About OIAF
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About OIAF
2018 Honorary President
2018 Festival Poster


About OIAF

From September 26-30, 2018 downtown Ottawa will once again be the stage where you can enjoy the world's most cutting-edge, thoughtful, funny and provocative animation films while mingling with many of animation's most celebrated stars, studios and characters.

Whether you love classic cartoons, mind-bending experiments, fantastic digital creations, dazzling effects, technical fireworks, thought provoking observations, or pure gut-busting fun, there is something for everyone and anyone at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OlAF).

For 42 years, the OlAF has attracted film and animation buffs, art lovers and filmmakers from around the globe. You won't want to miss this year's exciting line-up of screenings, workshops, panels and parties taking place at the ByTowne Cinema, National Gallery of Canada, Arts Court, Saint Brigid's Centre for the Arts, and the Chateau Laurier.

Read the 2017 PROGRAM BOOK for an overview of everything that happens at the OIAF.  OIAF17 award winners HERE

Want some visuals?  Have a look at this great clip by Victory Arts: See the 


Du 26 au 30 septembre, le plus grand festival d'animation d’Amérique du Nord se tient une fois de plus dans la capitale canadienne. Profitez des films d’animation les plus avant-gardistes, drôles, poignants et démagogiques, tout en vous mêlant aux plus grandes figures, studios et personnages de l'animation.

Que vous aimiez les dessins animés classiques, les expériences hallucinantes, les incroyables créations numériques, les effets spéciaux époustouflants, les pensées qui font cogiter, ou le simple plaisir de se tordre de rire, il y a toujours quelque chose pour vous au Festival International d’Animation d’Ottawa (OIAF).

Depuis 1976, l’OIAF attire les amateurs de films et d’animation, les férus d'art et cinéastes du monde entier. Ne manquez pas nos incontournables projections, ateliers, conférences et soirées qui se déroulent au cinéma ByTowne, à la Cour des Arts, à la Galerie nationale du Canada, au Centre Saint Brigid pour les arts et au Château Laurier.

Rejoignez-nous pour fêter l'animation sous toutes ses formes!
Honorary President

Since we first met in 1996, Gerben Schermer has been a guiding influence on my own curatorial philosophy at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. He taught me that I didn't have to follow the standard path of salivating over conservative, technically polished works that looked pretty but said little. He encouraged me (as did my own non-animation arts background) to instead push and provoke the boundaries of animation.

Through the Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF) - which Schermer ran from its beginning in 1985 until earlier this year - he has always steered clear of trying to appeal to a mass audience. Yet, he’s done more than most animation curators to open up the often-hermetic doors of animation. Through his interest in art, his use of graphic novel artists to do posters (e.g. Joost Swarte, Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, etc.) mixed media events, and, more recently, his Expanded Animation series of art installations, he managed to create a bridge between the art, music and animation worlds.

Schermer has always been one step ahead of other festivals, spotting trends (e.g. Russian, Estonian, Chinese animation). And despite his reputation, Schermer was never anti-commercial. In fact, until 2010, HAFF only had a competition for commissioned films. HAFF was the first festival to go to find cool ads, IDs, PSAs, music videos, and TV work. Schermer always respected and celebrated the artistic element of commissioned works.

In celebration and recognition of a lifetime of passionate and unwavering commitment to the art of animation, we are pleased to welcome Gerben Schermer as the Honorary President of the 2018 Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Chris Robinson
Artistic Director
Ottawa International Animation Festival


Gerben Schermer Gerben Schermer’s passion for the continuation of animation as an independent art form has led to a distinguished career in festival selection and programming. Schermer has held positions as a board member and consultant for national and international organisations. He composed guest programmes and served as jury member for numerous festivals around the world. He also has been active in advisory committees for grant programmes of several funds and has been involved in film production as well.

In 1985, Schermer started the international Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF) together with animation filmmaker Gerrit van Dijk and served as director to 2018. HAFF was known for its choice, quality and innovation, with ambitious programming (including Expanded Animation, a program of animation installations) that was both intimate and accessible.

Schermer closely follows developments in autonomous, artistic and cross-border animation. In 1992, after the archives in the Soviet Union opened up, Schermer was able to present a unique historic overview of animation film from the former USSR, making HAFF the first festival that showed a retrospective of animated propaganda films. More recently he was co-curator of the exhibition China, Art in Motion in Musée-Château d’Annecy (France), a major exhibition with contemporary Chinese animation installations (from 1 June – 2 October 2017) which attracted more than 65,000 visitors.

2018 Festival Poster


Bruce OIAF18 Poster by Bruce Bickford

Bruce explains this year's poster:

"In regards to the poster, it's an homage to the 1953 Disney animated classic Peter Pan. You can see the clouds there crossing the moon which resembles the pirate ship sailing through the sky beneath the moon. Below there you see the family with the girl sleeping on the banister of the balcony, she's dreaming of Neverland. Over to the left, you see a frustrated Venice beach blues guitarist. Down across the frame, a figure that you see on a little flying carpet with flaming hair. His name is Matchstick Man and he lives in the uplands. The uplands is a place like Neverland except that the uplands is a real place."

About Bruce:

From his home workshop/film studio in SeaTac, famously reclusive and idiosyncratic Pacific Northwest animation artist Bruce Bickford has for three decades produced undeniably visionary art films. Although self-taught, the enigmatic and esteemed animation pioneer -- once deemed "the world's greatest animator" -- has earned a worldwide following of animation aficionados enthralled by his ingenious, disturbing, lysergic, phantasmagorical, often violent, eye-popping, and mind-bogglingly unique work.

Acquiring a film camera as a teenager, Bickford began experimenting with modeling clay and a primitive stop-motion animation technique (what is called "clay animation") -- a labor-intensive process that Bickford is rightly considered both a pioneer and master of. He gained his initial cult-status fame by animating various 1970s Frank Zappa films (for which Bickford is considered a father of the subsequent music-video revolution), but his most highly regarded piece is the masterful and award-winning 1988 feature Prometheus' Garden. Bickford's work has also been highlighted in Zappa's 1990 The Amazing Mr. Bickford film; exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum; and featured in the 1994 history book Clay Animation: American Highlights 1908 to the Present, the 1995 film The Clay Spirit, and two bio-documentary films, 2004's award-winning Monster Road and 2008's Luck of a Foghorn.