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Hazbin Hotel Hazbin Hotel

The 45th Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is underway — online. The prestigious festival will run virtually until October 3, making for a longer edition than usual.

We have already previewed this year’s competition lineup, but these don’t paint a full picture of the festival, which also has a teeming program of talks with industry and indie figures, as well as special screenings.

Below are six events we’re especially keen to catch, from tech talks to rare retrospectives:

Hometown Heroes: One-on-One with Jennifer Kluska

As we await clarity on the release of Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, the fourth and apparently last film in the series, OIAF is welcoming one of its two directors (who happens to be a former Ottawan). Kluska will trace her career path, from early work as a storyboard artist on the likes of Bee Movie and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 all the way to the director’s chair.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
“Hotel Transylvania: Transformania”
Convos with Creators: Vivienne Medrano

Medrano is a paragon of indie success in animation: early in her career, she built a large Youtube following, which she has parlayed into an industry deal. Her online pilot for adult fantasy show Hazbin Hotel was viewed more than 40 million times before A24, the independent distributor and production company, announced that it would turn it into a series. She will speak at OIAF about her career, alongside Bryan Dimas, Warner Bros. Animation executive and co-director of LatinX in Animation.

Family Matters: Shooting the Breeze with Kang Min Kim

OIAF regulars will probably have encountered Kim’s last short KKUM, a beguiling stop-motion tribute to his mother which won last year’s grand prize. The filmmaker will speak about the creative process behind his distinctive shorts, which also include Deer Flower and Jeom, as well as his commissioned work.

Ghosts of a Different Dream — The Films of Mariusz Wilczyński

Another past OIAF winner is the subject of this retrospective. Wilczyński, who took last year’s feature grand prize for Kill It and Leave This Town, has made several shorts that are as melancholic and arresting as his magnum opus. Here’s a rare chance to see them in one go.

“Unfortunately” by Mariusz Wilczyński
Tech Talks: Storytelling in 2D with 3D tool Quill: A Deep Dive with Erick Oh

Quill is a vr painting tool developed at Facebook (but since handed to its creator) which is proving increasingly popular with animation filmmakers, among them Oh. The director, who was Oscar-nominated this year for his short Opera, will speak alongside members of Baobab Studio about how he created his latest work Namoo using the software.

Behind the Scenes: The Trainee and Mentor Journey at Netflix Animation

Netflix’s young in-house animation studio has been running trainee programs for emerging talent for more than a year. The way trainees work with mentors is the subject of this panel, which will feature members of the studio’s story and art teams.

There are various passes, with the general one costing CAD$60 (USD$47); for more information, and the complete program, head to the festival’s website.

Image at top: “Hazbin Hotel”