SAFO 99 will offer a few significant changes. First, SAFO 99 will take place in the newly renovated National Archives of Canada Auditorium. This new venue will provide improved audio-visual capabilities and will allow us to offer all of our events (screenings, workshops, trade fair) under one roof, affording attendees the ability to maximize their festival participation. Secondly, the Official Competition has been divided into five categories to ensure a level playing ground amongst participants (eg. undergraduates will not have to compete with graduates). Additionally, the festival has decided to eliminate the unfinished film category. If there is enough demand for the reinstatement of this category, festival organizers will re-consider this decision. With the exception of these changes (and a few rules alternations), the festival will follow the same basic structure as past festivals.

The centerpiece of SAFO 99 is the Official Competition. The competition is divided into five categories: high school/secondary films; undergraduate films; graduate films; first films (professional or otherwise); children's films (ages 12 and under). An international jury comprised of 4-5 animation professionals from around the world will watch, with the audience, all films and videos presented in to the Official Competition with a view to selecting the winner of the Festival's Grand Prize, first prize in each category, and other awards of excellence in various media and crafts of animation. The Grand Prize winner of SAFO 97 was Andreas Hykade (Germany) for his film, We Lived In Grass.

Schools from around the world will compete for the Best Artistic Achievement in Animation Education award. In selecting the schools that vie for this prestigous award, festival organizers developed a very strict criteria which emphasizes unique and creative approaches to animation. Special emphasis is given to institutions who encourage their students to push the envelope of creativity using diverse techniques and imaginative story ideas. The 1997 Award went to the Royal College of Art (United Kingdom).

There will be numerous hands-on workshops, panels, lectures and consultation sessions scheduled to help prepare new comers for the jump into the professional animation industry. The aim of these sessions is to provide information on the creative, technical, and legal aspects of the animation industry.

The Animarket is a trade fair that provides participants with an excellent recruitment and promotional vehicle, as well as unparalleled industry exposure. In addition display space in the National Archives lobby, the Animarket offers exhbitors telecommunications service facility, an on-demand video screening room, and message and secretarial services, all in an effort to assist with, and stimulate, market activity at the festival.

In addition to the Official Competition, SAFO 99 will feature a variety of screenings that highlight an individual, studio or country that has made a significant aesthetic and/or technical contribution to the animation community. SAFO will also provide an educational and historical element, so that participants can understand how their craft was developed and how it continues to be innovative. In-depth essays in the festival catalogue will compliment the screenings.

SAFO 99 retrospectives will TENTATIVELY include tributes to:

  • Cuppa Coffee Animation
  • Colossal Pictures
  • Filmtecknarna-one of Sweden's most innovative studios (creators of REVOLVER)
  • Richard Condie
  • George Griffin
  • MTV Europe & MTV Japan

Other screenings:

  • American and Japanese Post-War propoganda films
  • Sixty years of the National Film Board of Canada
  • Spirit of Genius-documentary on Russian animator, Fedor Chitru
  • Pacific Data Images: 20 Years Later
  • Best of Fantoche 99
  • World's Best Animation Commercials
  • Animation Festival
  • New Canadian Student Animation
  • Teacher's Pets-each year we ask well-known teacher to select a series of films that they would like to show their students.
  • First Cracks-Our continued look at the first films of now legendary animators.

SAFO 99 will again host the Ani-Cafe, which is set aside for participants to unwind. The Ani-cafe will feature nightly soirees, featuring music, dancing, informal screenings...and a menu for those on a low budget.


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