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Toon Boom’s guide to the Ottawa International Animation Festival 2017

Tags: News Animation Film Education

Tomorrow, Canada's capital becomes the most important city in the animation industry. Now in its 41st year, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) runs September 20 to 24 and is the largest such event in North America. It also plays host to The Animation Conference (TAC — running September 20 to 22), a business conference designed for professionals in content creation, development, production, distribution and marketing.

This year's OIAF is packed with 105 short films and five features — selected out of 1,992 entries from 85 different countries. Artists, animation industry professionals, amateurs and students, and audiences will converge on Ottawa's downtown core for five days of screenings, panels and networking. The Toon Boom team will be there and we are looking forward to meeting you!


With so much going on at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and TAC, things can get overwhelming — fast. That's why we put together this guide of events you absolutely cannot miss at OIAF 2017.

  1. Pitch THIS! Competition — Sept 21, 22.

Nelvana, Toon Boom and OIAF join forces for Pitch THIS!, an annual animation competition. This year, 10 creators were selected and paired with mentors from the industry to help develop their ideas. They will get to present them during TAC to a small group of experts on September 20. From there, two will be selected to showcase their concept to a panel of broadcasters and an audience of 300, including potential buyers and financiers, on September 21. The grand prize includes a development deal with Nelvana, and licences for Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro with training.

  1. VR at OIAF — September 21 to 24

Representing Virtual Reality's (VR) growing influence in the animation industry, OIAF is hosting four straight days of the technology from September 21 to 24. At the Arts Court venue, attendees can pop on a headset and hop into a different dimension. Jan Pinkava, creative director of Google Spotlight Stories, will also give a keynote speech on the topic on September 22: "VR and storytelling: Your attention, please!"

  1. Toon Boom's Boat Cruise — September 20

After a long day of panels, pitches and professional meetings, come have a cocktail with us and see what Canada's capital has to offer on a two-hour boat ride down the beautiful Ottawa River. Open to TAC delegates only, it's an opportunity for networking and new friends, all while taking in local landmarks like the Chateau Laurier, Parliament Hill, the Rideau Locks and more!

  1. It's a double feature of Masaaki Yuasa — See film schedule

Of the five feature films in competition at the Ottawa International Animation Festival 2017, two are by acclaimed Japanese director, writer and storyboard artist Masaaki Yuasa: "Night is Short, Walk on Girl" and "Lu Over the Wall". The films are significantly different in style and tones, and are worth catching at a screening.

  1. Sneak peek of "The Breadwinner" — September 22, 23

Audiences can see a special screening of "The Breadwinner" for free at the National Art Gallery on September 23. Directed by Nora Twomey and produced by Angelina Jolie, the upcoming 2D animated feature film is based on Deborah Ellis' novel of the same name and tells the story of an Afghan girl who must pretend to be a boy in order to feed her family.

  1. Harmony and Storyboard Pro Workshops —September 23

Spend an afternoon with Toon Boom and get introduced to our two flagship programs: Harmony and Storyboard Pro. In separate workshops, you can discover the basics and benefits of the world's most ubiquitous 2D animation software from our top trainers. Please pre-register at: 613-232-8769.

  1. GIPHY workshop — September 21.

Discover the GIFs that keep on giving with GIPHY. The content platform's community curator Ari Spool and staff animator and producer Jason Clarke will show how the three-second loop is a great medium for getting your ideas onto the screen — and build your online brand in the process.

Editor's note: Read our article on Ottawa's long history and strong future in animation.

What are you most excited for at the Ottawa International Animation Festival 2017? Let us know in the comments below.

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