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Legends Of Animation Come To Ottawa Festival

The OIAF, which runs from October 14-18, welcomes several animation legends including Pixar’s Ronnie del Carmen (UP), Henry Selick (CORALINE), David Silverman (THE SIMPSONS), along with retrospective screenings of award-winning animators Don Hertzfeldt, Stan VanDerBeek, Suzan Pitt, Jim Blashfield, and Studio Film Bilder.

Press Release from OIAF

The OIAF, which runs from October 14-18, welcomes several animation legends including Pixar’s Ronnie del Carmen (UP), Henry Selick (CORALINE), David Silverman (THE SIMPSONS), along with retrospective screenings of award-winning animators Don Hertzfeldt, Stan VanDerBeek, Suzan Pitt, Jim Blashfield, and Studio Film Bilder.

The Festival was able to secure amazing high-profile guests, thanks in part, to some funding provided by the Government of Ontario. “We hope to see record numbers coming out with these exciting speakers and the range of programming for our 2009 event”, says Managing Director, Kelly Neall.

Animation fans won’t want to miss a look at the story of UP with Ronnie del Carmen, one of the creative masterminds behind this year’s Pixar blockbuster hit.  Del Carmen is one of the most respected storyboard artists and story supervisors in the industry.  In addition to working for Pixar, he also collaborated with DreamWorks (THE ROAD TO EL DORADO) and Warner Bros. (BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER).

Henry Selick (JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS), will be attending to discuss The Making of CORALINE.

David Silverman will talk about his incredible career at a Q&A on the Saturday of the Festival.  Much of David’s career has revolved around the immensely popular series THE SIMPSONS.  He has worn many hats on the show including director and producer.  He also directed the highly successful THE SIMPSONS MOVIE.

Also this year, the OIAF is joining forces with IndieCade, a like-minded organization that focuses on independent games and works to cultivate innovation and artistry in interactive media.  Catch a presentation that will showcase a selection of major releases such as Flower along with smaller, more niche, indie games.  In addition, IndieCade organizer, Sam Roberts will present a panel discussion with several independent gamemakers and learn more about what indie gamemakers do.

This year’s career retrospectives showcase the work of several well-known animation geniuses. At the ripe age of 33, Don Hertzfeldt is a controversial and award-winning animator.  His talent and popularity has garnered him much success over the years, receiving more than 100 awards, including an Academy Award nomination.  Audiences will also get the chance to delve into the colourful and fantastical world of Suzan Pitt with the retrospective Strange and Surreal Paintings in Motion. Jim Blashfield, considered one of the pioneers of animated music videos, who has worked with such stars as Michael Jackson, the Talking Heads and Joni Mitchell, will be in attendance to showcase and talk about a variety of his work and give a behind-the-scenes look.  The OIAF will look back at the Godfather of Early Computer Animation, Stan VanDerBeek.

This pioneer in experimental film and live-action animation techniques has been a huge influence on animators including Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam.  And finally, a retrospective on Studio Film Bilder, the go-to company in Germany for both traditional hand-drawn animation and computer-generated images features some of the world’s greatest animators.

OIAF ’09 special screenings feature a wide selection of classic and contemporary animation.  Among the many highlights of this year’s screenings is:

- Muckers & Grinders: From the NFB Vault.  Celebrating its 70th anniversary, the National Film Board of Canada will unveil some rarities from its historic vault.

- The Horror.  Not for the faint of heart and definitely not recommended for children, this presentation contains some of the most frightening animated films ever made…just in time for Halloween.

- Can't Draw Straight: Queer Perspectives in Animation. Exploring queer perspectives that are often lost or invisible in the animation world, experience films you may have never seen or familiar works of art presented in a whole new light.

For a complete listing and schedule of films, showcases, and special programming at this year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival, visit our website at www.animationfestival.ca

About OIAF

The Ottawa International Animation Festival is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976.  An annual five-day event bringing art and industry together in a vibrant hub that attracts artists, production executives, students and animation fans from across Canada and around the world. 2008 total attendance was over 25,000.  OIAF 09 will be held October 14 – 18, 2009 in Ottawa.  For more information and to experience OIAF online, please visit www.animationfestival.ca

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Rick DeMott
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