ASIFA-East as we all know and love, is the New York/North-East branch of ASIFA, the international animation society whose actual name is French. Seeing as I did German in school, we’ll move right along. The group is comprised of mainly of animators and a few producers along with one civil engineer (guess who that is) and besides holding monthly meetings, also organize events from September to June that represent the entire animation spectrum, from student films to commercial movies and everything inbetween.
Tomorrow’s festival isn’t so much the culmination of the past year but more a celebration of the New York animation scene, which has it’s one distinct flavour far removed from Burbank. Awards will be handed out for student films, individual films, commercial films both over and under 2 minutes as well as some outstanding achievement awards.
Last year was the first year I attended and besides asking Amid Amidi whether there was assigned seating, I think I barely said a word to anyone. Of course I almost missed the start having been delayed on the New Jersey Turnpike for well over an hour. Besides the usual faces, there is a mix of folks from various related organizations, faculty from the numerous fine animation schools in the NY area, studio heads, students themselves and one civil engineer (guess who that is).
After the actual event, where people receive their awards and we see their films, there is the official reception which serves as a fantastic meet and greet for all concerned. After that comes the unofficial reception at the local pub where even more conversations occur although perhaps less on an animated subject of conversation.
I mention all of this because I am sincerely looking forward to this year’s event. Besides meeting friends old and new, it’s also an opportunity to talk about a subject I’m passionate about with people whose passion it is.
If you are in the New York area and so not attend, you are missing out on a truly fantastic evening full of animation and companionship.The 41st ASIFA-East Animation Festival, Sunday, May 9th, 6pm, Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 66 West 12th St, Admission: FREE!
PS I’ll hopefully have a full recount of the evening in full early next week.