On January 31, a round table entitled "The Future of Azerbaijani Animation" was held. The round table, which has already become a tradition, was organized by the ANIMAFILM Festival for the third time. Representatives of Azanfilm, Azkinder, 3Dost, Harmony of Chaos and ANIMAFILM animation studios, directors, producers, animation artists, animators, screenwriters, composers, animation teachers and CGI specialists took part in the online meeting. Head of the Cinema Department of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan Rufat Hasanov attended the meeting as a special guest. R. Hasanov told the participants about the new film reforms carried out in our country. Director of ANIMAFILM Festival Rashid Aghamaliyev informed the participants about the establishment of the "Azerbaijani Animation Association" (AAA) NGO. He said that the purpose of the AAA will be to contribute to the development of the national animation industry.
On February 8, an extensive interview with Elchin Hami Akhundov, director, artist, animator, screenwriter, winner of the Golden Boat Award (2019) for his contribution to Azerbaijani animation was published on the official YouTube channel of the ANIMAFILM Festival.
On April 8, on the initiative of the ANIMAFILM Festival, a meeting was held on the establishment of the "Azerbaijan Animation Association" (AAA) NGO. At the online meeting, representatives of animation studios, animation professionals, animation enthusiasts expressed interest in participating in the establishment of AAA. The meeting was attended by Ramil Abbakirov, Head of International Projects and Innovations at the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He spoke about the importance of non-governmental organizations and how they can benefit society and culture. R. Abbakirov also gave detailed information about the prospects of animation industry.
On June 14-19, the ANIMAFILM team was represented at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, the world's largest and oldest animation festival. Azerbaijan was represented at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival by ANIMAFILM Director Rashid Agamaliyev, III ANIMAFILM Festival winner Fidan Akhundova and animation director Durna Safarova. Fidan Akhundova's visit to France and MIFA accreditation were made possible by her winning the "Best Azerbaijani Short Animated Film" award at last year's ANIMAFILM festival. It should be noted that the sponsors of the award were the French Institute in Azerbaijan (IFA), the French Embassy in Azerbaijan and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
On June 22-27, the ANIMAFILM team was represented at the ANIFILM International Festival of Animated Films in Liberec (Czech Republic), the largest animation festival in central Europe.
On July 26 the two-series animated film "Where is Sarah?" by ANIMAFILM Studio was streamed on YouTube. Director and producer Vafa Ali, executive producer Rashid Aghamaliyev, artist Nazrin Aghamaliyeva, animators Mehdi Khorushy and Maryam Rouhbakhsh, composer Ramin Kuliev, editor Gunel Eminli. The film was made with the support of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Baku.
On August 25, the trailer of the IV ANIMAFILM Festival prepared by ANIMAFILM Studio was posted on social networks. The trailer was made with the support of the Creative Azerbaijan Platform of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan. Director and designer Hasan Pastaci, designer Nazrin Aghamaliyeva, composer Ramin Kuliev, producer Rashid Aghamaliyev.
On September 3-7 the 4th ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival was held offline. During the five
days of the festival, about 200 various animated films from 40 countries for children and adults were shown.
This year's theme of the festival was "Disability". Various workshops were held for young animation enthusiasts
and promoting the development of Azerbaijani animation, including the master class by Masud Panachi, a master
class by Olivier Catherine for film and animation producers, and a workshop for composers and sound designers by
Nick Phelps and Nancy Denney-Phelps. The jury of IV ANIMAFILM Festival included Masud Panachi, Irada Baghirzade (Azerbaijan), Olivier Catherine (France), Nancy Danny-Phelps and Nick Phelps (Belgium), Mariam Kandelaki (Georgia), Piotr Kardas (Poland), Mehdi Khorushy and Maryam Rouhbakhsh (Iran). The head of the Jury was Nancy Danny-Phelps.
Traditionally, this year the festival also had a children's jury. The 18-member children’s jury selected two winners
in the categories of "Best Short Animated Film for Children" and "Best Short Animated Film Made by Children" after
participating in an educational and entertaining children's program during the festival.
The winners were announced at the closing
ceremony of the ANIMAFILM festival on September 7. This year, Ramiz Aghayev, the cinematographer, was awarded the
"Golden Boat" prize "For his contribution to Azerbaijani animation". This year's ANIMAFILM Festival was supported
by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers, Creative Azerbaijan
Portal, Embassy of France in Azerbaijan, French Institute in Azerbaijan, Annecy International Animated Film Festival,
Salaam Cinema, Hadigro company, MR Chemical LLC, US-Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association, Embassy of the Czech
Republic to Azerbaijan, YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Baku, Ritual Mobil Theater
Labaratory platform, Seni company and Kekalove Adaptive Fashion company.
On October 25, the Animation World Network, the world's largest animation portal, published an extensive article about the IV ANIMAFILM Festival.
An interview with Rashid Aghamaliyev, the director of the ANIMAFILM Festival, was published in the 86th issue of BAKU magazine in November.
On November 8-12, on the initiative of the ANIMAFILM Festival and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of
Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani participants were represented at the Animated Film Project Pitching workshop in Tbilisi.
Firangiz Bagirova and Leyli Salayeva's Last Feather project won the workshop, which grants them with one-month
Residency Program in Fontevraud (France) in 2022. This is the 7th time that the workshop has been organized by the
Saqanima Georgian Animation Association.
On November 23-25, the Echo of the IV ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival was held at the "ASAN Service"
center in Sheki. The most interesting local and foreign animated films made for children and adults were presented
at the "ANIMAFILM in Sheki" event in those three days. During the event, the audience was given the opportunity
to choose the best films. Also, "Make Santa Claus from paper" workshop by Elchin Hami Akhundov, an honored cultural
worker of Azerbaijan, famous animation director, was organized for children at the event. On the last day of the
event Rashid Aghamaliyev, Director of ANIMAFILM Festival, thanked the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of
Azerbaijan and Sheki City Executive Power for their support and noted that the 5th ANIMAFILM Festival will be held in Sheki next year.
On November 28 a stop motion animation workshop for children was
organized on the initiative of ANIMAFILM School and with the support of the Enteskedu platform. Teacher Imran Khalilov
xplained stop motion clay techniques to the students of ANIMAFILM school and taught them to work with professional
stop motion Dragonframe software and a photo camera.
On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, it was announced that the amount of ticket
sales during the IV ANIMAFILM Festival was 550 AZN. This amount was used in treatment of three-year-old Raul, who lives in Sumgayit.
On December 10, the one-month intensive Stop Motion course organized by ANIMAFILM School and AZOPÇU platform ended.
During the course, Turkish animator Hasan Pastaci taught the basics of stop motion animation for children aged 8-16 living in the regions.
On December 12, the official YouTube channel of the ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival hosted an extensive interview with Ramiz Aghayev, a film director and winner of the Golden Boat Award (2021) for his contribution to Azerbaijani animation.
On December 17 a screening of animated films Unknown Azerbaijani animation took place at the Cinema House of the Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers.
The event was attended by the organizers of the ANIMAFILM Festival and students of the ANIMAFILM School. The book "Azerbaijani animation" was also presented.