2017 Animated Feature Films

2017 Animated Features for 2017 (with announced - IMDB - North American release dates):

January
One Pieces Film: Gold, Hiroaki Miyamoto, Fuji TV, 01/10/2017
Bunyan and Babe, Jay Shindell, Exodus Film Group, 01/12/2017
Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions, Satoshi Kuwabara, Konami, 01/20/2017

February
The Lego Batman Movie, Chris McKay, Warner Bros, 02/10/2017
Rock Dog, Ash Brannon, Reel FX, 02/24/2017

March
The Boss Baby, Tom McGrath, Dreamworks, 03/31/2017

April
Smurfs: The Lost Village, Kelly Asbury, Sony, 04/07/2017
My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea, Dash Shaw, Washington Square Films, 04/14/2017
Spark: A Space Tail, Aaron Woodley, Toonbox, 04/14/2017

June
Captain Underpants, David Soren, Dreamworks, 06/02/2017
Cars 3, Brian Fee, Pixar, 06/16/2017
Despicable Me 3, Kyle Balda & Pierre Coffin, Illumination, 06/30/2017

July
The Expierment, Max Litinsmeyer, Mega Studios, 07/07/2017

August
The Emoji Movie, Tony Leondis, Sony, 08/04/2017
Nut Job 2, Cal Brunker, ToonBox, 08/18/2017

September
Animal Crackers, Tony Bancroft & Scott Christian Sava, Beijing Wen Hua Dong Run Investment Co, 09/01/2017
Leap, Eric Summer, Quad Productions, 09/04/2017
The Lego Ninjago Movie, Charlie Bean, Warner Bros, 09/22/2017

October
My Little Pony: The Movie, Jayson Thiessen, Hasbro/DHX, 10/06/2017

November
The Star, Timothy Reckart, Sony, 11/10/2017
Coco,    Lee Unkrich, Pixar, 11/22/2017

December
Madison Avenue, the Subliminal Musical, Paul Streitz, Oxford Institute Press, 12/01/2017
Ferdinand, Carlos Saldanha, Blue Sky, 12/15/2017

There’s another 30 or more films that could get a North America release including The Girl Without Hands, The Breadwinner (from Cartoon Saloon), Big Bad Fox (from the team behind Ernest & Celestine) and two that I’m curious about - Luis and his Friends from Outer Space directed by Christoph & Wolfgang Lauenstein (whose short films are quite good) and Zombillenium directed by Arthur de Pins & Alexi Ducord (I’m a fan of de Pins short films and comic book work.)

Animated Films at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2016

Blind Vaysha, Theodore Ushev Canada, 2016
in Short Cuts 2: 9/9 9:45PM, 9/10 9:30AM, 9/18 9:45AM

With one eye that can only see the past and one that can only see the future, a girl is tormented by two irreconcilable realities. 


Decorado, Alberto Vázquez, 2016, Spain/France
in Short Cuts 9: 9/13 9:30PM, 9/14 9:30AM, 9/18 7:15PM

 Is this bizarre dystopian landscape real? Or are we all just living through set pieces in some strange movie?


Inner Workings, Leo Matsuda, USA, 2016
in Short Cuts 5:  9/11 7PM, 9/12 9:30AM, 9/16 3PM

Inner Workings goes inside a man’s psyche to show us the battle between his practical side and his carefree impulses.


My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea, Dash Shaw, USA, 2016
Feature Film: 9/11 2:45PM, 9/12 11:30AM, 9/13 4PM, 9/14 11:45PM, 9/16 8:15PM

Inventive, beautiful, and more than a little bizarre, the animated feature debut from acclaimed graphic novelist Dash Shaw is surely the most delightful disaster movie in cinema history. To say that My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea is like John Hughes fused with The Poseidon Adventure makes for a snappy pitch — and it's true — but it doesn't prepare you for the sheer originality of Dash's vision. Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Maya Rudolph, Susan Sarandon, and Reggie Watts supply voices for this story about what it takes to survive adolescence. Literally.

Best friends Dash (Schwartzman) and Assaf (Watts) are sophomores at Tides High, where they author the entire school newspaper. When their editor (Rudolph) starts offering Assaf solo assignments, Dash's jealousy prompts him to publish fictitious reportage about Assaf having erectile dysfunction. Later, while rummaging through the school archives, Dash discovers records indicating that the building isn't up to code. He tries to warn his schoolmates, but after his slanderous attacks on Assaf, nobody believes him. Then it happens: an earthquake sends the school toppling into the Pacific. Everyone inside is trapped. A girl is ripped to shreds by baby sharks. Dash is bitten by jellyfish. Sundry students are electrocuted. Will anyone survive the sinking of Tides High? Can Lorraine the Lunch Lady (Sarandon) lead the kids to safety?

