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Too Much Schedule

With so many fantastic events overlapping with one another, the Ottawa International Animation Festival really suffers from "too much schedule."

By Sharon Katz.

So here I am, curled up with a real printed version of the Ottawa International Animation Festival schedule, which I picked up at a local grocery store.

And a red marker.

I open the newsprint schedule to page one. And I put a big circle around the first feature competition, "The Illusionist" by Sylvain Chomet. His last feature was "The Triplets of Belleville" and this new feature, based on a Jacques Tati script, looks delicious.

Next of interest on the page is "Midori-Ko," by Keita Kurosaka. He's one of the most original of indie Japanese animators, so I circle it. And there's a new “Mr. Christie” feature by Phil Mulloy so I want to catch that too.

I flip the page and here are the short competitions. I just circle all of them.

Next page are the Showcase screenings. I'm trying to decide between International Showcases One and Two, and my eye spots "Lipsett Diaries," the new short by Theodore Ushev in the Canadian Film Showcase. Canadian Film Showcase? Not in competition? This is the guy who made of "Drux Flux" and "Tower Bawher"! I circle the Canadian Film Showcase.

I flip the page and face a long list of special presentations and special screenings including "Time Out Of Mind," an in depth four part programme of independent Japanese Animation. I circle it.

I also circle "Furniture Of My Mind," a "mash up of styles and periods (that) pose variations on the dilemma of modern man at war with himself and the synthetic world he has created for his own leisured pleasure." Hmmmm...... ok, looks good. I circle it.

Then there's "Kenk: Animating a Graphic Novel." It's described as a "groundbreaking journalistic profile, documentary film, 304-page comic book and animation. I'm curious so I circle it.

"Under The Sun: Bravo!FACT at 15," "XX In Animation: Taking A Peek At Work By Women," and  "Winnipeg DIY Animation." These are all not recommended for for children - adult themes... Sounds like fun. I circle them.

I flip the page.

At the top is a short description of TAC, the Television Animation Conference, which brings together industry players from everywhere so they can pitch, shmooz, fress, deal, and trade (gossip and etc.). Looks like fun. Wish I could afford it.

Next are the list of parties, the shuttle bus schedule, and the location of the viewing on demand stations.

I'm thirsty and tired.Already.

Next page.Other Events... Meet the Filmmakers, Book and DVD Signings, Masterclass Workshops with Torill Kove, Caroline Leaf, and etc.

They all look really good.I circle all of them.

Same page, next column: Exhibitions.... "Californimation" (up and coming American animators from the Bay area).

"Lipsett. P.S." an exhibition of artwork by Theodore Ushev related to his new film "Lipsett Diaries". I circle this one.

"Andrea Stokes," mixed media paintings by the artist who created this year's 2010 OIAF poster.

Deep sigh. I close my eyes for a minute. Just for a minute.

Then turn the page.

Toon Apprentice. Thank goodness I'm not a teenager... this is a page full of activities for teen animators. On the next page is kids' stuff and family schedule activities. I don't circle any of them. My kid's in grad school.

One more page, last page. It's a handy-dandy candy pink, blue and green, colour coordinated idiot proof festival schedule with all the dates and times.

I can see that half of my choices conflict with each other.

I'll sign off now while I make extreme choices and chop dream screenings.

Sharon Katz is a visual artist working in still and animated imagery. Her award winning animations screen at art and film festivals around the world, and her drawings and paintings are held in art collections in Canada and abroad. You can visit her website at and reach her by email at

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.