The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OlAF) is a unique and accessible space that fosters public appreciation for the art and craft of animation. It aims to inspire artistic minds, connect and engage a community and create a transformative experience. It fosters the development and growth of local, regional and national animation talent. While Canada's animators and animation companies are among the most creative and successful in the world, the OlAF has been instrumental in helping these artists achieve commercial success and artistic excellence. It also provides a forum and a conduit through which artistic vibrancy and commercial expertise can be shared and exchanged among these various communities.
The Canadian Film Institute's (CFI) overall mission is to encourage and promote the production, diffusion, study, appreciation and use of moving images for cultural and educational purposes in Canada and abroad. The CFI is a unique Ottawa institution that organizes ongoing public film programming and artist talks, provides educational enhancements on its websites, and publishes books and monographs on various aspects of Canadian cinema.
Within this broader mandate, the CFI is also actively exhibiting, promoting, and developing a critical context for Canadian independent cinema. The overarching objective of these activities is to demonstrate the depth and variety of Canadian cinematic expression that exists outside the dominant commercial models of film production, distribution, and exhibition. Moreover, the CFI's independent film programming affords audiences in the Ottawa-Gatineau region opportunities to view challenging, alternative Canadian and International works to which they would not otherwise have access.
For more information about the work that the OIAF does throughout the year, you can view the 2019 OIAF Final Report.
Ottawa International Animation Festival Code of Conduct Policies
Download PDF Here
NB: Failure to read or understand this document does not exclude anyone from the consequences of violating these policies.
What some attendees have said about the Ottawa International Animation Festival:
"As an Oscar nominated animator who has traveled to dozens of film
festivals, I've found that the Ottawa festival is one of the most
important gatherings of animators in the world.“
Bill Plympton, Plymptoons (New York, NY)
"I have given lectures around the world and believe that the festival
in Ottawa is one of the best around… when I was a young student I had
wished that I had a film that went to Ottawa because of the status it
held in the film industry. Now as a professional … my view hasn't
faltered in the least."
Michael Belzer, Animation Supervisor, Walt Disney Feature Animation (Sun Valley, CA)
"What sets Ottawa apart from the others is that it is the only truly
independent international animation festival on the North American
continent. It is a festival accessible to both students and veterans
and everyone in-between and everyone benefits from this festival. "
Candy Kugel, Director, Buzzco Associates (New York, NY)
"I packed as many films and events as I could into the 2 days I was
there. I saw many old friends and met many new ones. It felt good to be
back at the festival after having missed several years. I would
definitely like to attend on a more regular basis in the future."
Lenora Hume, DisneyToon Studios (Burbank, CA)
"If I got a pimple every time I told someone that the OIAF was
something that could not be described in words and an event not to be
missed, I would be a six foot tall, oozing mound of pus."
David Chai (San Jose, CA)
"So many animators and filmmakers have gotten their start and received priceless recognition from this terrific event".
J.J. Sedelmaier, JJ Sedelmaier Productions (New York)
“OIAF remains the only venue in North America where animation industry
leaders can meet in a casual setting and both independent animators and
students have opportunities to approach them and make valuable
Ron Diamond, President, Acme Filmworks. (Hollywood, CA)
"I have been working in the animation industry for my whole career,
which now spans thirty years. During this time I have attended nearly
all of the Ottawa Festivals. This world-renowned event has definitely
made an impact on my personal and professional appreciation of
animation as an art form."
Barry Ward, President, Bardel Animation (Vancouver, BC)
"Ottawa is one of the best festivals in the world"
Jacques-Remy Girerd, Folimage (Valence, France)
"Ottawa, along with Annecy in France, is a vital international
animation festival and is certainly the most important in North
- Adam Snyder, Rembrandt Films (New York, NY)
"I've been to every Ottawa International Animation Festival since
1996…because it's the best place for replenishing and inspiring me
creatively and making professional contacts. [in making] the TV pilot
and special "Penguins Behind Bars" for the Cartoon Network, we relied
almost entirely on the Ottawa International Animation Festival for our
Janet Perlman, Hulascope Productions (Montreal, QC)
"I had a wonderful time and it was extremely good for me from a
programming point of view. I wanted to congratulate you both on the
quality of the whole event and your staff…. I hope that Sundance can
continue to send a representative to the festival in the years to come
and am advising my department in that direction. Again, congratulations
on the success of your event…"
Joseph Beyer, Sundance Film Festival (Beverly Hills, CA)
"The range of content shown at Ottawa was amazing, as well as the animators with whom we were able to meet and connect."
