Prestigious festival set to end as city dissolves partnership with ASIFA-Japan in move to establish more commercially oriented event.
ASIFA-International is asking for the animation community to sign on online Change.org petition for the city of Hiroshima, Japan, showing your support for the continued operation of the biannual Hiroshima International Animation Festival.
The prestigious, artist-driven bi-annual festival was established in 1985 as a project commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing of the city. The festival owes its existence to the work of two animation filmmakers - Renzo Kinoshita, who at that time was serving as a Board Member of ASIFA and the President of ASIFA-Japan, and Sayoko Kinoshita, who was serving as the General Secretary of ASIFA-Japan. Sayoko has been the festival director since the first edition; currently, she is the president of both ASIFA-International and ASIFA-Japan.
Here is the call:
To ASIFA Members and the Animation Community:
In November, news broke that the long-standing Hiroshima International Animation Festival was ending due to the dissolvement of the partnership between the city of Hiroshima and ASIFA-Japan. This news comes as a shock and surprise to ASIFA and animators everywhere who have known Hiroshima Festival as one of the most prestigious and historical animation festivals.
The ASIFA Board has prepared a petition to the Mayor and City Council of Hiroshima, who terminated the partnership in order to replace the festival with a more commercially oriented art festival. The loss of a festival that uplifted cultural and artistic values, drawing international visitors from around the globe and introducing them to Japanese culture and hospitality with “no strings attached” is indeed significant.
We ask our members and other supporters of the Hiroshima Festival to add their signature to the petition, which will be delivered to the Mayor and City Council along with a letter from the ASIFA Executive Board.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.