OTTAWA 00 - RETROSPECTIVES, TRIBUTES
AND SPECIAL SCREENINGS

In addition to the Official Competitions of the 2000 Ottawa International Animation Festival, we will present as per usual a number of retrospective, tribute, and special screenings aimed at celebrating the body of work of a country, individual, studio, or school who that has made a significant contribution to the international animation landscape. At the same time, our screenings are not limited to a specific focus. We also present a number of thematic programmes that look at developments in particular techniques or the relation between animation and other fields of expression. The following screenings remain (as of May 15 2000) tentative and are subject to change. Please visit our site and ensure that you are our on our mailing list to receive up to date information as the festival draws closer.

The screenings will take places at four venues this year: the National Arts Centre, World Exchange Cinemas, National Archives of Canada, Public Works Theatre.

Thematic Programmes | Studio Spotlights | Tributes | Retrospectives | Feature Films


Thematic Programmes

From scratch
"At the brink of a new time-frame, with a new sense of perspective, it becomes crucial to consider what we want to take with us, what will make up our survival kit for the coming era. With electronic imagery becoming the norm, from scratch aims at rediscovering the intrinsic power, the potential and foremost the parameters of film. from scratch implies: the innocence of the medium, the primal scène as redefined by an experimental programme of combinations and confrontations. The re/presentation of a form of expression that basically needs only some filmstock and a projector, not even a camera. The bare necessities. from scratch is an associative investigation of the medium, unrestricted by any given definitions, categories or periodisations. It aims at a repetitive rebirth of the cinema, and brings together the old masters with the youngest heritants. The history of the avant-garde as possibly the most relevant of all cinematic traditions for the future."

-Edwin Carels

Computer Animation in the 21st Century
"As technologies and software evolve, computer animation is breaking free of its former limitations and earning its place as a tool for making art. The effects of two factors: technology becoming more accessible to individuals, and commercial projects fostering software developments, can be seen in an growing volume of work that is increasingly creative and even indistinguishable from traditional animation methods. This panorama program will highlight recent films that demonstrate computer animation's emergence as an artistic tool."

-Wendy Jackson

From Boop to Bop and Beyond: jazz in animation
"Jazz and animation have been performing duets since the 1920s. Both pop cultural phenoms from the Jazz Age, they have risen from "disreputable" roots to claim top honours as independent indigenous North American art forms. 'Toons and Jazz:the two have worked wonderfully well together since the days of flappers and hooch drinkers. Betty Boop, the Flesicher flapper girl, gave her sexy oomph to the likes of Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway in hot jazz 'toons just when talkies became popular. Big band sounds became so associated with animation during that time that some people still refer to the swing era style as "cartoon music." Warner Brothers' house composer Carl Stallings was particularly influential in mixing and matching Tin Pan Alley songs with jazz orchestrations in the sonic stylings behind the frivolities of Bug Bunny, Froghorn Leghorn and Daffy Duck. In the 1950s, as bop replaced swing, UPA adapted the new sounds to their revamped, more minimalist, graphic designs. This stylisation influenced many European animators, particularly in Yugoslavia and Poland. As Jazz and animation became associated with art and a rebellious personal life style in then-Communist Eastern Europe, it also went independent in the United States thanks to the work of the Hubleys. John Hubley, a jazz buff and animator, had been instrumental in the creation of the UPA style. Blacklisted for alleged Communist sympathies, he and his artist wife Faith set up their own company in the mid 50s in New York. From there, they produced great animation using the music of such jazz artists as Benny Carter and Dizzy Gillespie. They also influenced new animators evolving out of the New York independent film scene. Since that time, American indies like George Griffin, Russians, Slavs, Czechs and Canadians like Norman McLaren have all used jazz for their often abstract animated musings. It's a long tale, filled with beautiful graphics and wonderful music, that will delight audiences at Ottawa 2000."

