Moscow Animation Film Festival concludes in Dubai

The goal was to promote and expand Moscow’s cultural and business presence in the UAE, as well as highlight the creative capability of Moscow’s animation studios, says

Moscow’s Creative Industries Agency, the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development, Roskino and the Russian Animated Film Association concluded the inaugural edition of the Moscow Animation Film Festival (MAFF), which ran from December 16 to 19 at Al Serkal, Dubai.

The event included daily open-air screenings of popular Russian kids’ animation films, contests, parades, animation masterclasses for children as well as traditional Russian cuisine to sample.

Irina Mastusova, CEO of Russian Animated Film Association (RAFA), said: “This is the first time we have organised something like this in Dubai and we are really excited by the response. As we represent all the animation studios, production, distribution and licensing companies, educational institutions, TV channels, and streaming platforms in the country. This festival was created under the large-scale cultural programme by the Moscow Government as part of its bid to host the World Expo in 2030. The animation film festival is a part of our special programme at Expo 2020 Dubai.”

She added: “We have a long history with more than 100 years in animation and we have more than 20 major companies involved in industrial animation in Russia. Masha and the Bear is perhaps one of our most famous animations and is sold across the world. It has received more than 100bn views. We brought several animation films dubbed in English to the festival, along with shorts, silent films and musicals. We wanted to introduce people here to Russian tradition and our characters. We screened two different shows each day including one feature film and a one-hour complication of excerpts from some of our cartoons that have won awards at international animation film festivals.”

RAFA is a non-profit organisation that is focused on the promotion of Russian animation. The Association promotes the interests of the industry at all levels of state authority and comes up with legislative initiatives. It now has 67 members.

The association also develops and implements its own projects. They recently launched a project called Multanima, a streaming platform for authors’ animation. The site contains the best works of Russian authors’ animation over the past 30 years. There are already more than 3000 films. The idea of the project is to give people the opportunity to watch the author’s animation, which is not easy to find for a wide audience.

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