About OIAF
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About OIAF
2018 Jury
2018 Honorary President
2018 Festival Poster


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 Award Winners

2018 Winners

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), North America’s leading animation film festival announced the winners of its 2018 competition today at an awards ceremony held at the National Gallery of Canada. The OIAF received a total of 2,469 entries from 84 countries and selected 110 for competition.

The Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short went to Solar Walk, by Réka Bucsi (Denmark). 

The Grand Prize for Features went to This Magnificent Cake! by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels (Belgium, France, Netherlands).

This year’s Short, Feature and Young Audience Competition screenings were judged by three official juries. The Competition Feature Jury featured Chintis Lundgren, an award-winning Estonian-born animator, Steven Subotnick, an independent animator, director, illustrator and author. Chel White is the co-founder of Bent Image Labs and has done work for Saturday Night Live, David Lynch, Al Gore and Thom Yorke.

The Competition Short Jury included Nicolas Brault, is a Canadian award-winning director. Igor Prassel is a lecturer on the history and theory of animation film in Slovenia, an author and Artistic Director of Animateka. Kelly Sears is an award-winning experimental animator in collage. Her work has been screened around the world. She’s also Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The third and final jury is comprised of Ottawa-area children between the ages of eight and 12 who judged the Young Audiences: Preschool and Ages six to 12 Competitions.


Winner: Koniguri-Kun Music Box by Mari Miyazawa
Second Place: The Highway Rat by Jeroen Jaspaert

Winner: The Green Bird, by Maximilien Bourgeoi, Quentin Dubois, Irina Nguyen-Duc, Marine Goalard and Pierre Perveyrie
Second Place: Funny Fish, Krishna Chandran A. Nair

Winner: Bird Milk, Christopher Strickler, Emily Carr University
First Special Mention: Concatenate, Simone Northey, OCAD University
Second Special Mention: 1992, Una di Gallo, Sheridan College
Third Special Mention: GIF Me Something To Hold, Chhaya Naran, Emily Carr University

Winner: My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes by Charlie Tyrell
Special Mention: Turbine, by Alex Boya
Special Mention: Biidaaban, Amanda Strong


Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes) by Amanda Strong, Canada
Jury Comment: “For script, the jury was looking for stories that urgently needed to be told in out time. We were struck by the layered and political narratives; ones that spanned the past, present and future in Amanda Strong’s Biidaaban.”

III, by Marta Pajek, Poland
Jury Comment: “The jury was delighted by the luscious and haptic visual textures, feeling with our eyes the most delicate and sensuous details in III.”

Fest, Nikita Diakur, Germany
Jury Comment: “For making 3D animation a puppets theatre where ugly, possessed characters are raving their lives away…”

Ride, by Paul Bush, Portugal and United Kingdom
Jury Comment: “For bringing hundreds of museum bikes on the street again for letting us hear them!”

Nothing Happens, by Michelle Kranot and uri Kranot, Denmark and France
Jury Comment: “By adapting their film to a cinematic VR experience, the authors literally immerse us into their visual world.”

Kensington Market, by Bruce Alcock, Canada
Jury Comment: “The jury was struck by the colourful and dynamic animation that depicted the vibrant growth of a community shop in Kensington Market.”

Hedge, by Amanda Bonaiuto, USA
Jury Comment: “For a risk-taking, delightfully animation technique and peculiar character design.”

La Chute (The Fall) by Boris Labbé, France
Jury Comment: “For a formal exploration of a Dante-esque world that resonates through a precise and ornamental choreographic staging.”

Guazuma, by Nara Normandie, France and Brazil
Jury Comment: For a breathtaking and intimate journey through friendship that spans time and distance.”

My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes, by Charlie Tyrell, Canada
Jury Comment: Honest, funny, nostalgic and incredibly inventive, it tells the story of a young man sifting through his late father’s belongings in an attempt to uncover the intimate details of his life. A perfectly arranged menagerie of old film footage, audio recordings and meticulously crafted stop motion animation, it is a beautiful tribute to a complicated but loving and devoted father and son relationship.”
Facing It, by Sam Gainsborough, United Kingdom

Winner: This Magnificent Cake! by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels, Belgium, France, Netherlands
Special Mention: On Happiness Road by Hsin-Yin Sung

Solar Walk, by Réka Bucsi, Denmark
Jury Comment: “The Jury was enveloped by a playful animation that drifted outward, defying gravity. The colourful utopic world’s transports is far away from where bodies were sitting, that resulted in an overwhelming feeling of joy that evoked infinite possibility. 


