Los Angeles Animation Festival 2012 Opens With Shrek, Bugs Bunny and SpongeBob's Tom Kenny

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Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

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click to enlarge Miles Flanagan and John Andrews of LAAF - LIZ OHANESIAN
  • Liz Ohanesian
  • Miles Flanagan and John Andrews of LAAF
The last LAAF was a smaller, indie-oriented gathering at Cinefamily in the fall of 2010. This time around, organizers aimed bigger with a larger venue and screen, plus a few flicks from the major studios. On Sunday, the festival is hosting a special screening of Shrek, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the landmark feature's Academy Award.

But LAAF isn't just about the big films. It also hosted an animation contest and selected entries will screen through out the weekend. Although LAAF received a worldwide selection of entries, many of the contestants were local students.

"We're trying to build up from the local schools," Andrews says. "At the end of the day, what we really want is the presence of the local community."

Flanagan likens the duo's approach to the festival to Los Angeles itself. Just as L.A. is a metropolis consisting of many neighborhoods, so does the animation industry consist of many smaller communities. "What we do with this festival is take all of these small, animation communities -- all these independent animation communities -- and we bring them together," he says.

click to enlarge Nylon Pink at LAAF's opening party. - LIZ OHANESIAN
  • Liz Ohanesian
  • Nylon Pink at LAAF's opening party.
This year's festival will showcase everything from the work of indie auteur Bill Plympton to YouTube hit Dick Figures to anime classics Akira and Grave of the Fireflies to the adults-only collection of Spanish animation Dos Rombos.

"It's an international festival, but it's based in L.A.," says Flanagan. "By the very nature of L.A. as the center of entertainment, it encompasses the world."

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