ASIFA International Elections

Posted by on Feb 12, 2010 in International Update | No Comments

In December, ASIFA International announced the results of our tri-annual elections for President, General Secretary, and Treasurer. Succeeding Sayoko Kinoshita (ASIFA-Japan) as President is Nelson Shin (ASIFA-Korea); Vesna Dovnikovic (ASIFA-Croatia) was re-elected Secretary General; and Anastasia Dimitra (ASIFA-Greece) was elected to succeed outgoing Treasurer Thomas Renoldner (ASIFA-Austria).President of ASIFA-Korea, Nelson Shin is an internationally known and respected leader in television animation production.  Animation producers (and keen-eyed viewers) know his production company AKOM from their work animating many episodes of The Simpsons as well as Batman, X-Men, and The Transformers. He is also publisher of the international magazine ANIMATOON, and active in both the founding and organization of SICAF (Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival). And if a core mission of ASIFA is to promote animation as a medium that transcends international borders, it is hard to imagine a more fitting example than the production of Nelson Shin’s 2004 feature, Empress Chung, which united for the first time animators in both North and South Korea.In accepting the presidency, Nelson wrote these words to the International Board, which it is my pleasure to share with ASIFA-East members:

Thank you all very much for supporting me as a President of ASIFA…. I also would like to express my sincere gratitude to Sayoko Kinoshita who has contributed herself for the development of ASIFA. Also I’d like to thank you all of Board members as well as ASIFA functionaries. It’s very meaningful to me because I start to take President duties on the occasion of [the 50th] Anniversary year of ASIFA and also feel big responsibilities to perform the duties. I’ll always have our aims in my mind to support animation artists all over the world when it comes to carry out President’s duties. And when I start to take the duties formally, inside of ASIFA I will try to do my best, firstly, to make clear of procedures about activities we’ll be involved in, secondly, to keep the transparency, thirdly, to harmonize between members and, lastly, to cooperate together for better results. And outside of ASIFA, I’d like to succeed to the former President’s wills and efforts in order to strengthen ASIFA’s prestige and reputation all over the world. As you all know, I cannot do my duties alone. I need all of your supports and trusts to make good things happen to ASIFA.

As we look forward to Nelson’s accomplishments on behalf of ASIFA, we express our gratitude for the splendid leadership and work Sayoko Kinoshita did for ASIFA throughout her three-plus year presidency (Sayoko was good enough to step in as interim President several months prior to the 2006 elections). Both as President and in her many other activities, Sayoko has been—in Vesna’s words, “ASIFA’s ambassador in the world, a very much appreciated representative of our Association.”  As president of ASIFA-Japan, Sayoko has substantially increased membership in her National Group; she is an innovative and energetic programmer, assembling and promoting International Animation Day screenings in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima; and she has been most active in coordinating and conducting workshops of the ASIFA Workshop Group, through which children around the world collaborate to create animated films with international themes.But she is likely best known to many of us in her role as director of Hiroshima International Animation Festival.  Hiroshima Festival, along with Annecy, Ottawa, and Zagreb, was substantially founded hand-in-hand with ASIFA.  Now at a moment when cultural institutions of all kind are struggling to survive, and film and animation festivals in particular face a difficult balance serving their artistic mission and satisfying the not-always-sympathetic business needs of their sponsors, Sayoko has lobbied fiercely not only for this festival’s continued existence but for its integrity.  And through all she has been generous in acknowledging of ASIFA (the festival is reportedly planning programming this year to commemorate ASIFA’s 50th Anniversary).ASIFA remains grateful for Sayoko’s work as President and for her continued energy, friendship, and support.

Ray Kosarin

ASIFA-East International Board Representative