ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) was founded in 1960 in Annecy, France as an association of individual animation artists. Renowned Canadian animator Norman McLaren was elected the first president of ASIFA. McLaren, John Halas and our other founding fathers envisioned a world of peace and dialogue to settle our differences.

Today ASIFA can be described as an international network of numerous local ASIFA Chapters, which have developed their own local identities and special activities. These ‘local’ ASIFA Chapters send their representatives to the ASIFA Board, where all important decisions are made.

Compared to the early years of ASIFA, when the Board Members were only Animation Artists, the ASIFA Board today is composed of animation specialists from very different backgrounds. They are animation artists, producers, journalists, teachers, workshop leaders, festival directors, employees of local ASIFA Groups, and so forth.

ASIFA has adapted its activities during the decades. While it was important during the first decades to start the first animation festivals of the world (Annecy, Zagreb, Hiroshima, Espinho, etc.), to promote the art of animation with the first international printed magazine about animation or to provide information about Animation Schools internationally, ASIFA has developed different activities today.

One of the most successful new projects is the International Animation Day (28th October), a project that extends to non-ASIFA groups. The international Animation Workshop Group (AWG) continues to do its successful work with children’s workshops, and also the famous ASIFA Prize, founded in 1985, is given annually to outstanding personalities who have supported the art of animation.

Working with UNESCO, ASIFA strived to unite the animation world in peace. The main goal of ASIFA was to share animation films and develop lasting international friendships. Now, with almost 40 chapters worldwide this spirit of peace, love and tolerance continues to guide ASIFA.

In May 2013 The ASIFA Board approved the foundation of the new ASIFA chapter - ASIFA Cyprus, based on the application by the artistic director of Animafest Cyprus Yiorgos Tsangaris.

Credits: ASIFA official website www.asifa.net