Whether it's autumn leaves tumbling in the wind or bodies toppling to their deaths, Dash's imagery, with its hand-drawn figures and gouache-painted celluloid, is awash in wacky wondrousness. Body count aside, My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea is a very sweet film about the importance of friendship… and about knowing when it's all right to fudge facts for the sake of a good story.


My Life As a Courgette, Claude Barras, Switzerland France, 2016
Feature Film: 9/8 5PM, 9/10 4:45PM, 9/18 12:30PM

When nine-year-old Icare accidentally causes the death of his alcoholic mother, he is accompanied to the Fontaines group home by kind policeman Raymond. He at first finds it difficult to fit in, and is desperately homesick: the only reminders of his former life are an empty beer can and his mother's nickname for him, "Courgette." He soon learns that the other children in the home have endured similarly traumatic circumstances. Alice's father is imprisoned for sexual abuse; new arrival Camille witnessed her parents' murder-suicide; and Simon, group leader and bully, lost both his parents to drug overdoses. With the help of the other kids at the centre — and the gentle-hearted Raymond — Courgette begins rebuilding his life, and gradually he comes to find comfort and acceptance in his new home.

This is a story that could have been devastatingly dark, but it addresses issues with subtlety and delicacy. The clean and simple animation style works in wonderful contrast to the difficult subject matter, and the characters' expressive faces give us hope for the innocence and resilience of children. My Life as a Courgette is authentic, empathetic, and ultimately uplifting.


The Pine Tree Villa, Jan Koester, Germany, 2016
in Short Cuts 1, 9/8 8:15PM, 9/9 9AM, 9/17 1PM

Lion and Bird walk through Berlin, past a long-uninhabited villa where, surprisingly, lights burn in the windows. Curiosity drives Lion inside, and though caution compels Bird to stay behind, he must fight to save his friend from danger when an extraordinary world emerges from the shadows.


The Red Turtle, Michael Dudok de Wit, France / Belgium / Japan, 2016
Feature Film: 9/8 11:30AM, 9/10 3:45PM, 9/12 6:30PM

Shipwrecked on a deserted island, a lone man struggles to find his place in this new world. The basics for survival are abundant yet frustratingly out of reach, and danger lurks in the smallest of crevices; every isolated grotto is also a potential grave. The man cleverly uses the forest's resources to support his raft-making efforts, but his every escape attempt is thwarted by an enormous sea turtle who seems intent on having him stay. Enraged, he attacks the turtle, intent on killing it. What happens next is the beginning of a new chapter in the man's life, one that will instruct him in the ways of companionship and lead him to understand that nature must take its course.

The Red Turtle luxuriates in the magic of life and the cycles of nature. Its languorous, entirely wordless storytelling arouses the senses, inspires wonder, and invites viewers to cast themselves in the central role. All the hallmarks of a Ghibli film are here — not least of all, the studio's compassionate treatment of humanist themes — rendered in de Wit's singular animation style. It's an artistic partnership that has given us one of the year's finest cinematic experiences.


Red of the Yew Tree, Marie-Hélène Turcotte, Canada, 2016
in Shorts Cut 4: 9/10 10PM, 9/11 11:15AM, 9/16 9:15PM

A pheasant hunt becomes a spellbinding elemental odyssey in animator Marie-Hélène Turcotte’s visionary rendering of femininity and intuition.


Snip, Terril Calder, Canada, 2016
in Shorts Cut 4: 9/10 10PM, 9/11 11:15AM, 9/16 9:15PM

In this richly layered stop-motion animation, written and narrated by award-winning author Joseph Boyden, Annie and Gordon travel through a portal in time to help two children escape the horrors of residential school.


Second To None, Vincent Gallagher, Ireland, 2016
in Short Cuts 3: 9/10 7PM, 9/11 9AM, 9/16 6PM

Being the world’s second-oldest man might be enough of a claim to fame for some, but not for the protagonist of this delightfully black comedy.


