>> Create something good for the city you are living in.
Anibar Animation Festival is the only animation festival in Kosovo, which has had 7 successful editions until now. Each year the festival gets bigger, last edition having had seven days of film screening in four cinemas (two of them 23 being open air) which screened about 280 short animated films, seven concerts, 5 animation workshops, debates, panels, and presentations. Besides film screenings, the festival also pushes local filmmakers to produce more films and promote them internationally. An important element of the initiative is the continuous teaching of young people to do animation and work in capacity building in order to have more animation productions in the future.
The festival has many local visitors that participate in the workshops, debates, and panels, however international guests are also very important because their expertise helps in exchanging knowledge with local artists. The festival is very rich in film content screening about 280 films which are divided in many competing categories. For professionals, activities such as workshops and Meet the Filmmakers are very important and useful. On the other hand, the festival offers another segment of the festival which are music concerts, that host about 50 musicians during the seven days of the festival. As for the panels and debates, professionals, authors, academics, and other influential figures of the field which is being discussed are present, and help in creating outcomes such as solutions to the problems being treated.
Anibar started in 2010 by a group of friends who were 16 years old, but shared the idea of wanting to create something good for the city where they were living. The initiative was also registered as an NGO, but all the members were acting volunteers. With time the structure of the organization and the festival developed, now having directors, many event and program coordinators, staff, and volunteers. The total staff of the festival/organization now counts to 20, whereas the volunteers reach the number of 80. Anibar has a leader-driven approach in completing the operations, that offers all the individuals to contribute to all levels of organization regardless of their position. The fact that all the members of the organization come from different professional backgrounds that are not necessarily related to art, has helped Anibar in creating an open environment that accepts all kinds of professionals, as long as the love for art and animation brings them to work together in achieving the vision of the organization. Although animators are the primary beneficiaries of this activity, the inhabitants and the city of Peja are also on top of the list.
The city has indeed changed because of the activities of Anibar, and has slowly been put on the map of the cities to be visited during August, since the festival has become an attraction for the animation world. The numbers coming from Peja Tourism Office confirm that the festival has an impact, and that the effect on the local economy is growing in a great pace. Most importantly, the youth and artistic community of Peja has been given a platform to put their ideas and thoughts to work. They are active before and during the festival, which has helped in creating a community where individuals and their ideas and help are important in achieving something great for the city. The idea for the festival has primarily come from the need to break the cultural apathy that had captured the city of Peja. We have done this by putting our hobby (animation) to good use, by transforming the city, its public spaces, and turning its youth community into an engine of social change.
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