About ASIFA Portland

ASIFA Portland is the Portland, Oregon chapter of the international animation society, the Association International du Film d’Animation. ASIFA exists to boost the art of animation and the community that practices it, promoting a free exchange of ideas both locally and internationally.

In the Portland area, this means celebrating a decades-old animation scene known for groundbreaking independents, big-budget feature filmmaking, and a world-class animation festival. Award-winning independent animators Joan C. Gratz, Rose Bond, Joanna Priestley, Will Vinton, Chel White, David Daniels, Laura DiTrapani, Marilyn Zornado, and more call Portland home. The Portland area also boasts studios ranging from boutique to behemoth, including Bent Image Lab, Hinge Digital, Happy Trails Animation, Fashionbuddha, Free Will Enterprises, and LAIKA.  Local institutions such as the Art Institute of Portland, Pacific Northwest College of Art, the Northwest Film Center, and others help to introduce new talent to the world. Simply put, this is a great place to be an animator.

ASIFA Portland was formed by and for this unique community over thirty years ago. The organization is non-profit and run by volunteers. Yearly member fees go to putting on screenings, workshops, lectures, socials, art jams, and more. Members get to attend ASIFA-only functions, get in free to a lot of local animation events, and make up a community that’s been boosting the art form for decades. If you’re not yet a member, please take a look around the site and think about joining up. Welcome!

ASIFA International

ASIFA has more than 5,000 members in Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakstan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Macedonica, Malaysia, Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkmenia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and United States of America.

ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film D’Animation) was founded in 1957 in France, and chartered under UNESCO in 1960 as a membership organization devoted to the encouragement and dissemination of film animation as an art and communication form. In its 40 year existence, it has grown to over 5000 members in 55 countries, with national chapters in such unlikely places as UlanBaatar, Mongolia and Tehran. The national chapters maintain the most immediate and direct contact with our members, many, like the American regional groups, with their own monthly newsletters and screenings. ASIFA provides the linkage between all the chapters as well as a direct connection to International events such as animation festivals and seminars.

ASIFA’s CONNECTION WITH FESTIVALS

When you send your film to an animation festival and it is lost or damaged, it is ASIFA that will confront the festival organizers to either locate the film, or obtain payment for the destroyed or lost film. Conversely, ASIFA’s support of an animation festival aids them immeasurably with mailing lists, the securing of film retrospectives and animation artwork exhibitions. ASIFA maintains a booth at many animation festivals, which offers advice and publications, serves as an agent for animators who wish to offer their artwork for sale, and serves to bring animators and animation lovers from throughout the world together to meet, talk, drink and even sing. And at all major festivals, ASIFA , under the leadership of its President, Michel Ocelot, hosts the CONVERSATIONS WITH A MASTER series that gives a chance to our younger colleagues to have intimate discussions with the greatest artists in our field.

ASIFA MAGAZINE

ASIFA publishes a full color magazine three times a year. ASIFA’s publication has become a source of some of the field’s most interesting articles and interviews and is distributed all over the world to all of our members. Recent issues have featured an articles by John Canemaker on the Disney artist J.P. Miller and Felix the Cat animator Dana Parker, reports from ASIFA chapters all over the world, and features on animation from China, Argentina and Israel.

ASIFA.NET

In the last year, the ASIFA website moved from its original home in Volda Norway to Vienna, Austria. With Austrian Board member, Thomas Renolder as the editor, ASIFA.net offers a wide variety of services to the animation community. In addition to Festival previews interviews with festival directors) and Festival reports (by our members throughout the world) we provide links to a multitude of national and regional ASIFA groups and artists’ websites, and we feature a Communication Zone open to anyone who wishes to bring up issues of discussion. You will find monthly changing animated gifs of international artists at the entry page and then in the ART ZONE’s gallery. More new projects and initiatives are ‘under construction’ and need your active collaboration.

ASIFA FILM & VIDEO ARCHIVE

Our Animation Archive in Berlin is now affiliated with a University in Babelsberg. The films are kept permanently in the Archive and are available to students and historians to view there, while the videos will be freely circulated to ASIFA groups and members around the world.

ASIFA CHILDREN’S ANIMATION WORKSHOPS

Since 1982, one ASIFA committee has continued to run effective and self-sustaining programs. The ASIFA WORKSHOP Group, comprising of children’s animation workshops in over thirty countries, each one run by a professional ASIFA animator, produces one international collaboration each year, created by hundreds of children on particular themes. These films have been screened widely at festivals and have been sold to television stations in the United States, and abroad. Children around the world have been making friends with children in distant lands and working together to create something important to them.

VISITING ANIMATORS PROGRAM

Once a year, we bring a visiting animator to the United States to tour and screen films. In the past few years, Bordo Dovnikovic (Croatia), Michel Ocelot (France) and Rao Heidmets (Estonia) have toured the United States lecturing at museums, schools and churches.

BECOME AN ASIFA MEMBER

ASIFA membership is open to all individuals interested in animation. Besides professionals, students and teachers, aficionados are also most welcome. No American has ever been rejected for membership in ASIFA. You get a lot of concrete benefits for your dues. And you also get the knowledge that you are supporting a world-wide organization that lobbies effectively for the best in animation, that brings the outside world a little closer to our shores and that brings hope to hundreds of our colleagues living in poorer circumstances. We need you and we hope that you need us. Give us a chance to show you what we can do together.

David Ehrlich
ASIFA Executive Board