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Ottawa Saved… For Now

Chris Robinson, artistic director for the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), has informed AWN that Telefilm Canada, the federal film funding branch of the Ministry of Heritage, has renewed the festivals funding for the 2003-2004 fiscal year. More details will be posted when they arrive.

OIAF learned, in a June 16 letter from Telefilm Canada's director of communications and public affairs Danielle Dansereau, that Telefilm was cutting the festivals funding entirely. This news came as a huge surprise to Ottawa organizers who had received a funding increase the year before. Telefilms original explanation was that it would only support events that are primarily focused on screening feature films that are destined for wide distribution." Telefilm Canada has been the festivals primary financier for almost 30 years, making up 25% of the budget.

Founded in 1976 by the Canadian Film Institute, Ottawa is a biennial festival next scheduled to happen September 22 - 26, 2004. In the off year, the organization presents the smaller Ottawa International Student Animation Festival, which is not funded by Telefilm. OIAF brings millions of dollars into the Ottawa area and helps promote the Canadian animation industry.