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The festival started in 2002 as the first documentary festival of Cyprus at the small village of Platanistia in the small garden of the Hambis Printmaking School and was called the Small Documentary Festival. The first founders were Yiorgos Tsangaris, Yiangos Hadjiyiannis and Dimitris Eipides. 

Animafest Cyprus, as one of the longest-running film festivals in Cyprus, is undoubtedly a major contributor in the creation of a new culture for film festivals and also for the appreciation of animation in Cyprus. It is renowned for the high quality of its programming, for its wide and enthusiastic audience and for its active presence in the cultural scene throughout the year. In the context of the festival we have international and national competition film programs, parallel screening, tributes, exhibitions and masterclasses by distinguished international guests. The festival showcases a selection of the world’s latest productions, focusing on independent, non-commercial films. Animafest Cyprus has strong bonds with the major cultural institutions in Cyprus and as the official animation platform of this country is co-organised and supported by the Ministry of Education and culture of the Republic of Cyprus. In recent years the festival has been showcasing the work of a new generation of Cypriot animation filmmakers and is committed to creating opportunities for training and for the development of new productions. 

Its various activities throughout the year include the annual Countryside Animafest Cyprus (Summer) the Junior Edition (Winter – Spring), expert seminars, workshops, Residency programs, special programs, tributes, screenings, etc. In this way the festival initiates international collaborations and provides opportunities for artistic growth.

Animafest Cyprus since its inception as a high-quality cultural activity taking place in the countryside, has been bringing together people from all walks of life for 20 years. This innovative characteristic has contributed significantly in the appreciation of the countryside and has revitalized small rural communities. We believe that the festival has contributed significantly in creating an interest in animation in Cyprus among a very wide audience–a fact that makes Countryside Animafest Cyprus stand out internationally.

Junior Edition, focuses on education, from preschool level through to professional training. The main goal of this edition of the festival is the development of its outreach programs in the field of education and thus the support and cultivation of the field of Animation in Cyprus. The program presents curated children’s animation films by independent artists and studios from all over the world and offers educational programs workshops, masterclasses, exhibitions and school visits.