• By: OLM Staff

Ottawa International Animation Festival: That’s More Than All Folks!

Film buff? Art lover? Can’t get your fill of cartoons (Saturday morning or otherwise)? Do you feel the need to feel that buzz, and be a part of it too, when your town becomes a centre of a universe for one spectacular animated week? Then save these dates: September 21st to the 25th, 2011. Those are the dates for the 2011 edition of the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF). This year’s screenings will take place at venues ranging from intimate to the not so,  including The National Gallery of Canada, The Bytowne Cinema, Empire Theatres Rideau Centre and the Arts Court Theatre.

Be prepared to welcome a few thousand of the animation universe’s annual, and some new, honorary Ottawans as they descend upon the city –  it’s a friendly invasion. Last year’s attendee numbers were impressive and you can bet the numbers this fall will definitely be as impressive and, no doubt, exceedingly so! The total count last year was well over 27,000 with almost 200 delegates and special guests. The screening venues will host more than 90 presentations with many special events at venues across the city. The tickets are reasonable, coming in around the average cost for a mainstream flick at your favourite mondo movie-plex. If you absolutely have to see everything (and why would you not?) you can opt for the festival’s day, weekend and full passes and a very nifty ‘ticket six pack’.

You can also catch the excitement of the festival by attending the outreach events presented by the OIAF. This year the events include: The Toon Apprentice high school lecture series; An animation celebration with free screenings for elementary classes; An animation school fair; free – yes free! – NFB workshops for families and teens; A Toon Appretice website and the Adobe Toon Apprentice Pass. Excellent draws for everyone.

As if hosting and managing their own festival is not enough the OIAF looks out for other like minded artists and ‘toon creative types with two very cool connections in the animation industry:

The TAC, or Television Animation Conference, is the concurrent event that is unique in that it allows you to pitch, gain access and keep up with trends in the animation industry all at the same time in one ‘place’. You will not find more current, trending, and originally innovative animation content anywhere else. This is the event for professionals from all areas of the business of animation. It is international, it is in Ottawa, it is very cool and this year it will happen on the 21st and 22nd of September. Don’t make me have to come to your home and mark it on your calendar! Last year TAC involved more than 350 attendees from all over the world including Germany, India, Australia, the UK and USA. The corporations represented are the easily recognizable champions of the industry including The Cartoon Network, 20th Century Fox, CBC Television, Corus, Disney, Discovery Kids, Nickelodeon Animation, Teletoon, YTV and other giants.

The other connection involves the publishing and research for the development of the comprehensive Canadian Animation Directory. This guide to the Canadian animation industry is the consummate resource for animation professionals, students and all who participate creatively in the world of animation creativity. It presents information and listings of existing and emerging production companies, funding agencies, schools and many other aspects of the industry. A hard copy edition is available at a modest price. Give the OIAF a call at (613) 232-8769. It is also available as an online version which is co-maintained with Canadian Animation Resources who are the primary, central, Canadian online destination for animation information. They foster the sharing of ideas and related animation industry opportunities. It simply is the best way to get information to the animation community and affect how the industry does the business it does best.

So…maybe you’re thinking you’d like to know how you could get listed in this resource because you’re a part of this universe too? It goes a little something like this: Listing is free for one listing for a single category. All you need to be is a qualified company or individual. If you want more categories there is an additional fee to accommodate that. For more information about how to get listed, even more about the festival in general and all the partners involved, check out the website at: www.animationfestival.ca

Hey Ottawa…this festival is North America’s largest animation festival. It is organized by the Canadian Film Institute. It is the ultimate conduit for the linkage of many levels of the animation communities worldwide. It fosters the development and literally animates developing Canadian talent. It is going to happen again in your city. It is in your own backyard. Hitch up the ponies, get plenty of rest, check your piggy banks, make no other plans for the fall and gather all the information you can find, just follow the link and give the OIAF contact number a call. This will be an action packed festival in the city of festivals – a not to be missed adventure with something for the whole family – bring your whole friends too!

The best in the world are coming to Ottawa – You could not ask for anything more!