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Ottawa Festival - worth it?

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Ottawa Festival - worth it?

I need information on the Ottawa Intl Animation Fest, stuff I can't find on their website. Basically I want to know if it's worth going to if you are just a passing animation/film fan and not a major industry fan.

Is something going on all the time or is this like other film fests where a few screenings start here and there a few times a day? What kind of events other than animation viewing is there? If I go, should I expect to be bombarded with films/events or will I have lots of down time? Is there lots of stuff to do in Ottawa if there is down time?

Looking at the website, from what I can tell there are some retrospectives and I imagine probably viewings of festival entries, but how much of each day will be taken up with that? I'm not interested in the one event they seem to have posted, the classes for teens. The TAC part of it looks like a trade show and I am not sure I'll find that interesting at all since I am not in the biz, just a fan looking for fun events and cartoons. If anyone here has been, what has been your general experience? Bored? Overwhelmed? Was it totally worth it or was it just bleh?

Is there anyplace else on the internet I can ask this question and get more feedback?

I went to it two years ago and I loved it. I am going to try to go again this year. It was a nice mix of screenings, panel discussions/workshops, parties, a picnic, and just enjoying the city.

You can be as busy as you want to be. If you plan it out right you can do something almost every minute of the day.

There seemed to be a lot of animation fans, and pros there.

the fest

I haven't missed an OIAF since 1986. Lucky for me I live nearby. This fest is for indipendent animation. Animators from around the world bring their works. You won't find a huge amount of mainstream films here. You will find a lot of films and animators you've never heard of but if you keep an open mind and understand that animation can be so much more than what we see most of the time you'll have a good time. I've made some great friends through the fest over the years and have got to meet some of my biggest animation heroes.
I love it!:D

The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself. My Blog: Strange Thoughts


you can write us and we can tell ya more.
Rest assured, there is stuff going on from 9am-11pm (and beyond). Even if you just went to screenings, we have programmes everyday at 11am, 1, 3, 7, 9pm (at 3 venues).

The comments from to the other two posters are pretty accurate. While TAC is aimed at the animation industry, the screenings avoid showing your usual Hollywood fare in favour of providing a screen for more innovative and provocative stuff.

chris robinson
artistic director

Not the Best!

I been going to the animation festival for about 10 years now but I got to say it ‘s going worst to worst every year. Really not a big fan of it anymore. To bad before they actuly had big names like Disney Pixar Dreamworks.. But Today all you get is a crappy booth of Teletoon and Nelvana and a few colleges . oh ya don’t forget the software Toonboom and Discret! That’s about it! Kinda sad! the party's are not the best neither. I went last years to a picnic staid for about 45 min then left!

I guess two years ago was the final straw for me. Can you imagine the first prize winner for the best short film was a actual vigie?!!! Just to show how little budget they have! Thanks God the same guy won a Oscar that year…

But if your like abstract films that you need to be as stoned as the film makers to like it I guess you will enjoy the festival. But you will be disapointed if you think your going to see hight quality animation , don't get me wrong they have some nice film time to time, but they are rare. It's more underground type of crowd! Kinda scrary!

If I get a free pass from the studio, chance are I would probably give it to somebody else!

Anyway that’s what I think of it!



Umm... can't really comment on your other comments--even if I find it bizarre that a guy can't find a way to enjoy himself at parties/picnic with free booze and food...but what's this nonsense about giving the first prize winner a veggie (I assume that's what you were writing..hard to tell). Now...there is a joke prize given by Marilyn Zornado (widow of Mike Gribble of Spike and Mike fame) each year. It goes to the funniest film of the festival. Runners up for that prize are given a zucchini. The OIAf doesnt have anything to do with that prize.'s just a fun award anyway.

Some of you people who went to the OIAF in the mid/late 1990s are living in a bit of a dream world. In 96 and 98, studios were spending a ton of money at festivals and throwing ridiculously lavish parties...but that was for a very short time and they just don't do that stuff anymore. Still... what do you want? Parties are a part of festivals--and we do offer a slew of social events with lots of free booze and food --so I dunno..if you can't manage to enjoy yourself in those environments, I suspect it says more about the individual than the festival.

Anyway, they'll always be supporter and critics. S'okay.

The fest

I have to agree with the Pimp. Big studios are no longer throwing around the cash that they used to at festivals. As far as the underground animation for me that's the whole reason to go! I spend most of my waking hours working on cartoons that get aired on TV and such. When I go to the OIAF I want to see the ART of animation. Films from an artists soul if you will. Yes there are films that not everyone likes but isn't that part of art? Debate is always fun after seeing a series of films.
I love the fact that you can be at one of the parties and have a conversation with animators that hail from every concievable country out there and from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.
I don't think I have ever run into a pack of weirdos at least no one stranger than the people I work with. Of course maybe I'm the weird one?

The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself. My Blog: Strange Thoughts

I don't think I have ever run into a pack of weirdos at least no one stranger than the people I work with. Of course maybe I'm the weird one?

I'll vouch for Rob on him being the weird one. Teehee.:D

All kidding aside, the OIAF is a really good time, and a chance for animators from near and far to get together and have a pint or ten. You end up seeing some faces that you have not seen in YEARS, and it is really great to get caught up with these folks, and ponder over some of the films you have seen throughout the fest. Admittedly, there is a lot of stuff that I consider "crap" too, but that is just my personal opinion, and others might appreciate some other parts of these films. There are certainly a lot of "gems" in there to see though, and you will probably never get another chance to see 'em.

Anyways... In my opinion, the OAIF is a great time, and one that should not be missed, whether Disney and Pixar are there or not (I certainly remember those days, back in the early '90's... Walking around the fest with portfolio in-hand, and meeting with Disney about working on their new feature about Tarzan).

Cheers, and those of you who I know and who will be in Ottawa, see you there (Rob).


"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

Is there going to be a tribute to Bob Clampett at the festival this year? Or am I thinking of another festival?

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You can also read the first 18 pages of my next book for free at this link: The Hap Hap Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti

yep..we're doing a Clampett show this year. Almost all 35mm prints.