Steven Subotnick

Steven Subotnick Steven Subotnick has been making independent animations since 1985. His films (e.g. Hairyman, Fight, Ballerina) have screened in festivals, galleries and curated shows around the world. His film Strange Fish won the Grand Prize at the 2017 Holland Animation Film Festival. He has worked as an animator, director, illustrator, and author, and has taught animation at numerous institutions, including RISD and Harvard University.

Steven Subotnick réalise des animations indépendantes depuis 1985. Ses films (par exemple, Hairyman, Fight, Ballerina) ont été projetés à des festivals, des galeries et des expositions organisées autour du monde. Son film, Strange Fish, a remporté le Grand Prix du Holland Animation Film Festival 2017. Il a travaillé comme animateur, réalisateur, illustrateur et auteur, et il a enseigné l'animation dans plusieurs institutions comme RISD et l’Université Harvard.

Chintis Lundgren

Chintis Lundgren Chintis Lundgren is an Estonian-born animator currently living in Croatia. She studied fine arts at an alternative art school in Estonia called Academia Non Grata. Lundgren later taught herself animation and quickly gained attention in the animation world for her quirky music videos, PSAs, and short films featuring a light, absurdist tone and distinctive anthropomorphic characters. In 2011, Lundgren created her own animation studio, Chintis Lundgreni Animatsioonistuudio, and later co-founded Adriatic Animation. Her work (the award-winning shorts Life with Herman H. Rott and Manivald) has screened at numerous international animation festivals, including Annecy, Zagreb, and Ottawa.

Chintis Lundgren est une animatrice estonienne qui présentement vit en Croatie. Ses études inclue les beaux-arts à l'école alternative Academia Non Grata en Estonie. Autodidacte, ses vidéoclips, ses messages d'intérêt public et ses courts métrages présentent une disposition légère et absurde, de plus présentent des personnages anthropomorphes qui en particulier attirent l'attention. En 2011, elle a cré é son propre studio d’animation, Chintis Lundgreni Animatsioonistuudio, plus tard elle est devenue co-fondatrice d’Adriatic Animation. De nombreux festivals internationaux d’animation – Annecy, Zagreb et Ottawa, notamment – ont présenté ses œuvres About the Hard Life of the Barn Swallow (2011), I Love Your Face (2012) et le court métrage primé Life with Herman H. Rott (2015).

Chel White
Chel WhiteChel White’s extensive body of work includes films, adult and children’s television, music videos, commercials and screenwriting. A Rockefeller Fellow, he sites dreams as his greatest influence and often uses allegory and black humor in his stories. His work has screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the Van Gogh Museum and festivals including Ottawa, Berlinale, Tribeca and Sundance. His groundbreaking music video for Radiohead's Thom Yorke won Best Music Video at SXSW. White has directed projects for SNL, David Lynch and Al Gore. He is a co-founder of Bent Image Lab, an animation studio in Portland, Oregon.

Le vaste oeuvre de Chel White consiste des films, des émissions de télévision pour les adultes et les enfants, des vidéoclips, des publicités et l'écriture de scénarios. Un Membre Rockefeller, ses rêves sont la plus grande influence sur ses ouvrages et il utilise souvent l'allégorie et l'humour noir dans ses histoires. Son travail a été présenté au Musée d'Art Moderne à New York, au Musée Van Gogh et aux festivals comme Ottawa, Berlinale, Tribeca et Sundance. Son vidéoclip révolutionnaire, pour Thom Yorke de Radiohead, a remporté le prix du meilleur vidéoclip au SXSW. White a dirigé des projets pour SNL, David Lynch et Al Gore. Il est co-fondateur de Bent Image Lab, un studio d'animation à Portland, Oregon.

