It’s take two for IFFO, the International Film Festival of Ottawa, which could not launch as planned in March 2020. With a full slate of digital programming, the festival is now going ahead online from March 11 to 21, 2021.
The new event is being organized by the Canadian Film Institute, producers of Ottawa’s International Animation Festival, the European Union Film Festival, and pretty much every other film festival in town (no really, here’s the CFI festival roster—it would be simpler to make a list of Ottawa film festivals that aren’t produced by the CFI!).
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This year’s lineup includes 21 feature films and a program of short films yet to be announced. New films will be released throughout the event and will be available for viewing for 48 hours.
A handful of films, like Beans by Indigenous filmmaker Tracey Deer, Coalesce (Les affluents), It Must Be Heaven, and Downstream to Kinshasa are standouts from the festival circuit, having each been selected for the TIFF or Cannes film festivals in 2020.
Mouthpiece is notable piece because you could have seen it on stage in Ottawa in 2016. It’s an adaptation of an indie theatre piece that played at the Undercurrents Festival in Arts Court Theatre. Mouthpiece director Patricia Rozema is also one of IFFO’s conference speakers.
“We’ve picked a selection of outstanding films and created a Festival experience that will be a much-needed distraction for audiences this March,” says CFI Executive Director Tom McSorley. “We can’t wait for people to take part. We encourage audiences to get a pass and immerse themselves in IFFO.”
Pass holders can also join IFFO curators and filmmakers in the virtual IFFO Film Club to discuss the festival’s films throughout the festival (March 11, 13, 15, 17, 19). These online hangouts will bring a live festival feeling to attendees by providing an opportunity to chat casually about films.
There’s some talk of takeout. IFFO’s social media is teasing a takeout food series with Ottawa chefs and restaurants. We’ll let you know when there’s a list of restaurants available, but you can be sure it will appear in Apartment613’s Takeout Talk column next month!
The International Film Festival of Ottawa (IFFO) runs online from March 11 to 21, 2021. Visit www.iffo.ca for the complete lineup and schedule.