Presented by Marc Glassman and Mark Langer


Studio Spotlights

Pacific Data Images: 20th Anniversary
PDI and the OIAF have had a long relationship. Eric Darnell's Gas Planet won an award in 1992, Tim Johnson's Homer 3D was a Grand Prize winner at Ottawa 96, and in 1998, PDI and Dreamworks choose Ottawa for the premiere of their first feature, Antz. They have given Ottawa so much over the years and now it is our turn to give something back to them. This specially prepared retrospective will look back at the past twenty years of PDI's work and rumour has it that some of this programme will even look forward at current PDI projects...stay tuned.

PDI's corporate story is a veritable timeline for the history of digital entertainment. Founded in 1980 by Carl Rosendahl, PDI started out creating broadcast graphics, and in 1985 expanded into commercials and then to feature film effects. The company quickly evolved into a world-class leader providing Hollywood with top-quality 3D visual effects and animation.

In March 1996, PDI reached a company milestone by signing a co-production deal with DreamWorks SKG to create original computer-animated feature films. In October of 1998, ANTZ, the first film resulting from the agreement, was released. SHREK, currently in production, is scheduled for release in late 2000. While TUSKER, the third PDI/DreamWorks film, is charging ahead in its early production stages.

In the Commercial and Feature Effects Division of PDI, the company continues to provide groundbreaking visual effects and animation for a diverse roster of Hollywood and advertising industry clients. Recent commercial credits include character animation and effects for Pepsi, Gatorade, Circle K and Dodge. PDI also recently wrapped visual effects on DreamWorks Pictures' FORCES OF NATURE, and has created digital characters for nearly 100 Hollywood hits, including BATMAN FOREVER, THE PEACEMAKER and THE ARRIVAL.

In addition, PDI has worked on a number of in-house animated shorts such as MILLENIUM BUG, GABOLA THE GREAT and GAS PLANET. PDI also produced award-winning television projects such as The Simpsons 1995 Halloween Special, "Homer3" and "The Last Halloween" in addition to the groundbreaking Michael Jackson music video "Black or White."

In 1998, PDI achieved a company milestone when its dynamic proprietary software was recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Science (A.M.P.A.S) with a Technical Achievement Award for the overall concept and architecture of the studio's proprietary animation system. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, PDI is privately held and employs nearly 350 people.

Bermuda Shorts: Ten Years After
"Although Bermuda Shorts is not a household name on this side of the ocean, they are without doubt one of Europe's hottest commercial animation studios. They were founded in 1990 and have since produced a strong body of commercials, title sequences and short animated films. Directors have included: Martyn Pick, Clive Walley, Christoph Simon, Richard Goleszowski and notably, Run Wrake. They have produced commercials for Nike, Weetabix, as well as a variety of campaigns. Bermuda has also had success on the festival circuit which such acclaimed short films as Juke Box, Music For Babies, and The Wrong Brothers. Recently, Bermuda Shorts produced Candy Guard's series, Pond Life, MTV commissions, and a pop promo for U2 Pop Mart tour by Run Wrake. Ottawa 00 is pleased to present this first ever retrospective of the diverse, energetic, and always unique stylings of Bermuda Shorts."

We are also pleased to announce that Run Wrake is designing and illustrating the Ottawa 00 poster and tshirt image and that Bermuda Shorts will be produced our 00 signal film.

Producer Maria Manton will be in attendance.


Tributes

Yvonne Andersen
"As an animation artist, educator, filmmaker and author of three books about teaching animation, Yvonne Andersen has influenced the lives and work of hundreds of people. This retrospective will highlight animated films made by Yvonne Andersen, as well as films made by children at the Yellow Ball Workshop, which she founded in 1963 and at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she has taught animation and film production courses since 1979. Yvonne Anderson will be in attendance."

