Ottawa International Animation Festival

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Ottawa International Animation Festival
The poster for OIAF 2019. Design by Steve Angel.
GenreFilm festival
Location(s)Ottawa, Ontario
Inaugurated1975 (1975)
Most recentSeptember 2023 (2023-09)
Next eventSeptember 2024
WebsiteOttawa International Animation Festival

The Ottawa International Animation Festival is an annual animated film and media festival that takes place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The OIAF was founded in 1975, with the first festival held from August 10 to 15 in 1976.[1] Initially organized by the Canadian Film Institute on a biennial basis and with the co-operation of the International Animated Film Association, the Festival organization now remains in the hands of the CFI. It moved from a biennial to an annual festival in 2005. Today the festival is recognized as the largest and oldest animation festival in North America, and regularly attracts upwards of 25,000 attendees when it is held each September.[2][3]


The Ottawa International Animation Festival was founded in 1975 by various figures in the world of Canadian animation, most prominently Bill Kuhns, Frederik Manter, Prescott J. Wright, Frank Taylor, and Kelly O'Brien. Many Canadian film and media institutions, such as the National Film Board of Canada, Télévision de Radio-Canada, CBC Television, and Cinémathèque Québécoise also played a fundamental role in building the festival into its present state.

Canada's national capital Ottawa was chosen as the host city due to its already strong film culture, being the former home of the NFB as well as many of Canada's first animation studios. Additionally, Ottawa was (at the time) home of famed Canadian animator and filmmaker Norman McLaren, who went on to be recognized for his contributions to the field of animation by the festival as its first honorary president. The festival was originally led by Wayne Clarkson, until he left in 1978 to become artistic director of the Festival of Festivals.

The OIAF experienced a brief change of location in 1984 when it was moved to Toronto and subsequently to Hamilton, Ontario in 1986 before settling back in Ottawa in 1990, where it has remained since. In 1999 the festival office suffered a fire, leading to many of the files from past years being lost. Nevertheless, the festival has continued to thrive. In 1997 the Ottawa International Student Animation Festival (SAFO) was founded and held in alternate years to the larger OIAF. In 2005 the OIAF moved from biennial to annual and as such the student categories became part of the main festival.

In 2002 the festival premiered its business conference component, originally called the Television Animation Conference and now known simply as The Animation Conference or TAC. The Animation conference runs concurrently with the festival and is aimed more at industry professionals than the general public, providing those in the animation industry an opportunity to network with their colleagues.

Today the OIAF continues to grow and is known in the festival world for its practice of pitting both commercial and independent projects in competition with one another, a strategy which leads to a wide breadth of styles and formats. The OIAF features traditionally-drawn animated films, animation made with computer graphics, and more recently, even projects made in virtual reality.

Grand prize winners[edit]

