A diverse group of 114 animated shorts, feature films, and series will compete at upcoming Ottawa International Animation Festival, running online September 22 – October 3; 48 films additionally chosen for Panorama screenings, with the VR selections coming in August.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival announced its Official Competition line up for OIAF 2021. This year, the festival, which runs online September 22 – October 3, received 2,528 entries from 104 countries across the globe. Of those, 107 short films and animated series, along with 7 feature films, from 38 countries, were selected for Official Competition. 23 films were selected in the Canadian Student Competition, while 48 panorama films were chosen to represent the efforts of the Canadian, international, and student communities. The VR entries will be announced in August.
Click here for the complete list of films in competition.
While Festival organizers are disappointed that the films won’t be shown on the big screen, showcasing them online will be a positive alternative - bringing the work to new audiences and bringing the animation community together virtually.
According to OIAF Artistic Director, Chris Robinson, “Given that animators were already hermetic types, rarely spotted outside of animation festivals, it's no surprise that pandemic lockdowns had almost no effect on animation production. In fact, the OIAF received a record number of entries.”
“In many ways, this year's crop of competitors are not all that different from previous year's,” he continued. “You'll see an array of techniques and designs, along with stories and themes that tackle an assortment of preoccupations and challenges. We've got comedy, horror, absurdity, drama, along with the usual stuff that will completely baffle some, which is okay, because we want you to leave the 'cinema' pleasantly or unpleasantly befuddled. Festivals are a space to discover and uncover fresh new voices, stories and styles. We hope that OIAF21 serves up plenty of that.”
- Many film submissions, not surprisingly, dealt with the effects of the pandemic. Two ended up in competition: in The End of Stories (OIAF10 Grand Prize winner, David O’Riley) explores the nuances of the human condition and our inability to understand the present or imagine the future when confronted with “unprecedented times;” and in the Commissioned category, Peaches ‘Pussy Mask’ (OIAF festival fave, Leah Shore) takes on the pandemic through bold colors, Peaches’ catchy beats, and pussy power.
- Fresh off its Grand Prix win at Animafest Zagreb 2021, Taiwanese film, Night Bus (Joe Hsieh) is competing in this year’s Narrative Short Category. This thriller combines elements of Hitchcock and Tarantino as it explores love, hatred, and revenge during a late-night bus ride.
- The award-winning and hotly anticipated Bestia (Hugo Covarrubias) explores the life of a secret police agent during the military dictatorship in Chile. The agent’s relationship with her dog, her body, her fears and frustrations confronts audiences with realizations of a mind and country fractured by trauma. Covarrubia’s film is not one to be missed at this year’s festival.
- Meat and tension simmer in the Slovenian film, Steakhouse (Špela Čadež). Known for addressing human nature and its complexity through her films (her previous film, Nighthawk played at OIAF16 and won multiple international awards), Čadež brings emotions to a boil in Steakhouse. Audiences will need to determine if they can handle the heat or get out of the kitchen.
- This year’s Animated Feature Film competition serves up about as diverse a crop of films as you can find. From heartwarming comedies (Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko) and poetic works (Archipelago, Mount Fuji Seen From a Moving Train) to bold fusions of documentary and fiction (Bob Spit: We Do Not Like People) and the brilliantly bizarre (Elulu, Chicken of the Mound), the OIAF 21 Animated Feature Competition showcases the work and styles of animators from around the globe.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976. This year’s virtual OIAF runs September 22 to October 3. Visit the OIAF website at www.animationfestival.ca.