The International Animation Film Festival ‘Views of the World’ was launched in 2002, in the backyard of Cypriot engraver Hambis in the village of Plataniskia, and was the first documentary festival in Cyprus. It later evolved into an International Countryside Animation Film Festival, focusing exclusively on the art of animated film. A competition section has recently been established.
The Festival is now housed at the Lusignan Manor House garden in Palaipafos, near the archeological site of worship of Goddess Aphrodite. It continues, however, to be unique in that it moves to picturesque locations across the Cyprus countryside. Its loyal audience consists of children, young people and friends of the Festival of all ages from across the social spectrum, including many artists and foreigners residing in Cyprus.
The Festival’s multicultural nature offers an additional advantage. The not-for-profit organisation ‘Views of the World Festival’ cooperates with several important international festivals such as Animafest Zagreb, Holland Animation Film Festival, ANIMATEKA, Interfilm Berlin Short Film Festival, PRIMANIMA, Hungary, Ottawa Animation Festival, Stuttgart Animation Festival, etc.
Its mission is to screen Cypriot and foreign animated films, distinguished for their aesthetics, excellent technique and anthropocentric themes. It also serves as a basis for the creation of animated films in Cyprus while a number of screenings tour across various locations in Cyprus. The Festival comprises lectures and workshops as well as other activities, some of which are supported by the Media programme. Since 2013, it features a Cyprus competition section, focusing on Cypriot film makers.
Animafest Cyprus is the main platform for animated film in Cyprus and is officially supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture. It is held under the auspices of ASIFA Cyprus. The Festival is co–organised by the not-for-profit organisations Views of the World Festival and Hambis Printmaking Museum and usually takes place every August.
The Festival’s success led to the establishment of the national ASIFA Cyprus Chapter in 2013, following a relevant resolution by the International Organisation ASIFA (Association intérnationale du Film d’Animation), which is affiliated with UNESCO.