Iranian Asifa had gone a long way since 1970, when Dr Noureddin Zarrinkelk started Asifa Iran as a small gathering of animation experts, a community which later in 1986 joined the Asifa International. In war years and afterwards in the 80s and early 90s, Asifa was still in the shape of a small community with no funds, holding its meetings in the homes of its main members. It later could manage to involve art universities and broadened its members to animation students, as an animation programme began in the 90s in Tehran University of Arts.
In the mid-90s, Asifa Iran joined Khaneh-Cinema, the main body responsible for many professions and guilds of Iranian live-action cinema- to become part of the cinema society and to enjoy the benefits of such kind of association such as social security benefits, health insurances and so forth. Although, at the time this seemed a good idea, to help animation professions become officially recognized and appreciated by the professional society and let its members be out of anonymity and poverty. However, this meant that the Asifa Iran’s statutes needed to be amended and rewritten as closer to a union rather than a NGO. That is why, the then directing boards of Asifa tried to expand the number of members, to make the benefits of Asifa available to as many as possible. This was how Asifa expanded in terms of members and a few other branches were opened outside its Tehran headquarters. This gradual transformation had its advantages and disadvantages, that was disputed within the animation community; a subject not possible to explore here.
In recent years, Asifa was not very active. A boom in animation filmmaking, TV series and animation features meant that the animation community needed a real union or guild. The last directing board of Asifa Iran, with such preoccupations started negotiating to start an animation guild under the support of Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare. This was done in September 2016 and during a year, Animation Guild of Iran began its activities for the commercial and mass-production sides of Iranian Animation. This meant that it was the right time for Asifa Iran to go back to its cultural roots and mission.
After a long halt and almost 6 years of Asifa Iran’s dormant status, a much belated general election was held in March 2018, resulted in a totally new Asifa which set as its first mission to re-vise and edit its statutes, and bring back a cultural and artistic spirit to it. Five new members for the Directing Board of Asifa Iran were elected along with one inspector (as foreseen in the Local Iranian Asifa Statutes) along with two surrogates for directing board members (with exactly the same number of votes) and one for the role of inspector. The Directing Board includes Maryam Kashkoolinia, Mehdi Khorramian, Mehrdad Sheikhan, Hossein Moradizadeh and Ravanbakhsh Sadeghi, with Meisam Hosseini as Inspector. Later the board elected among themselves Maraym Kashkoolinia as the Head of Asifa Iran.