Well, another successful year at the OIAF (Ottawa International Animation Festival)! This year, the majority of the festival was film screenings (excluding the TAC conference days). Actually, I preferred last year’s programming as there were a good number of business and industry, as well as video game oriented presentations and panels. It seems as though this time around the festival was geared more to the films.
The festival is a great networking event too. I usually use this opportunity to meet up with friends and co-workers from the past and present. Often times I’ll make a few new contacts along the way (and in this industry, there’s nothing wrong with that).
One of my favourite films was “Harvey Krumpet”, part of a collection of mental health awareness films. I’m sure I would also have enjoyed “The Illusionist”; however, all the seats during the final showing were full by the time I made it to the venue. I’m sure I’ll catch it at a later date. That’s what happens when you have too many screenings planned.
Another highlight was the Pixar/Disney presentation of “Day and Night” and “Tick Tock Tale”. The directors of each short were present to discuss their inspiration and process of making their respective films. I especially enjoyed the creative vision behind “Day and Night”.
If I have to make any criticisms about this year’s festival, these would be my major peeves:
1) There never seems to be enough time between screenings to relax. Perhaps it’s just my planning, but I find I’m always rushing around during the festival. To be able to eat lunch and dinner, I often forgo a few of the screenings.
2) The maps included in the swag bag did not include plot points for the various venues, which didn’t make it easy for most people to get around (thank goodness for Google Maps).
3) It would be nice if they could give TAC and weekend passholders priority seating at certain events. Seats were being sold at the door while I was lined up behind a giant crowd to get into the Pixar/Disney presentation. I just barely made it in.
4) Please, have the shuttles buses stay on time or as close to the schedule as possible. With such a small route and limited number of venue drop off points, it really shouldn’t be that hard.
All in all, it was still a very good time. I encourage any animation fan or industry professional to visit the OIAF at least once. If not for all the various films and presentations, then for all the socializing with friends and colleagues, past, present and future.
My goal for next year’s OIAF will be to attend the TAC conference and not to fall asleep before the saturday night party!