Year Best Feature Best Short
2023 When Adam Changes (Adam change lentement) - Joël Vaudreuil (Canada)[4] Miserable Miracle - Ryo Orikasa (Canada/France/Japan)[4]
2022 Dozens of Norths - Koji Yamamura (France)[5] Bird in the Peninsula - Atsushi Wada (France)[6]
2021 Bob Spit: We Do Not Like People - Cesar Cabral (Brazil) Honekami (A Bite of Bone) - Honami Yano (Japan)
2020 Kill It and Leave This Town - Mariusz Wilczynski (Poland) KKUM - Kang-min Kim (South Korea/USA)[7]
2019 On-Gaku: Our Sound - Kenji Iwaisawa (Japan) Don't Know What - Thomas Renoldner (Austria)
2018 This Magnificent Cake! (Ce magnifique gâteau !) - Emma de Swaef, Marc James Roels (Belgium) Solar Walk - Réka Bucsi (Denmark/Hungary)
2017 The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl - Masaaki Yuasa (Japan) Ugly - Nikita Diakur (Germany)
2016 Louise en Hiver - Jean-François Laguionie (France/Canada) J'aime les filles - Diane Obomsawin (Canada)[8]
2015 Over the Garden Wall - Patrick McHale, (USA/South Korea) Small People With Hats - Sarina Nihei, (UK)
2014 Seth's Dominion - Luc Chamberland, (Canada) Hippos (Hipopotamy) - Piotr Dumala, (Poland)
2013 Tito on Ice - Max Andersson (Germany/Sweden) Lonely Bones - Rosto, (France/Netherlands)
2012 Wrinkles - Ignacio Ferreras (Spain) Junkyard - Hisko Hulsing, (Netherlands)
2011 Dead but not Buried - Phil Mulloy (UK) Moxie - Stephen Irwin (UK)
2010 Goodbye Mister Christie - Phil Mulloy (UK) The External World - David O'Reilly (Ireland)
2009 Mary and Max - Adam Elliot (Australia) Kaasündinud Kohustused (Inherent Obligations) - by Rao Heidmets, Estonia
2008 Terra - Aristomenis Tsirbas (USA) Chainsaw - Dennis Tupicoff (Australia)
2007 Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi (France) A Country Doctor - Koji Yamamura (Japan)
2006 The Christies - Phil Mulloy (UK) Dreams & Desires: Family Ties - Joanna Quinn (UK)
2005 The District! - Aron Gauder (Hungary) Milch - Igor Kovalyov (USA)
2004 Raining Cats and Frogs - Jacques-Rémy Girerd (France) Ryan - Chris Landreth (Canada)
2003 Son of Satan - Jean-Jacques-Villard (USA)
2002 Waking Life - Richard Linklater (USA) Home Road Movies - Robert Bradbrook (UK)
2001 Dog - Suzie Templeton (UK)
2000 Ring of Fire - Andreas Hykade (Germany)
1999 Grace - Lorelei Pepi (USA)
1998 The Night of the Carrots - Priit Pärn (Estonia)
1997 We Lived In Grass - Andreas Hykade (Germany)
1996 Bird in the Window - Igor Kovalyov (Russia/USA)
1994 The Wrong Trousers - Nick Park (UK)
1992 Two Sisters - Caroline Leaf (Canada)
1990 Hen, His Wife - Igor Kovalyov (USSR)
1988 The Man Who Planted Trees - Frederic Back (Canada)
1986 The Frog, the Dog and the Devil - Bob Stenhouse (New Zealand)
1984 Chips - Jerzy Kucia (Poland)
1982 Crac - Frederic Back (Canada)
1980 Ubu - Geoff Dunbar (UK)
1978 Rowing Across the Atlantic - Jean-François Laguionie (France)
1976 The Street - Caroline Leaf (Canada)


The following venues host events and screenings during the Ottawa International Animation Festival:


  1. ^ Levy, David B. (May 1, 2006). "The Ottawa International Animation Festival". Your Career in Animation: How to Survive and Thrive. Allworth Press. p. 225. ISBN 1581154453.
  2. ^ The Ottawa International Animation Festival isn't just a film festival, it's a 'dysfunctional family reunion'|CBC Arts
  3. ^ What to do in Ottawa this week: From Indigenous to bluegrass to opera|Ottawa Citizen
  4. ^ a b Jamie Lang, "‘When Adam Changes,’ ‘Miserable Miracle’ Take Top Prizes At Ottawa 2023". Cartoon Brew, September 25, 2023.
  5. ^ French animation in animation festivals: Fall 2022 - Unifrance
  6. ^ ‘Dozens Of Norths,’ ‘Bird In The Peninsula’ Take Top Prizes At Ottawa 2022|Cartoon Brew
  7. ^ Ottawa International Animation Festival Announces 2020 Winners|Skwigly Animation Magazine
  8. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (September 25, 2016). "'J'Aime les Filles,' 'Louise' Take Ottawa Grand Prizes". Animation Magazine. Retrieved September 29, 2016.

External links[edit]