The newly established network of animated film festivals ANIMAMUS was launched by Flipbook Film Festival European Festival for Short Animated Films (Skopje, Macedonia), Balkanima European Animated Film Festival (Belgrade, Serbia), Supertoon International Animation Festival (Šibenik, Croatia), StopTrik International Film Festival (Maribor, Slovenia / Łódź, Poland), and Animakom FEST (Bilbao, Spain). The announcement of the network was held on November 11th - 13th, 2022 during the Bucharest Animation Sessions.

The involved festivals are well-established and appreciated members of the international art-house animation scene (Balkanima, the oldest festival in the network, has successfully conducted 19 editions, while the youngest one is Flipbook of 3 editions experience) who share common vision of what it means to organize a festival and what are the social, cultural, and society-building functions of such events. The partners are convinced that the high quality, artistic animated films should be celebrated at the events (1) that are fully accessible to the audience, (2) which radically reduce the distances between the audience, filmmakers, and industry representatives, (3) which stimulate critical reception of film art and other cultural-building experiences, (4) which raise awareness regarding social, political, historical, ecological issues, and eventually (5) which understand and foster values of intercultural exchanges, sharing of good practices, and implement support mechanisms addressed to the filmmakers and other members of the international animation community, with a special focus on the work of women filmmakers.

Remaining different and autonomous when it comes to programming policies and practices, the members of the network have set on path to develop and implement three modes of activities in support of promotion and outreach-increase of short art-house animated films:

  1. ANIMATION SHOTS – inter-network exchange of film programme, cross-festival invitations for interpersonal exchanges of the festival representatives, educational aims of organizing professional animation workshops at the respective festivals. The overall goal of this project is to contribute to audience-building efforts of each partner conducted continuously throughout the year in each festival city.
  2. BUCHAREST ANIMATION SESSIONS – an industry meeting held twice a year in Bucharest, artistically programmed by the Flipbook Film Festival and supported by other partners, organized by Opal Productions. The overall goal of this project is to contribute to reinforcing the animation industry in Romania with the support of various European professionals in the sector of production and distribution of short animated films.
  3. ANIMAMUS. ANIMATION & CULTURAL STUDIES JOURNAL – a long-term plan that assumes an annual release of a scholarly journal dedicated to the interdisciplinary discussion on the concerns of animation and film studies, culture studies, anthropology, history, society and politics, art studies, etc. The journal is expected to meet the highest criteria of academic quality, be affiliated with a recognized and accredited higher education institution, and peer-reviewed.

In Latin, "animamus" means "we animate." Actions taken by our network will stimulate, empower, give new opportunities and open-up for new ideas. Our aim is to create spaces and moments of interconnections between audiences and filmmakers and effortlessly build recognition and understanding of the animated film medium.