Nutag - Homeland, Alisi Telenät, Canada, 2016
in Short Cuts 1: 9/8 8:15PM, 9/9 9:15AM, 9/17 1PM

During World War II, the Kalmyk people of the Soviet Union were forcibly relocated to Siberia, and nearly half of them died before the return home some 14 years later. This magnificently hand-painted visual poem is a heart-wrenching lament expressing loss and longing.


Summer Camp Island, Julia Pott, USA, 2016
in Short Cuts 7: 9/12 6;45PM, 9/13 12:15PM, 9/17 6:30PM

Glitter glue, singing marshmallows, and dance contests figure prominently in Pott’s gloriously askew take on adolescence at its most awkward.


Four Faces Of The Moon, Amanda Strong, Canada, 2016
in Short Cuts 11: 9/14 9:15PM, 9/15 11:15AM, 6/18 9:45PM

This intricate stop-motion animation interlaces Canada’s colonial past with writer-director Amanda Strong’s personal family history — and illuminates Cree, Métis, and Anishinaabe reclamation of culture, language, and Nationhood.


Sing, Garth Jennings, USA/France, 2016Ann Marie Fleming
Feature Film: 9/11 3:30PM, 9/12 11:30AM, 9/15 11:45AM, 9/17 6:45PM, 9/18 3:30PM

Buster is the dandy koala proprietor of a failing theatre. He comes up with a brilliant scheme to save his stage: put audience members on it. "Real talent from real life," Buster declares. "That's what audiences want, and I'm gonna give it to them!" Buster is determined to host the world's greatest singing competition, and, given the overwhelming response to his call for participants, the show might just lay claim to that title.

Among his lead contestants are an exhausted mother of 25 piglets, a timid adolescent elephant, a porcupine with punk cred but a lame boyfriend, a rodent con artist with Sinatra-esque chops, and a gangster gorilla eager to change careers. Each is as desperate to change their life as Buster is to rescue his business.

Written and directed by Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Sing is a putting-on-a-show movie that revels in the glory of our differences. Though the animals' talents and temperaments are as wide-ranging as their zoological heritage, they all enter Buster's competition on a level playing field. Each has a moment alone in the spotlight to realize their dreams — but together they make for an exhilarating chorus.

Window Horses, Ann Marie Fleming, Canada, 2016
Feature Film: 9/9 11;30AM, 9/11 2PM, 9/13 4:45PM

Rosie is a young Canadian poet of Chinese and Persian descent. She lives in Vancouver with her overprotective but loving Chinese grandparents and dreams of an artistic and glamorous life abroad. An invitation to a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran, rocks her boat, and though she has never travelled on her own, she decides to embark on the trip that will change her life. In Iran, she meets fellow artists from around the world and locals who open her eyes to the nature of art. They become guides to Rosie's own personal narrative as they offer new perspectives on the story of a father she thought had abandoned her. Her time in Shiraz will be a transformative one during which she will learn to ground herself by connecting with her own roots, both far and near.

Voiced by an all-star cast that includes Sandra Oh, Ellen Page, and Don McKellar, the characters display the intelligence and humour typical of Fleming's work. The film seamlessly integrates different animation styles to express Rosie's diverse experiences; the richness of this world is presented for the audience to marvel at with the same wide-eyed wonder as Rosie. One of the most magical things about Window Horses is how a single sentence, an idea, or a scrap of history can come to life in the most colourful and graceful of ways, flowering into a poetic universe all its own.


Children of Lir, Katherine Mcinnes, USA, 2016
in Wavelengths 1: 9/9 7PM

An impressive flicker animation comprised of Time magazine photographs, Katherin McInnis’ Children of Lir combines an Irish tale of children set adrift as swans and the tragic poisoning of water in Flint and other American communities.


Dark Adaptation, Chris Gehman, Canada, 2016
in Wavelengths 3: 9/11 6PM

Reminiscent of Jordan Belson’s spiritual animation work, Chris Gehman’s mesmeric Dark Adaptation is a shimmering vision of refracted light and pure prismatic colour.


Flowers Of The Sky, Janie Geyser, USA, 2016
in Wavelengths 4: 9/12 6:30PM

In Flower of the Sky, Janie Geiser elegantly submits two thrifted photographs to superimpositions and masking techniques in order to trouble and recast histories of the early 20th century.


