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Ottawa International Animation Festival in Montreal

by Archives February 3, 2009

Up on the silver screen at Cinéma du Parc this Friday will be a selection of the best 10 short films from the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), which began touring North America back in November.
Film buffs, art lovers, filmmakers, and cartoon fans travelled from all over the world to Ottawa for the Official Competition. With over 2,000 submissions from over 70 countries, judges had to narrow it down to only 105 entries for the contest.
Working with Fake Studio, Montreal native Ian Lagarde, 28, began working on the OIAF ’08 Signal Film as a director during the summer. The Signal Film is probably one of the most important pieces, acting as the title sequence to the festival.
Along with the highlights of the OIAF, Cinéma du Parc offers three additional animations made in Quebec in 2008 before the best of the Official Competition.
The National Film Board of Canada presentation of DRUX FLUX gives off an experimental vibe as it illustrates apparent truths of industrial societies, where director Theodore Ushev feels the actual consciousness of the individual is manipulated. Quick edits of propaganda images are complimented by the constant pinging of synced sledgehammers as this film makes its way towards a powerful climax.
The selection from the Official Competition showcases many different mediums, from pencil on paper to computer 2D, 3D, and even cut-outs. Most of the films are mixed media that lend an authentic and original take on animation.
Among the most note-worthy films is The Comic that Frenches your Mind by American Bruce Bickford, which tells the story of a drug-muddled individual who tries to retrace his thought process, but gets madly distracted along the way. Bickford shows audiences that the most basic medium can also be the most elaborate, guaranteeing this film a finalist spot in Best Experimental or Abstract Film. Bickford demonstrates ease with pencil on paper while demonstrating complexity in minimalism.
Along with a highly talented hand, Bickford’s short is especially effective in the way the script and animation works together. It is like a give and take relationship as every word spoken in his text is visualized in the animation, causing the work to be in a constant flowing motion.
Also worth mentioning is Letter to Colleen by Andy and Carolyn London, which is a hilarious truthful take on life seen through the eyes of a man haunted by the events of the past. The very witty and honest script explores the point of view of Andy’s misadventures on his 18th birthday party six years down the road.
The OIAF offers enough animation to feed even the biggest of appetites. And with 10 very different films on the menu, there is certainly a little something to suit all cravings.

The Best of Ottawa International Animation Festival comes to Cinéma du Parc (3575 ave. du Parc) on Feb. 6. Tickets cost $7.50 for students.

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