1998 Ottawa International Animation Festival

September 29-October 4, 1998

North America's largest and oldest animation festival, hot off the heels of its most successful festival ever, Ottawa 96, and the critically acclaimed, SAFO 97, returns this fall from September 29-October 4 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. In addition to the Official Competition, Ottawa 98 will once again offer Retrospective programmes, Professional and Creative development workshops and panels, the Animarket Trade Fair, and the World famous, Animator's Picnic.

Festival Director, Chris Robinson, and his wife, Kelly Neall are pleased to announce the birth of their first child, Jarvis Robinson Neall. Jarvis was born on July 2, 1998 at 8:30am. He weighed in at 7lbs, 12 ounces. Later that day, the Ottawa 98 Selection Committee (Tom Knott, Edwin Carels, Christine Panushka, Alexei Karaev) arrived in Ottawa to judge, over a ten day period, the more than 1200 entries (a new festival record) submitted this year.

The 1998 Ottawa International Animation Festival will open with the Dreamworks/Pacific Data Images film, ANTZ, one of the most anticipated computer animated features of the decade. "We are absolutely thrilled to open the festival with such an anticipated feature from our friends at Dreamworks and Pacific Data Images," comments OIAF Executive Director, Chris Robinson. "ANTZ has generated a lot of buzz in the animation world, and should provide a spectacular start to what is already an incredible festival line-up." ANTZ features the voice-talent of Woody Allen in the starring role of "Z", the slightly over-talkative, hyper hero, pulled down by the drudgery of colony life. "Z" reluctantly leads the colony to revolt after overcoming his individual struggle for independence. Other celebrity voice-talents include: Sharon Stone as the love interest, "Princess Bala", Dan Aykroyd, Danny Glover, Jennifer Lopez, and Sylvestor Stallone, and Christopher Walken, among others. The opening night of Ottawa 98 will be held in the 2000 seat Opera of the National Arts Centre. The evening will begin with the official opening ceremonies featuring a host of dignitaries and VIP's, followed by the screening of ANTZ.

On April 15, 1998, the Ottawa International Animation Festival withdrew from the International Animation Association (ASIFA). Festival organizers opted to end the twenty-two year relationship so that more attention and energy can be given to forging a closer and more active relationship with the national chapter, ASIFA-Canada. The Festival will continue to offer ASIFA-International members a discount on festival passes.

If you are considering participating in the 1998 Animarket at Ottawa 98, you may want to hasten your decision pace as spaces are going at a record pace. As of March 12, participation has been already been confirmed by Nelvana, Pixar, Chromacolour, Toon Boom Technologies, Teletoon, Walt Disney Television Animation, Dynomight Cartoons, and the Ontario Film Development Corporation (who have purchased two booths which will then be used to promote emerging Ontario-based animation companies). For more information on the Ottawa 98 Animarket, call the festival office or visit the Animarket page on this site.

Oscar Winners Honored at Ottawa 98
The Festival is pleased to announce that the
1998 Honorary Presidents will be Dr. Marceli Wein and Nestor Burtnyk.

The two recently retired Ottawa based researchers had a huge impact on computer animation through their key frame technology and their collaborations with the National Film Board of Canada on films like the Oscar nominated HUNGER (Peter Fouldes, 1974). Their work on HUNGER not initiated interest in computer animation but also inspired many of our most prominent 3D animators.

In 1997, Wein and Burtnyk were awarded an Academy Award for Technical Achievement.

Drs. Wein and Burtnyk will be in attendance at Ottawa 98 and will introduce a special screening entitled Computer Pioneers, examining the pioneerings efforts of Wein, Burtnyk and many others over the years.

More Screens Than Ever Before at Ottawa 98
The festival has just confirmed an arrangement with Cineplex Odeon's World Exchange Cinema that will result in thirty additional screenings over the six day festival. While the National Arts Centre will remain the home of the festival, the new arrangement with Cineplex Odeon will enable the festival to repeat its more popular screenings (eg. Official Competition), while increasing its acclaimed retrospective and tribute programmes.

Opening Night Gala
We have added an extra day to the Festival to include an Opening Night Gala featuring the World Premiere of a new animated Feature. The screening, which will also include Ottawa 98 opening ceremonies, will take place in the National Arts Centre's 2000 seat opera.

New Competition Structure
The Official Competition has been divided in two: Independent Short Works Competition will offer two categories: Independent Short Works (under 30 minutes) and First/Student Works; the Commissioned Films Competition will include categories for: Educational Films; Music Videos, Commercials, Identifications, Tv Specials, and Tv Series. A Grand Prize will be awarded for each competition.

Interactive Animation Category

An increase in quality and quanity of animation work being produced for video games and cd-roms has persuaded OIAF organizers to introduce a category for Interactive Animations and specifically video game animation.

New Canadian Animation
In an effort to stimulate and encourage independent animation production in Canada, Ottawa 98 will introduce the first ever New Canadian Animation programme which will remain a permanent fixture at all Ottawa Festivals.

How to become a friend of the Festival and pre-Selection Committee.
In 1996, we made every effort to make the rules and regulations more reader friendly, but alas, we still get the sense that no one reads them, so in their place we offer the highlights of the guidelines.

1) Label your entry clearly and legibly
2) Cue your tape.
3) Use your head and heart when insuring your work: While we gladly cover customs expenses, please try and be more reasonable when determining insurance and customs values (eg. $200 is a little too much for a vhs cassette).
4) Your photo is a request not a demand.
5) There is NO ENTRY FEE. However you are responsible for shipping costs.
5) Please make sure that you are submitting an entry in an acceptable film or video format.


Tenatively include: Before and After: 40 years of Estonian Animation; Computer Pioneers; Animation from The Netherlands; Warner Bros. Legend, Frank Tashlin; Canadian-born Bugs Bunny designer, Charles Thorson; the first-ever retrospectives of Stefan Schabenbeck (Poland) and Alexei Karaev (Russia); the Norman McLaren Heritage Award Winner; UPA; In the Margins: Canadian Animation outside of the NFB

Entry Deadline

The deadline for entries and receipt of your film/video is July 1, 1998. This deadline is final. The Selection Committee will meet from July 3-13 to adjudicate the entries. Alexander Tatarsky (Russia), Edwin Carels (Belgium), Christine Panushka (USA), Adam Shaheen (Canada) have been invited to serve as Selection Committee members.

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