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Official Selections At Ottawa International Animation Festival Announced

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has announced the films that have been invited to compete in this year's event happening September 17-21 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

From the record-breaking 2,149 entries received, there were 105 films representing 70 countries. Of those, 97 short films, four feature films and four schools have been chosen for Official Competitions. An additional 26 films will be shown in out-of-competition Showcase screenings. This year's film selection is comprised of film, video, and digital animations from Germany, France, Russia, Australia, Korea, U.K., Israel, Sweden, U.S., Italy, Brazil, Japan, and Canada.

"This is one of our strongest competitions in recent years -- I didn't expect that we'd break last year's record [of 2,077]; it was a really difficult task choosing among the 2,149 quality entries we have received," said OIAF Artistic Director Chris Robinson. "It's amazing that so many filmmakers recognize the Ottawa Animation Festival as an important venue. congratulations to all participants, and we look forward to everyone coming to view these exceptional films."

A complete listing of all the film selections can be found at www.animationfestival.ca.

Two of last year's grand prize winners - Aaron Augenblick (U.S.) whose GOLDEN AGE took the Grand Prize For Best Commissioned Animation and Koji Yamamura (Japan), who won Grand Prize For Best Independent Short Animation with FRANZ KAFKA'S A COUNTRY DOCTOR, return to competition once again this year with new animation in the TV for Adults and Experimental categories respectively.

The animated features are always a highlight at the festival, and this year is no exception. Those selected for competition include IDIOTS & ANGELS, the latest from Oscar-nominee Bill Plympton; as well as FEAR[S] OF THE DARK, a TWILIGHT ZONE-like anthology feature of surreal tales of phobias by six international animator/directors; SITA SINGS THE BLUES, a modern animated interpretation of an Indian epic recounting "The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told" and the much talked about WALTZ WITH BASHIR, an animated documentary in which director Ari Folman retraces the 1982 Lebanon War from a personal point of view.

In addition to the competition films, features and showcase presentations, the 2008 Ottawa International Animation Festival program highlights include a 20th anniversary screening of the breakthrough film WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?, with its Oscar winning animation director Richard Williams in attendance.

Animated showcases include "Blue Toons: A Night of Naughty Animation" and "The New Wave of Japanese Animation," which will look at another exciting and eclectic side of Japanese anime; plus, the festival's Artistic Director Chris Robinson will take us on a road trip across Canada to experience animation from Vancouver to Halifax with a major four-part program based on his new book LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO HAPPEN: ON THE ROAD WITH CANADIAN ANIMATORS.

Retrospectives this year include a look at the best-animated films made in Switzerland over the last 10 years; an exhibition that explores the use of sound in animation; a surrealistic spotlight on experimental filmmaker Skip Battaglia; a spotlight on music videos from Jonas Odell (U2, Franz Ferdinand and Goldfrapp) and Christopher Mills (Rush, Sam Roberts, The Tragically Hip, Mandy Moore, Modest Mouse, Interpol); plus rare animated propaganda clips with cartoon stars Porky Pig, Felix the Cat, the Flintstones, Bugs Bunny and Bullwinkle featured in BRAINWASHED! CARTOONS THAT INFLUENCE YOUR MIND.

In addition, kids and adults alike will enjoy a retrospective look at the work of Oscar-nominated and Emmy-award-winning artist Michael Sporn, best known for his adaptations of children's storybooks including RAGGEDY ANN & ANDY.

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