-Wendy Jackson

25 Years of Sick and Twisted Animation: A tribute to Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation
Mellow Manor productions was founded in 1977 by Craig "Spike" Decker and Mike Gribble, popularly known as "Spike and Mike." Mellow Manor is named after the famed Victorian house in Riverside where Spike, Mike and many others lived in a communal setting. This was an "Animal House" before National Lampoon made theirs famous. Although Mike Gribble passed away in August of 1994, Spike continues to produce touring theatrical festivals of animated short film collections with the highest standards of artistic and subversive excellence.

This special tribute will present a retrospective look back at the best of both the Sick and Twisted Festival and Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation.

Suzanne Gervais (curated by Pierre Hébert)
Suzanne Gervais' work is based on an introspective process whose hallmark is the sensitive exploration of her characters' inner reality. Between 1971 and 1998, she made seven very personal films, developing a distinctive style combining drawing with paper cutouts. Through these films, she strives to understand the world in which we live, offering questions not answers, doubt not certainty.

Along with Francine Desbiens and Eve Lambart, Suzanne Gervais is one of the pioneers of women's animation in Canada.

We are pleased to welcome Suzanne Gervais who will also be serving as a member of the International jury

Dads, Drinks, Dogs and Dante: The Life and Art of Paul Fierlinger
"It might be overstating it to compare animator Paul Fierlinger to Dante. Unlike the fictional Dante, Fierlinger did not face the three beasts nor the nine circles of hell. Fierlinger is the 'privileged son' of a Czech politician and has made a healthy career as an independent animator doing primarily commercial jobs. Fierlinger's home is a little paradise within the hell of Philadelphia. Abandoned cars, slums, guns, and hookers; echoes of the third world. Hell it seems is always near Fierlinger. He has battled his father and family, gone through three marriages, produced two children, one of whom he has seen maybe twice in the last ten years and he is a recovering alcoholic. It isn't Dante's hell of burning flesh and three headed dogs, it is a much more dangerous, terrifying everyday hell that we call the family.

During this journey, Fierlinger also managed to get nominated for an Oscar (It's Nice to Have A Wolf Around the House), meet his Beatrice (Sandra), and create a unique body of animation that carefully straddles that line between independent and commercial work by maintaining a strong, personal voice. Whether it's a commercial for American Health Care, an autobiographical feature, (Drawn From Memory), a book of the month club film or even a Sesame Street short (the beloved Teeny Little Superguy), you are always aware of the Fierlinger presence. It's the simple minimalist drawing style, the warm colours, but most of all it's the ongoing sense of nostalgia, memory and personal history that pervades all of Fierlinger's work."

-Chris Robinson

Paul and Sandra Fierlinger will be in attendance to introduce the screening and discuss their careers.

There Once Was A Man Named Pjotr Sapegin
"Once upon a time there was a man named Pjotr. He came from a far away Eastern (or Western depending on your point of view) country of Russia. He evolved out of generations of circus acrobats, poets, painters and writers. Pjotr knew only art. He studied at the theatre school and soon became a stage designer. Pjotr found success over the years and produced work for many performances. But one day he noticed a stranger. She was unlike anything he had ever seen in dirty, ugly Moscow. She was a tall, striking woman whose facial power instantly slapped young Pjotr. Libidinous desires took hold of the young Russian and carried him to the Nordic regions to fulfill his passion. He never did find her, but he did find the alluring landscape of Norway. Pjotr decided to stay and become an animator. His clay animation films include Mons The Cat, One Day A Man Bought A House, The Saltmill. Aside from their Aardman like detail, Sapegin's films merge the innocence of fairy tales, the absurdity of surrealism with the corruption of experience in creating a deliciously comical and sly body of work."

-Chris Robinson

Pjotr Sapegin, a member of the Selection Committee, will be in attendance to introduce the screening. Despite his babysitting skills, he will not be available for sitting duty during the festival.

Sponsored by the Embassy of Norway and the Norwegian Film Institute.


