• By: Kat Walcott

Ottawa International Animation Festival returns both online and in-person

North America’s biggest and longest-running animation fest, Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), kicks off this week!

After switching to a fully virtual format last year in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the fun-filled festival returns for the 2021 season in a hybrid format with a mix of both online and offline screenings.

As usual, the festival will feature dozens of guest speakers, panelists, presentations and of course numerous screenings of animated works from all over the world. The most exciting part of the festival though is definitely the Official Competition which features animated works competing in various categories.

This year, a total of 2528 animated works from over a hundred different countries were submitted. Of those, 107 were chosen to be screened at the festival—a mix of shorts, series and feature films. This year, this includes entries from small studios and independent filmmakers to big fish like works produced by CBS and Cartoon Network. Excitingly, five entries will also be competing under the new Virtual Reality (VR category). Additionally, 23 other works were also selected for the Canadian Student Competition.

OIAF 2021 Awards categories:

OIAF 21 Awards

Grand Prize for Short Animation

Grand Prize for Feature Animation

Category Awards
Narrative Short
Bento Box Award for Best Student Animation
Virtual Reality Project
Animated Series
Young Audiences – Preschool
Young Audiences – Ages 6-12

Craft Awards:
Animation Technique

Other Awards:

Public Prize
Awarded to the best film of the short competition as selected by the audience.

Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation Film
Awarded to the most outstanding Canadian production in competition and Canadian showcase screenings.

Vimeo Staff Pick Award
Awarded by the Vimeo Staff Pick team, the winner receives a prize of $2500(USD) along with a Vimeo Staff Pick. The winning film will be released worldwide for free on Vimeo on Sunday, October 3rd.

Best Canadian Student Animation Film
Awarded to the most outstanding Canadian student animation work

The Ottawa International Animation Festival 2021 runs from Sept. 22nd to Oct. 3rd. For the full schedule of events and screenings, and to purchase festival passes, visit the OIAF website.

Photos: Ottawa International Animation Festival