The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), North America's largest animation event, is pleased to announce the creation of the International Student Animation Festival of Ottawa (SAFO), a biennial competitive festival which will run from September 18 to 21, 1997 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

"Because of limited venue space," say OIAF Executive Director Chris Robinson, "the OIAF has never been able to properly accommodate the wealth of student films produced. This is unfortunate given the thousands of students that the OIAF attracts each festival. The OIAF has accommodated students in other ways through a variety of professional development workshops and panels, screening space via the First Film category of the Official Competition and, of course, as the leading recruitment festival in the world. Nevertheless, festival organizers fell that it is unfair to have students, often with very limited budgets, compete with more established and better funded animators. This is not to say that the quality of work is poor; in fact student films like Anthony Hodgson's HILARY, recipient of three Ottawa 96 awards, reveals that to the contrary, student work is exceptionally strong. Students should have an opportunity to have their work screened more often and within a more supportive environment. The International Student Animation Festival of Ottawa will provide such an environment."

SAFOIn addition to Opening and Closing ceremonies and Official Competition, the SAFO will offer a variety of special programs showcasing the work of international animation schools and a variety of retrospectives. A number of industrial and creative workshops and panels will be held (e.g. "Preparing a Portfolio," "Storytelling in Animation," etc.) as will an AniMarket Trade Fair. Within the AniMarket, schools will be able to showcase their programs, while students will be given the opportunity to meet with industry representatives.

Selection for the Official Competition will take place in July, 1997. An international jury will be chosen to judge the films in Official Competition during the Festival. Prizes will be awarded for a variety of media and craft categories, and a cash prize will be awarded to the Grand Prize Winner.

Entry forms/rules and regulations will be available in January 1997, with the deadline for entries being July 1, 1997. Unfinished works and/or pencil tests will be accepted. The International Student Animation Festival of Ottawa is organized by the Canadian Film Institute. For further information, please contact Chris Robinson or Stefanie Siska by phone at (613) 232-8769, by fax at (613) 232-6315 or by e-mail at oiaf@ottawa.com.


OIAF © 1997