ASIFA International Starts Petition to Save Hiroshima International Animation Festival

ASIFA International Starts Petition to Save Hiroshima International Animation Festival

The future of the biennial Hiroshima International Animation Festival was not only affected by the COVID this year. The 2020 festival edition had to give its prizes with a reduced physical presence.

But it was in the early November that the news emerged: the animation festival was to be held no more -and substituted by a general purpose cultural event to promote the economy and tourist (as reported by CartoonBrew). This was decided by the City of Hiroshima.

Now ASIFA International, the premier organization, under whose auspices the Japanese animation event was organized (via ASIFA- Japan) started an online petition to save the festival.

For 36 years the biannual Hiroshima International Animation Festival was highly appreciated by the worldwide animation community as one of the few, most important animation festivals, commensurate with Annecy, Zagreb, and Ottawa. Its special quality was based on the tradition of unparalleled hospitality, organization and professionalism, as well as the consistent embracing of new tendencies and developments in animation. Established and sustained through a cooperation between the city of Hiroshima and ASIFA-Japan, and officially endorsed by ASIFA International, it was successfully and sensitively headed by festival director and ASIFA president/ ASIFA-Japan president, Sayoko Kinoshita. Hiroshima festival is an example and model for many other festivals worldwide, sharing Japanese culture and a welcoming attitude to guests from all over the world - ASIFA International

UPDATE 12/1:  The petition will stay open till 28 February 2020, before it is delivered to the Mayor and City Council of Hiroshima. ASIFA Japan published  its statement. Here's an excerpt below (the full text here).

In November 2019, the city of Hiroshima declared out of the blue: “Hiroshima Festival will cease to exist in its current form after its 18th edition. In 2022, the city will launch a new ‘general arts and culture event’ [provisional title], which will feature animation. But ASIFA (and ASIFA-JAPAN) will not be involved.
  As newspapers and other media have reported, the city of Hiroshima has said that it wants its new “general arts and culture event” to “boost the number of visitors to Hiroshima, stimulate the local audiovisual content industry, revitalize the economy, and promote tourism.” Yet Hiroshima Festival, while serving as an international film festival, has also been contributing to tourism and providing cultural and educational opportunities to young people from the area. It seems that, rather than spread the message of “Love and Peace” to the world as a city of international peace and culture, the city of Hiroshima has chosen to go further than before in prioritizing financial gain.
  The city has also said that it will hold animation competitions and programs as part of this “general arts and culture event.” But these will have nothing to do with past editions of Hiroshima Festival — they will be a completely different event - ASIFA Japan

Here's the petition link

Read Also: How Happy Can You Be At Animation Festivals? In Defense of Film Programming

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