Untitled 1925, Madi Piller, Canada, 2016
in Wavelengths 1: 9/9 7PM

Evincing formal echoes of Bruce Baillie, Madi Piller’s Untitled, 1925 is a personal, experimental travelogue that traces the voyage of Piller’s grandfather through the highlands of Peru

Animation In Los Angeles for April 2016

Wabbit Season, Cinefamily, April 2nd, 11AM

USC Student Animated Films Screening, Director's Guild April 15th, 7:30PM 

REDCAT International Children's Film Festival, April 23rd to May 7th, Roy & Edna Disney/Calarts Theater. Lots of animation (shorts, no features).

Short Films at the French Film Festival, Director's Guild, Truffaut Theatre, April 24th, Program 1 11AM, Program 2, 4:15PM. Each program contains a number of animated shorts 

Long Way North, Director's Guild, Melville Theatre, April 24th, 11:30AM
Part of the French Film Festival

The Films of Karel Zeman, Cinefamily April 28-May 1
- The Fabulous Baron Munchausen April 28th, 7:30PM & April 29th 10PM
- A Journey To The Beginning Of Time, April 30th, 2PM
- Karel Zeman: Adventurer In Film (Documentary), April 30th, 4:30PM
- Invention For Destruction, May 1st, 2PM
- The Stolen Airship, May 1st, 4:30PM

Fantastic Mr Fox, Aero Theater, April 24th, 3PM

CalArts Animation at Cinefamily, April 27th, 10:30PM

CalArts Experimental Animation Screening, Roy & Edna Disney/Calarts Theater (RedCat), April 28th, 8:00PM

Rachet and Clank, Various Theaters, opens April 29th

EYECANDY – VISUAL MUSIC AND THE OPTICAL PRINTER, Echo Park Film Centre, April 30th, 8PM

Additions to come

Animated Films playing at the Ottawa International Animation Festival

Can't make it to the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Many of the films screening at the Festival are available online, either as a trailer, excerpt or complete film. I've complied links to ones I've found (compiled in late-August.) below (playlists from Vimeo and YouTube as well as few other links). Enjoy 

Vimeo (77 films)

YouTube (14 Films)

Wrigley - Live Safe https://player.vimeo.com/video/108608411
Splintertime (trailer) https://vimeo.com/112494410
Carface (trailer) https://www.nfb.ca/film/carface
Tu ressembles à moi https://vimeo.com/104260160
Mynarski Chute Mortelle (trailer) https://vimeo.com/101933716
House of Unconsciousness (trailer) https://vimeo.com/111000410
If I Was God (trailer) https://www.nfb.ca/film/if_i_was_god
Zepo https://vimeo.com/132666441
Happy Loneliness https://vimeo.com/117987412
The Moustache (trailer) https://vimeo.com/125245550
Water https://vimeo.com/114306297
Heavy as a Hill https://vimeo.com/127659769
Pombo Loves You (trailer) https://vimeo.com/130104791
Counting Sheep (trailer) https://vimeo.com/129413300
9:30AM (trailer) https://vimeo.com/101649954

Animation At The Toronto International Film Festival

Here's a list of the animated films (including films that have animation sequences) playing at Toronto International Film Festival, Sept 10-20, 2015. Click on the film title for more info.

SHORT FILMS

(OTTO)
Joris Oprins, Marieke Blaauw, Job Roggeveen; Netherlands
Short Cuts Programme 7

A little girl accidentally leaves her imaginary baby brother behind at a restaurant — and suddenly, for a nearby childless couple, the definition of "baby" takes on a new and completely unexpected dimension.


BACON & GOD'S WRATH
Sol Friedman; Canada
Short Cuts Programme 3

In this endearing and playful mixed-media docu-collage, ninety-year-old Razie's discovery of "the Google" leads her to a reckoning with her lifelong Jewish faith.


BAM
Howie Shia; Canada
Short Cuts Programme 11

A young boxer struggles to contain the rage roiling inside him. Rendered in a spare but powerful style, this animated study in anger shifts from outbursts of brutal force to moments of quieter poignancy.


THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE UNDERWATER
Joël Vaudreuil; CanadaS
Short Cuts Programme 5

In this absurd animated parody of a classic undersea adventure show, an authoritative narrator reveals the wonders and mysteries of the sea — although the banal habits of these homely aquatic creatures are oddly familiar.


MIA
Amanda Strong, Bracken Hanuse Corlett; Canada
Short Cuts Programme 7

Transformed into a salmon, an isolated Indigenous street artist travels through decayed cityscapes to ancient forests. This sublime mixed animation asserts the power of cultural memory and Indigenous presence in urban lands.