Debi Coffield, Nicktoons Network (New York, NY)
"I consider the OIAF to be a vital showcase for new and innovative
techniques, not to mention a crucial environment for business and
industry connections. ... It is a place where commercial, independent
and internationally renowned animators cross paths and learn from one
another. As an animation educator, I have found that the OIAF has
provided crucial inspiration, historical context and instruction for
young animators as they begin to explore, define and develop the
animation techniques of the future. “
Bryan Papciak, Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI)
"…thanks for going annual, I go to 6 festivals a year and OIAF is the most useful…"
Malcolm Turner, Melbourne Animation Festival (Melbourne, Australia)
"Thanks for supporting animation filmaking in Canada. If the festival
had production money, we might just have a stronger industry in Canada.
Thanks for the vision."
Charlie Bonifaci, Squeeze Productions Inc (Toronto, ON)
"I was eager to attend Ottawa this year as I’ve been out of the
festival circuit for a while and have really missed being inspired by
the latest new films. It’s always great to hang out with other
filmmakers from all over who we mostly only see at these events."
Alison Snowden, Co-Creator, Bob and Margaret (Vancouver, BC)
"I’m always exited about the Ottawa festival. I have always had very
diverse interests, and I believe that Ottawa satisfies my desires to
view a wide range of styles, attitudes and art in animation today.
Since 2002… I have come to appreciate the programming mix and the
length of the festival."
Steve Woloshen, Animation Filmmaker (Montreal, QC)
"The Ottawa International Animation Festival is a fine showcase for all
kinds of animation and a beautifully well-run organization."
John Canemaker, Animator &Animation Historian (New York, NY)
"Facilitating the viewing of up and coming local and international
talent through shorts and inspiring all of us with new ways of
manipulating the medium is the true spirit of this festival. I walked
away renewed and inspired!"
Kate Moo King-Curtis, House of Cool, Inc (Toronto, ON)
"The best animation festival in North America keeps getting better!" (attending since late 80’s)
Rick Dolishny, Ardee Productions Computer Animation (Oshawa, ON)
"OIAF is the best!"
Alejandra Leibovich, MTV Networks (Miami, FL)
What some attendees have said about the The Animation Conference:
“I have always felt that there should be a linkage between the
commercial and the independent sides of the animation industry,
something that rarely happens. In the past, I have attended the Ottawa
Festival for its independent appeal. But now, after having participated
in The Animation Conference I believe this linkage was
accomplish. I look forward to next year.”
Fred Seibert, Frederator Studios (New York, NY)
"This is truly an animator’s conference, focusing on the artistic while
recognizing the commercial realities of our business. With the addition
of The Animation Conference last year, and the merging of
the Student Festival into the main conference this year, the Ottawa
International Animation Festival continues to be the place to be for
animation. This is our conference."
Scott Dyer, Nelvana (Toronto, ON)
“I think the TAC was a great and successful event that gave me great
insight into the struggles of the private sector of commercial
animation. A good and weighty balance to the normal dynamic at the
Michael Fukushima, National Film Board of Canada (Montreal, QC)
"We learned a great deal in many areas; outlook & trends in
international coproductions, media financing opportunities &
mechanism in Canada, trends in animation production, forms of
enterprise development, as well as capability & talent development."
Marcus Lim, Media Development Authority of Singapore (Singapore)
“Nice, relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Interesting events, good pace with
festival screenings. I hope to come back in future years!”
Sasha Boersma, Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund (Toronto, ON)
“I learned lots of great information from network executives as to what
they are looking for in a show idea, how to present it to them, how to
manage the property, etc.”
Dave Palmer, Nickelodeon (Burbank, CA)