OTTAWA UPDATE #1

Tonight we started screening films at the Ottawa Internation Animation Festival. I’m on the feature jury, so I won’t give my opinions yet on the full length films until I see them all – but tonight we saw FRANK & WENDY, a bizarre animated feature comedy from Estonia. All I can say is: strange.The shorts screened tonight were amazing. None of them were bad, even the experimental non-narrative ones were entertaining and visually dazzling. Two in particular, CURSE OF THE VOODOO CHILD (Steve Woloshen) and Chris Hinton’s “cNOTE” were beautiful, kinetic works of art. DELIRIUM FILMS OPENING TITLE by Nebojsa Rogic (pictured above right) was perhaps the most incredible thing shown tonight. A completely gonzo version of a movie opening logo as you’ll ever see.As for the narrative films, these three were winners in my book: MILCH by Igor Kovalyov (produced by Klasky Csupo) was a superb and surreal slice of life: FISH HEADS FUGUE by Lauren Indovia and Lindsey Mayer-Beug (produced at the Rhode Island School of Design) is a tour-de-force of all animation techniques; and John Canemaker’s moving story of his relationship with his father, THE MOON AND THE SON, was absolutely riveting.There were also commercials, promos and student films screened – with Luis Blanco and Michael Uman’s Comedy Central i.d. spots (pictured above left) real standouts.So far so good. I also met a few Brew readers – and that is always rewarding. Hope to meet more of you as the week goes on.