Retrospectives

Jan Lenica: A Man of Many Talents and Many Homes
"He's worked in Poland, France, Germany and the U.S.A. He makes cartoons, animated films, posters, and book illustrations. He is without doubt one of the masters of modern animation combining the social-political roots of his native country with the literary stylings of Eugene Ionesco and Franz Kafka. Very much an artist of his time, Lenica's work (Labyrinth, Rhinoceros, Monsieur Tete) examines the conflict between the individual and the world surrounding, abusing, beating, entrapping, and sometimes loving him. "

-Chris Robinson

This retrospective look at one of the unsung heroes of animation will also include an exhibition of Lenica's poster art along with the presentation of a new documentary on Lenica.

George Pal: Puppet Master
"George Pal transformed puppet animation from a marginal technique of film production to centre stage. Beginning with his European advertising films Pal became the acknowledged master of this genre. Pal's command of technique was enriched by the director's personal interest in human rights and peace issues. In the United States, Pal created many Academy Award nominated shorts in his "Madcap Models" and "Puppetoons" series, and won Oscars for special effects in his features The Time Machine and The War of The Worlds."

-Mark Langer

Gene Deitch
"Gene Deitch is the very definition of an innovative maverick animator. His 50 -year career will be showcased in two special screenings highlighting both his early years in New York and his later work in Czechoslovakia. His award winning commercials for UPA (Bert & Harry Piels), his radical overhaul of Terrytoons (Flebus, Sick Sick Sidney and Tom Terrific), and his wonderful films from Prague (including the Oscar-winning Munro and the Nudnik series) will all be celebrated. Presented by Rembrandt Films, Adam Snyder, and Jerry Beck. Gene Deitch will appear in person after each screening."

-Adam Snyder

Chinese Animation
"Since the Shanghai animators began working in 1950 under the leadership of Te Wei, they were given the mandate by the Chinese Ministry to produce animated films for children that were both entertaining and educational. The hundreds of shorts and features they have created in the last 50 years, done in traditional cel animation and puppets as well as in their highly original techniques of cut-paper, folded paper and brush-painting, have delighted both children and adults in China and throughout the world. The Ottawa International Animation Festival is proud to present a retrospective of 15 Shanghai Animation shorts, from Te Wei's 1957 award winning Where is Mama, through Snow Fox the latest cut-paper animation by Hu JinQing. We are also pleased to offer the North American Premiere of Magic Lotus Lantern , the studio's latest feature, directed by Chang Guang Xi, who will be present to introduce his work. Jin Guo Ping, the CEO of Yilimei, the commercial arm of the studio and ASIFA Board member, has been invited to serve on the Ottawa Jury and will introduce an exhibition of the beautifully crafted artwork from some of the films to be screened. The OIAF, in association with David Ehrlich, will distribute a series of three videos of Shanghai Animation that will be released during the festival."

-David Ehrlich

Sponsored by Cinar Animation

Australian Retrospective: Out of the Vault -Cartoons of the Moment (revisited)
"Rather than wheel out the usual contemporary titles, this screening will present predominantly early Australian work from the national screen archive. The titles do not represent fabulous animation but are of cultural and historic interest, ranging from early 'lightning sketches'/ news gazettes to cheesy advertisements with dancing girls in tiger suits, thru ww2 propaganda, community announcements, to experimental hippy shit. Curated by Peter Moyes of the Brisbane Animation Festival. This screening is a presentation of the International Alliance of Animation Festivals (IAAF). "

Peter Moyes


Feature Films

Yellow Submarine by George Dunning
The Beatles psychedelic voyage aboard their fantastic Yellow Submarine is the legendary rock group's only full-length animated feature of wildly colourful and imaginative fantasia. The adventure begins in Pepperland, where the dispicable Blue Meanies have declared war on all that is good- especially music. The Fab Four vow to save the day with some tuneful ammunition of their own. A rare 35mm screening of the cult classic that was actually directed by a Canadian!

