co-production between France, Belgium, Luxembourg and China, a sprawling CGI adventure set in 11th century China.

For those looking for something to bring the family to, Yellowbird promises a more mainstream family adventure, the story of a small bird leading his flock on the yearly migration. The film is originally from France and Belgiu, but the English dub starring Seth Green and Commnity’s Jim Rash and Yvette Nicole Brown will be playing.

From Argentina, Anima Buenos Aires looks to be a beautiful tableau of styles and rhythms, an animated portrait of the country’s capital featuring sequences by some of the most talented local animators.

Finally, from China, Joe Chang’s Magic Train looks to be a lyrical, poetic experience that will in all likelihood make you cry like a small child.

And that’s not even getting into the countless shorts that will air in special blocks throughout the festival.

While I won’t be there every day, I’ll be attending the first and last days of the festival, with a special FFR early next week recounting my experiences at the fest.

Also, congratulations to Velislav Kazakov who correctly identified our contest still as The Secret of Kells. He wins a pair of tickets to opening night!

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