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Animation First DC 2024


The Sacred Cave (c) Daniel Minlo, Cyrille Masso, Malo Pictures

La Maison Française
4101 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington, DC, US 20007

January 28, 2024, 2:00pm


From April 22 to May 1, Filmfest DC will host its annual film series with 65 films from over 35 countries, with a final screening at La Maison Française.

Villa Albertine DC is thrilled to celebrate the first edition of the Animation First Festival in Washington, DC on January 28. Launched by the French Institute Alliance Française in New York seven years ago, Animation First is the only festival in the US dedicated to showcasing the enduring legacy of and trailblazing innovations in French and Francophone animation. It is specially crafted to engage and entertain guests of various ages.

Discover the complete festival program below. 

When Adam Changes (c) Joël Vaudreuil, Parce Que Films

Sunday, January 28, 2 pm

When Adam Changes

Ages 15+

Dir. Joël Vaudreuil, 2023, Canada, Color. 96 min.
Voice by Simon Lacroix
In French with English subtitles

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Joël Vaudreuil. 

In competition, 2023 Annecy International Animation Film Festival 

Imagine if every taunt, every criticism, every unkind word spoken to you made a physical impact. That’s the driving force of When Adam Changes, a film set in 1990 Quebec that depicts the (literal) growing pains and general absurdity of adolescence. Adam is a 15-year-old with a…special…quirk: his body melds and warps in reaction to the mockery and negative comments he receives from those around him. Through this darkly comedic narrative, Canadian director Joël Vaudreuil incisively illustrates what happens when the biting and fantastical mix with trademark teenage angst. The film, animated by French artist Nicolas Moussette, was awarded the Grand Prize for Best Animated Feature at the 2023 Ottawa International Film Festival.


The Sacred Cave (c) Daniel Minlo, Cyrille Masso, Malo Pictures

Sunday, January 28, 4.30pm

The Sacred Cave

Ages 8+

Dir. Daniel Minlo, Cyrille Masso, 2023, Cameroon, Color. 100 min.
Voice by Andre’ Bang, Diallo Diallo, Gérard Essomba
In French with English subtitles

In competition, 2023 BFI London Film Festival
and 2023 Annecy International Animation Film Festival 

In the heart of Africa’s equatorial forest, the king of Mabunos is poisoned by one of his subjects. Two close aids of the palace are tasked with traveling to a sacred cave in search of an antidote that will cure their ruler—and they only have seven days to succeed before he perishes. Throughout their vibrantly illustrated journey, they encounter spectacles and obstacles that defy explanation. Steeped in legend, lore, and sprawling scenescapes, the film, from Cameroonian directors Daniel Minlo and Cyrille Masso,  enjoyed a warm reception at the 2023 BFI London Film Festival.



In partnership with

Filmfest DC 2023

Washington, DC International Film Festival

Filmfest DC’s showcases new films from around the globe – from premieres, comedies, thrillers, dramas, to social justice documentaries, as well as new films by Washington filmmakers is seeks to bring people together to celebrate the power of cinema.

La Maison Française

Unique among French diplomatic missions, La Maison Française at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C., offers an environment that encourages friendly relations between states, promotes outreach and cultural events, and serves as a center for professional and educational activities.

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