AniFest is an international short film festival for children and teenagers, the only one of its kind in Albania. Since 2010, the message conveyed to children is this: if a film is a book, then the festival is a library.
AniFest is divided into two categories, the European animated film festival for children & young people AniFest A’GJIRO (10-15 October 2023 in Gjirokastër) and the international children’s film festival AniFest ROZAFA (14-17 November 2023 in Shkodër). This year the festival is aiming for a wider geographic scope throughout Albania, in partnership with local municipalities and partners.
“The goals and objectives of the festival are diverse,” says Artistic Director Eneida Xhelili, “from helping parents learn to respect children’s psychology and rights through cultural activities, to serving the underserved audience under the motto ‘If the public cannot come to the festival, then the festival must go to the public.’ In general, we want to create fun, educational spaces and develop imagination in the younger age group through film related activities.” The festival also reflects the Albanese hospitality, traditions and cuisine.
“In 2022 we were so happy to have a proper festival edition again, and to welcome several ECFA members in our international jury.“ In evaluating the films, the international jury and the ECFA jury cooperate with the children’s jury and decide together. “In our festival, psychologists and teachers indirectly contribute to the fulfilment of children’s rights that we value so highly.”
For the screening sessions during the festival, the entrance for children is free, with costs covered by the festival. “This point has been important for the development of the cinema audience throughout the history of the AniFest festival,” emphasises Eneida Xhelili. For the 2023 editions, the festival themes will be the recognition of the cultures of different countries and the recognition of children’s rights.