A WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO THE ART OF ANIMATION
ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film D’ Animation) was founded in 1957 in France, and chartered under UNESCO in 1960 as a membership organization devoted to the encouragement and dissemination of film animation as an art and communication form. In its 40 year existence, it has grown to over 5000 members in 55 countries, with national chapters in such unlikely places as UlanBaatar, Mongolia and Tehran. The national chapters maintain the most immediate and direct contact with our members, many, like the American regional groups, with their own monthly newsletters and screenings. ASIFA provides the linkage between all the chapters as well as a direct connection to International events such as animation festivals and seminars.
ASIFA’s CONNECTION WITH FESTIVALS
When you send your film to an animation festival and it is lost or damaged, it is ASIFA that will confront the festival organizers to either locate the film, or obtain payment for the destroyed or lost film. Conversely, ASIFA’s support of an animation festival aids them immeasurably with mailing lists, the securing of film retrospectives and animation artwork exhibitions. ASIFA maintains a booth at many animation festivals, which offers advice and publications, serves as an agent for animators who wish to offer their artwork for sale, and serves to bring animators and animation lovers from throughout the world together to meet, talk, drink and even sing. And at all major festivals, ASIFA, under the leadership of its President, Michel Ocelot, hosts the CONVERSATIONS WITH A MASTER series that gives a chance to our younger colleagues to have intimate discussions with the greatest artists in our field.
ASIFA publishes a full color magazine several times a year. ASIFA’s publication has become a source of some of the field’s most interesting articles and interviews and is distributed all over the world to all of our members. Recent issues have featured an articles by John Canemaker on the Disney artist J.P. Miller and Felix the Cat animator Dana Parker, reports from ASIFA chapters all over the world, and features on animation from China, Argentina and Israel.
In the last year, the ASIFA website moved from its original home in Volda Norway to Vienna, Austria. With Austrian Board member, Thomas Renolder as the editor, ASIFA.net offers a wide variety of services to the animation community. In addition to Festival previews interviews with festival directors) and Festival reports (by our members throughout the world) we provide links to a multitude of national and regional ASIFA groups and artists’ websites, and we feature a Communication Zone open to anyone who wishes to bring up issues of discussion. You will find monthly changing animated gifs of international artists at the entry page and then in the ART ZONE’s gallery. More new projects and initiatives are ‘under construction’ and need your active collaboration.
ASIFA FILM & VIDEO ARCHIVE
Our Animation Archive in Berlin is now affiliated with a University in Babelsberg which has been transferring all our many film holdings to VHS. The films are kept permanently in the Archive and are available to students and historians to view there, while the videos will be freely circulated to ASIFA groups and members around the world. At the moment, the transfers are being made in PAL, but we have hope of NTSC transfers in the near future.
ASIFA CHILDREN’S ANIMATION WORKSHOPS
Since 1982, one ASIFA committee has continued to run effective and self-sustaining programs. The ASIFA WORKSHOP Group, comprising of children’s animation workshops in over thirty countries, each one run by a professional ASIFA animator, produces one international collaboration each year, created by hundreds of children on particular themes. These films have been screened widely at festivals and have been sold to television stations in the United States, and abroad. Children around the world have been making friends with children in distant lands and working together to create something important to them. The project for 1999 was a series of segments based on on pollution of our water.
VISITING ANIMATORS PROGRAM
Once a year, we bring a visiting animator to the United States to tour and screen films. In the past few years, Bordo Dovnikovic (Croatia), Michel Ocelot (France) and Rao Heidmets (Estonia) have toured the United States lecturing at museums, schools and churches.