The Ottawa International Animation Festival begins tomorrow in Canada’s capital city and continues through Sunday, September 25.

The event has for decades been the most important gathering for independent animators and filmmakers living throughout North America. This year promises to be extra special as it marks 40 years since the festival started. If you’ve ever thought about attending, this would be an excellent year to start.

Some of the events planned for this week include:

  • Talks and presentations with Pixar director Alan Barillaro (Piper), Disney director Leo Matsuda (Inner Workings), NFB legend Caroline Leaf, animation historian Giannalberto Bendazzi, Cartoon Network director Julia Pott, and Chris Prynoski and Christy Karacas on the Titmouse feature Nerdland.
  • Eighty shorts and seven features in competition, plus an additional 73 shorts in panorama screenings.
  • A newly restored version of Canada’s first animated feature, The Enchanted Village (1955): “Brothers Réal and Marcel Racicot, who directed the film, worked six years in their evenings with four assistants to make this cel-animated fantasy. Naïve and sometimes technically awkward, dealing with Catholic themes and folklore, offering some Hollywood-cartoon slapstick jokes, The Enchanted Village is a tour de force considering that it was made in very modest conditions.”
  • Retrospective screenings of all the previous Ottawa grand prize winners.
  • Nightly parties, the famous animator’s picnic, and Nightowl, a Saturday night celebration featuring three floors filled with music, gaming, animation, drawing, and cosplay.

For details on attending, visit animationfestival.ca.

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