North America’s longest-running animation festival, the Ottawa International Animation Festival, will take place next month from September 20-24 in Canada’s capital city.

Ottawa, a key gathering point for the international animation community, offers a wide range of competition screenings, workshops, panels, and parties that take place throughout downtown Ottawa.

Below are seven must-see highlights at this year’s festival:

  • A sneak peek screening of Nora Twomey’s new feature The Breadwinner.
  • Synesthetic Pub Crawl, hosted by Estonian filmmaker and beer connoisseur Priit Tender. A series of non-narrative films will be matched with a specific Ottawa beer, allowing viewers to enjoy an “unforgettable synesthetic experience where the borders between sound, image, smell and taste dissolve.”
  • Multiple tribute screenings for the French animation studio Folimage founded by Jacques-Rémy Girerd, which has made shorts and features for the last 36 years. The studio’s features include Raining Cats and Frogs, A Cat in Paris, Aunt Hilda!, and Phantom Boy, while its highly regarded shorts residency program has included the participation of filmmakers like Michael Dudok de wit, Konstantin Bronzit, and Regina Pessoa.
  • A presentation by Pixar director Dave Mullins about the process of Pixar’s new short Lou from initial pitch through final film: “Mullins will dive into the shorts-making process at Pixar, and provide a glimpse at how sometimes a story can be lost, only to be found in the most unexpected place.”
  • Two retrospective screenings and a discussion with independent filmmaker Bob Sabiston, the animation director of Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, both of which used his custom software Rotoshop.
  • A workshop from Giphy staffers that explains why GIFs are a good way to get your animation ideas our of your head and onto the screen, and how to use them to build your personal artistic brand.
  • A tribute screening to Evelyn Lambart (1914-1999), the key creative collaborator of experimental animation legend Norman McLaren and a pioneering Canadian woman animator. She was “an under-recognized collaborator of McLaren for 21 years, who was a sterling animator in her own right,” says program curator Donald McWilliams. “This compilation sets the record straight.”

For a full list of events and info on how to attend, visit the Ottawa festival website.