Magic Lotus Lantern
Directed by veteran animator Chang Guang Xi, this beautifully colored feature animation from the Shanghai Animation Film Studio is based on a popular romantic legend of a fairy who runs from heaven to the human world for love only to be imprisoned for her transgression. Finally her son, with the aid of his mother's magic lantern, defeats her oppressors and frees her. The film features songs by the most popular singing stars of China.

Sponsored by Cinar Animation

The Island of Jan Lenica by Marcin Gizychki (Poland)
In 1998 Jan Lenica started shooting his new film in Poland titled "Wyspa R. O." ("The Island of R.O. )" It is the first film produced by this distinguished artist in his native country since 1962. This significant event was used by Marcin Gizycki as a springboard for a documentary film summarizing over fifty years of Lenica's creative life. Lenica talks about the ups and downs of his career as a cartoonist, poster designer, and film maker, visits an exhibition of his father's paintings and the Museum of Caricature for which he has designed a poster. He is also shown directing "The Island of R.O."--the film he describes as to be his reckoning with two totalitarian systems which have influenced his entire life.

Jiri Trnka, The Man and His Job by Dolf Enters (The Netherlands)
A profile of highly influential Czech animator Jiri Trnka. Trnka began his career as a puppeteer and soon after became a draftsman and a painter. He was appointed artistic director of the Prague studio of Animation in 1945, the beginning of a successful film career. His first films laid the foundations for a typically Czech realism. He then began to use puppets and soon became the uncontested master of the genre. The film includes two animated films: Cybernetic Grandmother (1963) and The Hand (1965).

Kirikou, by Michel Ocelot (France)
A little voice is heard from inside the womb of a pregnant woman: "Mother, give birth to me!" "A child who can speak from his mother's womb can give birth to himself" replies the mother. And so a little boy is born, cuts his umbilical cord and declares, "My name is Kirikou".

The tiny Kirkou is born into an African village upon which a sorceress called Karaba has cast a terrible spell: the spring is dried up, the villagers are being ransomed, the men of the village have been eaten up by the sorceress.

The Socialization of A Bull? by Zvonko oh and Milan Eri (Slovenia)
Raisin, a bald world-famous geneticist, his less renowned brother, Bruno and his attractive assistant Marta have for several years been testing a wide range of chemical substances in the hope of discovering a unique mix that could stimulate hair growth. Professor Raisin intends to prove that evolution can be accelerated 'here and now' starting with a single cell of his hair.

At the same time, in the kingdom of a distant galaxy extending along the edge of the misty Andromeda constellation, the King Father catches his son smoking a cigar, which could be fatal for the kingdom. A single puff of tobacco smoke may lead to the anti-evolution of the kingdom's population. The prince becomes a bull and the King Father punishes the son severely by sending him to the planet Earth, where he will learn to adapt to society. The prince-bull finds himself in Professor Raisin's laboratory...

At this point, the stories of evolution and anti-evolution fatally interwine...

Muratti and Sarotti-The History of German Animation Film from 1920-1960 by Gerd Gockell
On going through a surreal archive a scarcely considered chapter of German film history in discovered. Aided by various animation techniques, original documents and animation interview collages, the film illuminates the work produced by animation filmmakers from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Besides the legendary work brought out by pioneers such as Oskar Fischinger and Walter Ruttmann the film also documents the cinematic accomplishments by lesser known artists such as Peter Sachs, Rudolf Pfenniger and Herbert Seggelke. Filmmakers who exerted a major influence on the development of the genre and beyond that on the entire production of film.

We are pleased to welcome director Gerd Gockell who will be in attendance to introduce the film.

ANIME CLASSICS!
At long last, the Ottawa festival will present some of the groundbreaking Japanese films better known as Anime. Presented in conjunction with the Ottawa Anime Society, we will be offering 35mm screenings of classics like: Grave of the Fireflies, Ghost in The Shell and more.


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