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OIAF Reveals Short Film Selections for 40th Anniversary Edition

Igor Kovalyov’s ‘Before Love,’ Theodore Ushev’s ‘Blind Vaysha,’ French student collaboration ‘Crabe Phare,’ among 111 animated shorts selected to compete at the 2016 Ottawa International Animation Festival.

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa International Animation Festival, North America’s leading animation film festival, has announced the official selections for the International Short Film Competition. The 2016 festival features a diverse collection of films from 23 countries and six continents, ranging from experimental abstract shorts to commercial offerings, from Festival favorites and first-time competitors.

“This is my 25th year with the OIAF and I can’t recall a more challenging selection process,” says Chris Robinson, Artistic Director at OIAF. “Many good films -- which in another year might have been selected -- didn’t make the cut. That’s a great compliment to those that did and a greater one to the current state of international animation.”

Kicking off the Festival is Paul Johnson’s Begone Dull Care 2015, an ode to Norman McLaren’s classic short from 1949 complete with 8-bit graphics and a synthesized rendition of Oscar Peterson’s soundtrack from the original film. Another revisionist mashup is Oscar nominee Janet Perlman’s Let’s Play Like It’s 1949, which mixes animation with live-action footage from the 1949 educational video “Let’s Play Fair.”

OIAF will also be hosting the world premiere of Diane Obomsawin’s J’aime Les Filles, a collage of female centric stories that mark a pivotal moment of budding self-awareness: the discovery of homosexual desire! Blind Vaysha, from multiple OIAF award winner Theodore Ushev, tells the story of another woman, one who is perpetually caught between the past and future.

In addition to Ushev and Perlman, a number of other Festival veterans will appear in competition. Recent Academy inductee Koji Yamamura returns with “Parade” de Satie: an animated re-creation of realist ballet images that go beyond reality. Before Love, a short that questions solitude, misunderstanding and disunity in our life, is the most recent offering from three-time OIAF grand prize winner Igor Kovalyov. And making its North American premiere is Endgame, Phil Mulloy’s minimalist and sometimes brutal short about two men who play war games to relax.

The 2016 festival ranges from American stop-motion giant PES and his remarkable commercial short for Honda, Paper, to the paradoxes and surreal dreamscapes of Marta Pajek’s Figury niemozliwe i inne historie II, and also features a large number of impressive entries from Graduate and Undergraduate students across the globe. From Estonia’s Sander Joon (Velodrool) to the collaborative efforts of French Students in Crabe Phare, to black comedy from the Czech Republic (Happy End, Jan Saska), and countless others from Germany, Japan, Russia, the US and the UK, 2016 is a diverse and prolific year in animation from old and new creators, working in a range of mediums in all corners of the world.

The full list of films selected to compete at OIAF 2016 -- which includes 111 animated shorts -- can be viewed here.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival runs from September 21-25 and screens at various venues in Ottawa, Ontario. Admission starts at $13 for the general public, or $9 for children, seniors, and members of the Canadian Film Institute. Tickets and Festival Passes are available online at

Source: The Ottawa International Animation Festival

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.