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OIAF Pitch THIS! Goes Virtual, Now Accepting Entries from Canadian Creators

Festival and Mercury Filmworks announce first virtual competition, offering wider reach and accessibility to new creative voices.

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) and Mercury Filmworks have announced the first ever “Virtual” Pitch THIS! competition for Canadian creators hoping to kickstart a new animated series concept. A highlight of The Animation Conference (TAC), the OIAF’s industry-focused forum, running September 23 to October 4, 2020, the event has been part of the lineup for over 15 years and has helped launch many projects including last year’s winner Melrose Middle School. The deadline for submissions is August 20th at 5:00pm EDT.

“Winning Pitch THIS! sparked key creative dialogues with the nation’s leading production companies and broadcasters and was instrumental in kick starting negotiations for a development deal,” shared Melrose Middle School creators, Ali Kellner & David Elmaleh.

As the OIAF moves its programs online, they gain a wider reach, making professional development opportunities more accessible; programs like Pitch THIS! can open doors for new voices.

“While the mentorship part of Pitch THIS! has mostly been virtual in the past, this year the whole event will be online,” commented OIAF’s industry director, Azarin Sohrabkhani. “Without the barriers of physically attending the festival to participate in the popular event, we hope to see even more diverse projects and stories and highly encourage underrepresented creators to submit to the program. This opportunity will give creators the attentive ear of potential partners, collaborators and financiers.”

Ten semi-finalists are partnered with experienced industry mentors who offer feedback and help in preparing for the 10-minute pitch in front of the judging committee. The two presentations making the biggest impact will face-off in the finale, going head-to-head in front of a panel of platform executives and the entire TAC audience. Finalists will compete to win the prize package from Pitch THIS! partners, which includes a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Mercury Filmworks and two TAC Animapasses to OIAF 2021.

“At Mercury Filmworks, we continually seek to refine our development process and create opportunities for our artists to grow creatively,” noted the studio’s chief content officer, Heath Kenny. “Now, more than ever we understand the importance of community and our partnership alongside the OIAF seemed like the perfect expression of our support for the animation community. The Pitch THIS! event is a great way for us to share some of what we have learnt as a group and engage with the creators of tomorrow. We believe that together we can make a safe place to be creative and a creative place to do business.”

Mercury Filmworks will complement the Pitch THIS! program with a series of talks, and chats with creators, on content development from the perspective of an indie Canadian studio.

Pitch THIS! 2020 is open to Canadian projects only including all demographics from preschool to adult series. Inclusive projects and underrepresented creators, particularly women and BIPOC members of the animation community, are encouraged to apply. Proposals should include: a project synopsis, including logline and character descriptions, at least one-episode synopsis, series concept art, and the bios of key creators.

For more information click HERE.

Applicants should send their Pitch THIS! proposals to:

The deadline for Pitch THIS! submissions is August 20, 2020 at 5 PM EDT.

Source: Ottawa International Animation Festival