We are honored to present our special guests for the upcoming festival edition.  As the festival approaches we will release more information about featured guests, official selection, workshops, installations, and special programs. Check back in periodically for updates.


Brad Bird There have been very few animation directors who have achieved such heights of success in the world of mainstream cinema as Brad Bird. He is well-known for directing large scale animation projects such as the highly celebrated animated feature The Iron Giant. He also teamed up with Pixar to direct two critically acclaimed features, Ratatouille and The Incredibles, and received three Academy Awards including Best Animated Feature and Best Original Screenplay. Recently Bird’s vision has spilled into the world of live-action, directing the blockbusters Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland.


Masaaki Yuasa is a highly acclaimed director working outside the mold of traditional Japanese animation, slicing open the conventions of Anime on his own terms. Yuasa is known for directing such works as Ping Pong, Kaiba, and Tatami Galaxy, and has worked in many corners of the field as a storyboardist, screenwriter, animator, and co-founder of Science SARU animation studio. Utilizing a vibrancy and a crudeness that liberates, Yuasa’s work is revered for its wildness and invention. His style is infused with a broad variety of influences and his narratives are unapologetically raw, fresh, and bizarre, creating a new form of psychedelia. A special screening of his first feature film Mind Game will be followed by a Q&A with Yuasa led by Nobuaki Doi, animation scholar and director of the New Chitose Airport Festival.


We are proud to feature a retrospective of the work of Swiss animation legend Georges Schwizgebel, one of the most celebrated independent animators of all time. In the decades spanning Schwizgebel’s career, he pioneered original techniques to reweave the formal fabric of animation. His structural animations are composed like complex musical scores with a dizzying Escher-like recursivity. A Schwizgebel film will spin around you and sneak up on you, as your grip on its form gets increasingly shaken. He is truly an unparalleled voice in animation history and his films bring the use of the frame and the cycle to an entirely new conceptual level. Schwizgebel will be present in person for a Q&A following this special screening of his works.



In Amy Lockhart’s idiosyncratic candy-colored world, all cartoon creatures flex, smear, blink and lick in perpetuity. Lockhart is a multi-faceted artist and teacher who works in animation, sculpture, painting, and comics. Her techniques range from a masterful manipulation of DIY aesthetics like papier mâché and painted paper cut outs to irreverent digital Amiga animations that boast their glitches. Lockhart’s work is embedded with a strong sense of craft and an awareness of animation history, fully owning and repurposing cartoon logic and physics to her own absurdist ends. Are her anthropomorphic hamburgers snickering with you or at you? You’ll never know. Join us for complete retrospective of Lockhart’s films followed by a Q&A.


Mathieu Labaye is a Belgian director who has won numerous awards for his works, which explore themes of movement, constraint, and breaking imposed limits. His lauded short films Orgesticulanismus and Le Labyrinthe both investigate ideas around the confinement of one’s body, mind, and environment, and the freedom and strength found within inner space. His virtuosic chops and ease with hand-drawn animation are a unique window into these topics. Labaye’s works allow the viewer to rethink these subjects on a deeper level, through the expertly fine-tuned eye of an artist with an incredibly strong understanding of human motion and its meaning in our lives. Labaye will be present to discuss his work in a Q&A following the screening.


Lei Lei is a master of style and one of the most exciting young Chinese animators working today. Bold and elegant at the same time, his animations follow characters as they navigate his angled landscapes of bright colors and shifting shapes, each film a kaleidoscope of found imagery, vintage book covers, and imagined worlds. Also a musician, Lei Lei’s beats and melodies are a distinctive component of his animated universe. His award-winning work has shown in top animation festivals throughout the world, and this retrospective screening will show the growth of his prolific animation practice. Lei Lei will be present for a Q&A following the screening.


Peter Burr (b. 1980) is an artist from Brooklyn, NY, USA specializing in animation and installation. His work has been presented at venues across the world including Le Centre Pompidou, Paris; Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid; and MoMA PS1, New York. His recent work explores the concept of an endlessly mutating death labyrinth and is being expanded into a video game through the support of Creative Capital and Sundance. Previously, he worked under the alias Hooliganship and in 2006 founded the video label Cartune Xprez, through which he produced live multimedia exhibitions showcasing artists working in experimental animation. We’ll be featuring a retrospective of Peter’s works as well as his installation, Pattern Language.


Ana Ramirez is a filmmaker and visual development artist originally from Mexico. Ana graduated from CalArts with a Bachelors in Film/Video, more specifically from the Experimental Animation program. Prior to her studies at CalArts Ana attended ESMA in France where she completed the MANNAA which is a foundation year for applied arts and participated in various art shows. At Pixar, she is a visual development artist where she has worked on projects such as COCO. She also has worked with Google, FOX, and Jib Jab. Ana loves working in traditional and mixed media, and would love to further expand her knowledge and understanding in art and film.