Animation First

Centerpiece night

L’Alliance’s popular Animation First Festival, now in its seventh year, is the only festival in the U.S. dedicated to showcasing the enduring legacy and trailblazing innovation of French and Francophone animation.

The multi-day celebration comprises screenings of both feature-length and short films, creator talks, virtual reality experiences, sneak peeks of works in progress, a Student Short Film Competition, an Animation Speak/Easy night, a juried contest among the New Francophone Shorts programs, and—as of 2024—a limited-edition Animation First series poster illustrated by a guest artist. Engaging film offerings—some of which are U.S. or New York premieres—are selected for guests from kids to teens to adults.

Past Animation First Festival highlights include the New York premiere of director Jérémie Périn’s Mars Express as the 2024 opening night feature, award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker Anca Damian as the 2023 festival guest of honor, a 30th anniversary screening of Beauty and the Beast presented in partnership with The Met Museum in 2022, a selection of favorite films from director Wes Anderson in 2021, and a panel discussion about Academy Award-nominated I Lost My Body with director Jérémy Clapin in 2020.

The Animation First Festival is curated by Delphine Selles-Alvarez and Chloé Dheu, L’Alliance Assistant Film Programmer. All films are in French with English subtitles (unless otherwise noted), and all talks are in English.

To see a list of former Animation First features, please visit our Event Archive.

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Animation First 2025 screenings and events will be announed soon. In the meantime, explore our other events, including screenings and performances!

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