Kelly Sears

Kelly Sears Kelly Sears is an experimental animator that cuts up and collages imagery from American culture and politics. Her award-winning films have screened at festivals such as Sundance, South by Southwest, American Film Institute, Tricky Women in Austria as well as retrospective programs of her short work at Anthology Film Archives in NYC, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Portland Art Museum, and the SF Cinematheque. Sears is currently an Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she teaches advanced filmmaking, animation, experimental documentary, and media archeology.

Kelly Sears est une animatrice expérimentale qui prend les images de la culture et de la politique américaine pour faire des collages. Ses films primés ont été projetés dans des festivals comme Sundance, South by Southwest, l'American Film Institute, Los Angeles Film Festival, Off+Camera Film Festival, Poland, Festival International de Films de Femmes de Créteil (France), Tricky Women in Austria. De plus, ses films ont participé dans les programmes rétrospectifs à Anthology Film Archives à New York, le musée des beaux-arts de Houston, le musée d'art de Portland et le Cinémathèque de San Francisco. Dans ce moment, Sears est Professeure Adjointe d'études cinématographiques à l'Université du Colorado, Boulder, où elle enseigne la réalisation avancée, l'animation, le documentaire expérimental et l'archéologie des médias.

Nicolas Brault
Nicolas Brault Nicolas Brault, a graduate of the Université du Québec à Montréal in graphic design, won the National Film Board of Canada’s Cinéaste recherché (e) contest in 2000, allowing him to direct the film Antagonia. He followed that with the short films Islet (2003) and Hungu (2008). In his César nominated film, The Circus (2011), Brault depicts his memories of the death of his mother. Since 2012, he developed a series of short non-narrative films and immersive projections around the human body. From this series, Foreign Bodies (2013) won the Off-Limits award at the Annecy Animation Festival in 2014.

Né en 1975 à Montréal, Nicolas Brault remporte en 2000 le concours Cinéaste recherché (e) de l'Office national du film du Canada où il réalise, Antagonize (2002), Îlot (2003), Hungu (2008) ainsi que Le cirque (2011), nommé dans la catégorie, meilleur film d'animation, à la 37e cérémonie des César. Depuis 2012, il développe une série de courts non narratif et projections immersives (en galerie) autour du corps humain. Dans cette série, Corps étrangers (2013) remporte le prix «Off - Limits» au prestigieux Festival d'Animation d'Annecy en 2014 et Squame (2015) récoltent plusieurs prix et distinctions à travers le monde.

Igor Prassel

Igor Prassel Igor Prassel was born in 1971 in the Slovenian coast town Koper-Capodistria. From 2002 he is running a monthly series devoted to animated film at the Slovenian Cinematheque, where he is currently working as film curator. He served as jury and program selection member at important international animation and short film festivals around the world. From 2010 he is lecturing on the history and theory of animation film at the University in Nova Gorica. In 2012 the Slovenian Cinematheque published his book “The Filmography of Slovene Animated Film 1952 – 2012”. In 2004 he founded the International Animation Film Festival Animateka (www.animateka.si), where he is since the artistic director.

Igor Prassel est né en 1971 dans la ville slovène, Koper-Capodistria. Depuis 2002, il dirige une série mensuelle dévouée à cinéma d'animation à la Cinémathèque Slovène, où il travaille comme conservateur de cinéma. Il a été membre du jury et sélectionneur de programmes pour plusieurs festivals internationaux d'animation importante et pour les festivals des courts métrages autour du monde. Depuis 2010, il donne des conférences sur l'histoire et la théorie du film d'animation à l'Université de Nova Gorica. En 2012, la Cinémathèque Slovène a publié son livre "La filmographie du film d'animation slovène 1952 - 2012". En 2004, il a fondé le Festival international du film d'animation, Animateka (www.animateka.si), où il est le directeur artistique.

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.
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.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is one of the leading events of its kind in the world.   It's an annual five-day event that has been bringing the animation community together in a vibrant hub since 1976.  With a total attendance of 28,000, it attracts artists, producers, students and animation fans from around the world.   Check out the 80+ screenings, talks, and exhibits presented in venues across downtown Ottawa.  

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:


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!