THE SLEEPWALKER
Theodore Ushev; Canada
Short Cuts Programme 6

A Federico García Lorca poem provides the inspiration — and Balkan beat wave artist Kottarashky provides the infectious soundtrack — for animator Theodore Ushev's surrealist romantic fantasia.


WELLINGTON JR
Cécile Paysant; France
Short Cuts Programme 2

A tentative young hunter sets out into the wilderness under the tutelage of his seasoned father. But the rite of passage leads to increasingly surreal and grisly developments in this stop-motion animated marvel by France's Cécile Paysant.


FEATURE FILMS

25 APRIL
Leanne Pooley; New Zealand

On the 25th of April, 1915, thousands of young men from New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and Newfoundland (thirty-four years before it joined Canada) stormed the beaches on the Gallipoli peninsula in what is now Turkey. By the time the campaign ended, over eight months later, tens of thousands had died. Although the Gallipoli battles had no impact on the outcome of the First World War, the campaign was a turning point for New Zealand and other Commonwealth nations in the forging of their own identities.

Known to Festival audiences for her documentaries The Topp Twins (winner of the Festival's People's Choice Award for Documentary) and Beyond the Edge, Leanne Pooley has chosen to merge her non-fiction filmmaking skills with the narrative form. Utilizing state-of-the-art animation to dramatize actual letters written by soldiers and medical personnel while they were at Gallipoli, Pooley sketches a gripping and profoundly moving picture of a battlefront whose name has become synonymous with failure and needless carnage.

Renowned comic-book artist Colin Wilson (Judge Dredd) was a design consultant, and his influence is evident in the graphic-novel-style visuals. The film is a technical marvel. With over 115,000 frames of artwork, it combines digital 2D with 3D modelling, CGI, motion capture, and hand-drawn backgrounds — all of which is in support of the eyewitness accounts, whose authors describe the brutal circumstances and challenges they faced.


ANOMALISA
Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson; USA

Charlie Kaufman, the celebrated screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation and director of Synecdoche, New York, and Duke Johnson venture into the world of stop-motion animation with this fable about a motivational speaker seeking to transcend his monotonous existence.

"I have this very adverse reaction to Hollywood romances," Charlie Kaufman once told American broadcaster Charlie Rose. "They've been very damaging to me growing up." In Anomalisa, he and Duke Johnson adapt Kaufman's play of the same name into a mesmerizing work of stop-motion animation. This story of two unlikely lovers is very much a romance — but one that's been forged in one of cinema's most distinctive minds.

Michael Stone (David Thewlis) is a successful motivational speaker with fans across the country, but inside him sits a knot of anxiety that renders much of his daily life meaningless. Everything and everyone just seems the same to him. But then Michael meets Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) on a speaking-tour stop in Cincinnati. Lisa is an anomaly.

Michael and Lisa begin with prickly, cautious conversations and then move towards love. But, unlike in a conventional Hollywood romance, that romantic arc is neither simple nor obvious. The love scene at the heart of Anomalisa should instantly rocket up the list of cinema's greatest. It's intimate, awkward, heartbreaking, and deeply erotic despite the fact that the lovers are made of felt.


THE BOY AND THE BEAST
Mamoru Hosoda; Japan

A young boy in modern-day Tokyo stumbles into an alternate dimension and becomes the apprentice to a bearlike warrior, in this stunning animated fantasy from writer-director Mamoru Hosoda.

On the run and hiding from his extended family and the police after the death of his mother, lonely nine-year-old Kyuta heads down a corridor between two buildings in Tokyo's Shibuya district. There he stumbles upon the alternate dimension of Jutenkai, a world inhabited by beasts, and where humans are not welcome.

The lord of the beasts in Jutenkai is set to choose his successor, but the candidates couldn't be more different: Iozen, brave and honourable, is seen as the likely choice, while Kumatetsu, a bearlike warrior, is perceived as an abrasive loner. When Kumatetsu is instructed to take on an apprentice, his advisors suggest Kyuta, new to Jutenkai, as an ideal candidate. Seeing Kumatetsu beaten in battle makes Kyuta sympathetic and he agrees to stay. Their relationship, though complicated, grows stronger every day as they train, with each alternating between the role of teacher and student.

