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Ottawa International Animation Festival: Heroes and mummies and camels, oh my!

By Yasmin Nissim on September 17, 2013

It’s back! Once again the nation’s capital will become a buzzing hub of activity for lovers of all things animated. The Ottawa International Animation Festival is a five day event beginning this Wednesday September 18th and running until Saturday the 22nd.

As always, the schedule is an exciting grab-bag of talent and imagination from Canada and around the globe. There are multiple screenings of each feature, so if you’re unable to make a particular time, don’t despair! Chances are there’s a second screening you haven’t missed yet, so make sure to take a good look at the show times.

A few titles that jumped out at me this year include two feature films, the Hungarian “Cycle” by Zoltán Sóstai, and “Arjun: The Warrior Prince” from Indian director Arnab Chaudhuri, both entered into the feature film competitions. Also, the name Don Hertzfeldt was a happy discovery as I was going through the full listing of the competitors. Anyone familiar with some of Hertzfeldt’s previous works knows his films will leave you feeling fat and sassy…or confused, in a good way.

The Canadian Showcase is another excellent feature, presenting 13 pieces from our own home-grown talent, with subjects ranging from cute and funny to thoughtful and introspective. A couple of shorts in this series that caught my eye were “Breakfast”, with the simple synopsis, ‘Bear wakes to yet another ordinary day’, and “Soup of the Day” which follows a couple’s struggle as they face the challenges presented by their culinary differences. I suppose my foodie tendencies are showing through here.

If you are interested in attending, there’s an extensive selection of pass options or single and bulk screening tickets if you’re trying to keep costs down. There are also passes for the Television Animation Conference which is part of the OIAF, however this portion of the festival is geared more towards industry professionals.

I strongly encourage anyone who appreciates creativity and imagination to check this festival out. You won’t be disappointed!