Spiritus Mundi: Animating the World

Updated August, 27th 2020


This coming year 2020 ASIFA celebrates its 60th anniversary. As part of International Animation Day, we are asking each chapter and our partners to create up to a 2 minute animated story that gives us some insight about what makes them unique, what is significant for them as people of their region, culture, land, and language? 

In this era of growing hate and prejudice, ASIFA as a multicultural, multinational, network of artists has the untapped potential for communicating about our shared humanity.  Given a chance, what could be achieved? What are the opportunities ASIFA could provide toward celebrating and raising awareness of our common humanity? How can we see the other as ourselves? As founder member John Halas stated, “we consider animation as a universal expression which is capable of immense contribution if given a chance.”

Each chapter or partner organization would determine how this film would be created, will it be a collaboration of many, will it be a contest among individuals? Will it involve children, students, professionals? Each chapter can decide what story they wish to communicate about themselves. The only limit is 2 minutes. 

The combined film will make its debut on October 28th, 2020 to coincide with International Animation Day. 

We are interested in exploring ways that this project can bring awareness not only to our 60th anniversary but “help to promote progress towards peace and mutual understanding between all people.” as is stated in our ASIFA preamble. Your suggestions and recommendations toward this goal would be welcome. 

General Information:

  • Proposed name of our collective project (inspired by the poet Yeats) Spiritus Mundi: Animating the World (SMAW)
  • 16 Chapters are participating in creating 2-minute animations for SMAW
  1. ASIFA Australia COMPLETED
  4. ASIFA Egypt
  9. ASIFA Lithuania
  11. ASIFA USA East
  13. ASIFA Switzerland In Process
  14. ASIFA Poland
  15. ASIFA Japan
  16. ASIFA France

Potential Partners:

  • Unesco
  • March 20/21 festival in Iran and we could have a niche for this.
  • Television networks in Greece

Nuts and Bolts:

  • FINAL Deadline to Submit the finished film on August 1st, UPDATED TO Sept 1st, 2020.
  • Dimensions: 4096 X 2160 pixels UHD 4K (preferred) but will accept 2048 X 1080 pixels (which is the same aspect ratio of 1.89:1),
  • Frame Rate: 24fps
  • Compression: lossless compression such as Animation or ProRes 4444.
  • Animations are to be 2 minutes or less.
  • A shared Google Drive will be used to upload the final films. (IAD will provide before the deadline)


  • Each chapter will create its own soundtrack for their 2-minute segment.
  • The 2 minute short can include local language, please include subtitles in English if doing this.

Titles and Credits:

  • Titles for the overall program will begin with the 60th-anniversary logo.
  • The title between each piece will include a map that shows the location of the chapter creating the short film. It will tell the chapter name in English and the chapters local language. 8 seconds.
  • Credits for each chapter short will be shown at the end of each film. (no need to include this within the 2-minute length)

Making of Documentary:

  • A documentary video can be shot by the chapter talking about the creation of the work. Each chapter can do it in a casual manner, showing the process, acknowledging the Corona Virus time we are making this in, and showing the filmmakers.
  • These should probably be short, 30 sec- to 1 minute?
  • It will follow the main animation film. Later this will be made into a separate ‘Making of’ video.
  • The audio should be in the local language with text subtitles in English (to be provided by the host country)


  • In regard to Covid 19 and the potential for various locations to not be available in October for International Animation Day, SMAW will be shown online starting with IAD celebrations on Oct 28th.
    • Being online will help spread the message
    • Please get permission from your participants for showing online.
  • It can also be shown during in-person IAD screenings.

Chapter Plans:

ASIFA Bulgaria Plan: Because of COVID 19 restrictions, students who have something like a home studio are very enthusiastic about the idea to create a short film about the 60th Anniversary of ASIFA.

ASIFA USA Central Plan: ASIFA USA Central has organized a ‘pot luck’, an animated midwestern style meal shared meal of food, ideas, and images. Done in an Ani-jam style with 10 animators participating. We have met several times to discuss and inspire one another.

ASIFA Hellas Plan: The Greek film will be made by animation students (West Attica University). The main idea is based on communication. which is part of the Greek DNA. The student’s group noticed that youth were increasingly using their cell phones and social media to exchange and share their ideas. 

ASIFA Iran Plan: Looking to engage with the history of ASIFA Iran and reflect the legacy of animation through a possible documentary animation piece.

ASIFA France Plan: A competition for students to create a short based on the theme celebrating our common humanity and uniqueness.

ASIFA Australia Plan: Still thinking about it.

ASIFA Finland: There will be approx 8 artists doing 8 separate animations which tell some characteristics and details about Finnish culture and Finland in general. Overall duration will be a bit under 2 minutes.

ASIFA Switzerland: We’re going to record a skype conversation about Switzerland and afterward, each participant can pick up an aspect out of the conversation and visualize it according to his/her own imagination and interpretation. 

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