Years pass. At age seventeen, Kyuta returns to the human dimension and meets Kaede, a smart young girl who offers to teach him to read. But being back among humans prompts Kyuta to seek out his father, which leaves him questioning which world he truly belongs in. Torn by his commitment to Kumatetsu, and with a battle approaching, he returns to Jutenkai unprepared for what will happen next. As the worlds of humans and beasts collide, it is clear that life for both will never be the same.


HEART OF A DOG
Laurie Anderson, USA

Renowned mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary artist Laurie Anderson returns with this lyrical and powerfully personal essay film that reflects on the deaths of her husband Lou Reed, her mother, her beloved dog, and such diverse subjects as family memories, surveillance, and Buddhist teachings.

The dog of the title is her beloved rat terrier Lolabelle, who passed away in 2011 during a succession of family deaths that also included Anderson's mother, Mary Louise, and husband, Lou Reed. Anderson's close bond with Lolabelle underlies the film's stream of consciousness, which flows through subjects as diverse as family memories, surveillance, and Buddhist teachings. She lingers particularly over the concept of the bardo, described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead as the forty-nine-day period between death and rebirth. Overlaying the film's tapestry of images — which include Anderson's animation, 8mm home-movie footage, and lots of lovingly photographed dogs — is her melodic narration, full of warmth, humour, and insight.


THE IRON GIANT: THE SIGNATURE EDITION
Brad Bird; USA

Adapted from British poet laureate Ted Hughes' 1968 children's book The Iron Man, Brad Bird's 1999 directorial debut, The Iron Giant, is considered a modern animated classic. Recently remastered and enhanced with two new scenes, The Iron Giant: Signature Edition packs an emotional punch for a new generation of audiences.

At the outset of the US-Soviet Space Race in 1957, in a small Maine town called Rockwell, nine-year-old Hogarth Hughes is an adventurous and imaginative young boy who lives at home with his single mother and dreams of having a pet of his own. One night, while his mother is working at the diner, he hears a noise and realizes his TV antenna is missing. When he goes looking for it in the woods, he comes across a fifty-foot-tall, metal-eating iron robot that has seemingly fallen from outer space. When young Hogarth helps the robot, the two form an unlikely and touching friendship. Unbeknownst to Hogarth, he isn't the only one interested in some of the strange goings-on in Rockwell. When a nosy government agent comes looking, Hogarth does everything he can to save his friend.


THE PHANTOM BOY
Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli; France/Belgium

Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, the writing-directing team behind the Academy Award-nominated A Cat in Paris, are back with their highly anticipated follow-up. Phantom Boy is a stylish animated film about a young boy who — with the help of some new friends and a mysterious new ability — has to rescue New York City from a sinister crime boss.

Hospitalized with a serious illness, eleven-year-old Leo discovers that he is able to leave his body and fly around the city, passing through walls just like a phantom. One day, Leo has a chance meeting with police officer Alex, confined to a wheelchair after his injury at the hands of an evil mob kingpin — a villain who has just taken control of New York City's power supply and given the Mayor a twenty-four-hour ultimatum. When Alex learns of Leo's abilities, they partner to become the swiftest duo in the business. Along with Alex's love interest, fearless reporter Mary, they will race against time to thwart the criminal's plan and save the city.


He Named Me Malala
Davis Guggenheim, USA

In October 2012, at the age of fifteen, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head in while riding home on a bus in Pakistan's Swat Valley. She had been targeted by Taliban militants for her outspokenness in support of girls' education. She survived the attack and relocated with her family to England, where she is continuing her studies. In the meantime, she has authored the bestselling memoir I Am Malala and campaigned for girls' rights around the world.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim gives us a close-up portrait of this extraordinary teenager and her family. "He" in the title refers to Malala's father, Ziauddin, who ran a school in the Swat Valley and set an example for his daughter by standing up to the Taliban. He named her after the nineteenth century Pashtun folk hero Malalai of Maiwand, known for her bravery in battle.

Guggenheim follows Malala and Ziauddin on their travels to countries such as Kenya and Nigeria in support of projects empowering young women. Malala has a boldness and eloquence that would be notable in a person of any age. When she met with President Obama, she didn't hesitate to raise concerns about drone strikes fuelling terrorism.

The film blends a recounting of the events that led up to Malala's shooting with archival footage and Jason Carpenter's lovely animation. Even when Malala was eleven, she was already attracting the attention of international reporters. Yet despite growing up under scrutiny and death threats, she retains an easy laughter and playfulness. One imagines we'll be hearing her name for a long time to come.