Animation film enthusiasts will have to wait until 2021 to join the 10th anniversary edition of the International Animation Film Festival Nikozi in central Georgia, with organisers announcing a cancellation of the event due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Announced to social media followers of the small but celebrated festival, the decision from hosts said due to restrictions of international travel and uncertainty over pandemic circumstances in the coming months they would be moving event dates from September 2020 to next year.
The announcement mentioned recommendations by the culture ministry and the Georgian National Film Centre and current COVID-19 restrictions and said their wish to host a full-blown celebratory anniversary edition of the festival necessitated the postponement.
Organisers thanked foreign festivals that collaborate with the Nikozi event as well as state cultural and cinema agencies in Georgia, and revealed plans they had had for the postponed event, including exhibitions of craft items, paintings and sculptures.
September 2021 has been chosen by the hosts as the month for marking the anniversary edition of the event.
The festival was established by the Diocese Metropolitan of Tskhinvali-Nikozi, Isaiah Chanturia, who set up a small animation studio at a local monastery, later damaged in the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. The studio was later brought back to life, with students now working on animation along with other forms of art at the venue. The festival itself has been held in the village since 2011.
In 2017 it received the Europe for Festivals - Festivals for Europe (EFFE) Label from the European Festivals Association, granting it further exposure to international audiences and companies.