Last Word
Annual Festivals: Opening More Doors or Complicating Things?
André R. Coutu · From fps #7 · March 1, 2006 | Within the past year a number of animation festivals (the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Animefest Zagreb and the Stuttgart International Animation Film Festival) have broken from tradition and become annual events. In the live-action world this is common practice, but this has not been the case in animation. Since their inception, animation festivals have been biennial events. The reasons for this were obvious. First, ten to fifteen years ago the quantity of entries was a fraction of what they are today (there were 750 entries for Ottawa in 1992, and 1,800 entries in 2005). Second, with longer production cycles and stifling production costs, animation films were not made as frequently. Therefore, in order to present a decent selection of films, animation festivals typically took place every two years.

There were only a handful of animation festivals thirty years ago and most abided by a number of guidelines provided by the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA International). These guidelines ensured that festivals would not compete against each other and cut in on an already limited market. However, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, new technologies emerged that helped increase the number of animation films produced each year. By the mid-1990s, the production of animated films continued to increase to the point where ASIFA festivals considered becoming annual events. New animation festivals also began to emerge as a result of the increased production.

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