Another fine year for OIAF. Another bad year for the Ottawa culinary scene.
By Dan Sarto
There are a number of things I can always count on at an Ottawa festival. First, I will find myself defending Chris Robinson and the selection process. Second, I will find myself defending Chris Robinson and the selection process with people whom earlier in conversation I had defended Chris Robinson and the selection process. Third, after watching several days of screenings, I will question Chris Robinson’s selection process. Nothing ever changes. I love it.
The festival brings together everything uniquely interesting about the animation industry. Art, commerce, tattoos, the best and worst of kids cartoons, unintelligible films from Asia, alcohol, great student films and big studios walking hand in hand with little studios, agreeing they'll refrain from poaching talent except at the parties. The Ottawa festival brings together big and small, have and have not, legend and newbie together in a unique way - cozy, intimate, unpretentious, inviting. The care that goes into its planning is always evident – from the programming of retrospectives to the variety of master classes and talks, nothing on the schedule seems out of place and each holds its own against the other. It’s tough to arbitrate the constant decision making surrounding what to do and when. Suffice to say, days and nights are always full and I travel home lamenting all I didn’t get a chance to see or do.
Some final observations on the 5 day fest, in no particular order and really, to be honest, displaying limited insight: