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19 NFB Films Heading to OIAF 2023

Official competition selections include ‘The Girl with the Red Beret’ by Janet Perlman, ‘Miserable Miracle’ by Ryo Orikasa, ‘HARVEY’ by Janice Nadeau and ‘Boat People’ by Thao Lam and Kjell Boersma; NFB programs include NFB HOTHOUSE@20 and Show-and-tell with the NFB Animation & Interactive Studio.

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) returns to OIAF 2023 with 19 productions/co-productions in official selection, including four in competition. This year’s lineup features artists from the Greater Ottawa Region, among others – and competition films inspired by literary works, poetry, children’s books, and songs.

The largest North American festival dedicated exclusively to animation, The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), runs September 20-24.

Here’s the NFB’s rundown for Ottawa 2023:

Narrative Short Animation - Official Competition Selection

The Girl with the Red Beret (La fille au béret rouge) by Janet Perlman

This joyful, heartwarming animated film portrays Montreal in all its vitality, creativity, and diversity, with plenty of humor and good cheer, to the tune of Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s timeless hit “Complainte pour Ste-Catherine.”

Miserable Miracle by Ryo Orikasa

Inspired by Henri Michaux’s poems and drawings about his experiences with mescaline, Miserable Miracle explores the limits of language and perception, creating connections between sound, meaning, shapes, and movement.

Animation for Young Audiences (7–12):

HARVEY by Janice Nadeau

Told through the eyes of a child with an overflowing imagination, the film is a poetic, luminous look at bereavement and coping with the loss of a parent. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Hervé Bouchard, illustrated by Gatineau-born filmmaker Janice Nadeau.

Animation for Teen Audiences (13+):

Boat People by Thao Lam and Kjell Boersma

An animated documentary that uses a striking metaphor to trace one family’s flight across the turbulent waters of history. The film speaks across time and culture to anyone who’s ever fought to protect their family or community. Thao Lam, who is also a children’s book author and illustrator, wrote and illustrated an award-winning book on the same subject, “The Paper Boat.”

Canadian Panorama:

Aphasia (Aphasie) by Marielle Dalpé

The film is an unsettling sensory experience that immerses us in the world of people with Alzheimer’s disease who are facing the loss of their language capabilities.

Retrospective, special screenings and a show-and-tell:


Celebrating 20 years of the HOTHOUSE mentorship program for emerging animators and a show-and-tell with the NFB Animation & Interactive Studio, the retrospective will include 14 notable short films.

Two shorts by HOTHOUSE alumni will be screened before each of the seven films in the Feature Competition, including works by Ontario-born animators David Barlow-Krelina (The Visitor, 2012), Alexandra Lemay (All the Rage, 2014). and Paloma Dawkins (Scientifiq Piqniq, 2013).

Show-and-tell with the NFB Animation & Interactive Studio
Sunday, September 24, at 11:30 a.m. at the Arts Court Theatre:

The NFB English Program Animation & Interactive Studio celebrates the 20th anniversary of HOTHOUSE with an exploration of its production process. Executive producer Rob McLaughlin and producers Jelena Popović and Maral Mohammadian, along with filmmakers Torill Kove and Eva Cvijanović, will present an informal show-and-tell on how the studio works and how animators can work with it.

Ottawa International Animation Festival channel on features many NFB short films honored at OIAF since 1976.

Source: National Film Board of Canada

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.