Ottawa International Animation Festival Announces Shorts Competition

Nicholas Brault’s Squame is among the Canadian shorts at OIAF.

By Pat Mullen

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has announced its selection of short films for the international short film competition, as well as the Canadian Panorama, Canadian Student Competition, and their international equivalents. The long list of shorts includes nearly 60 Canadian productions and co-productions in a range of narrative works, experimental films, and everything else in between. The hot shorts come from a pool of 2300 submissions.

“Canadian animators continue to surprise and amaze with the originality and diversity of their visions,” says Chris Robinson, Artistic Director at OIAF in a statement released today by the festival. “While the NFB carries on their long tradition of creating ground-breaking short films, it’s particularly refreshing to see that the Canadian animation landscape has spread out beyond their hallowed doors, giving many new voices a chance to be heard.”

This year’s Canuck contingent at OIAF includes Paul Johnson’s Begone Dull Care, an ode to Norman McLaren’s 1949 film of the same name festival favourite Theodore Ushev, who won a Genie for his animated doc Lipsett Diaries, returns with his newest film Blind Vaysha; Diane Obomsawin’s NFB production I Like Girls; and Nicholas Brault’s experimental exporation of the epidermis, Squame. The Canadian selections also include two shorts from the First Nations organization Wapikoni with Awaskinawason from Anthony Dubé and The Guest from Nick Rodgers.

Lorna Kirk’s NFB film Him, alternatively, offers an animated documentary that creates the experience of a child refugee using found sound and hand-drawn charcoal. Also using pre-existing audio is Duncan Major’s bouncing baby film Little Big Bang. Among the top docs to see at OIAF, finally, is Chris Landreth’s Oscar-winner Ryan, which screens at the a showcase of OIAF Grand Prix winners to commemorate the Festival’s 40th anniversary.

The full list of selections for the 2016 Ottawa International Animation Festival is available on the OIAF website. The previously announced feature film selections include Penny Lane’s animated doc NUTS! and a trio of Canadian works.

OIAF runs Sept. 21 – 25 in Ottawa at The ByTowne.