Thursday, May 26, 2016

OIAF animates Ottawa high schools

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), in cooperation with the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and MASC (Multicultural Arts for Schools and Communities), is bringing Animate Ottawa to a number of high schools across the city this spring.

Animate Ottawa is an in-class presentation that gives students the opportunity to explore animation and make their own film all about Ottawa. Participants watch a program of independent animation to get inspired, then create their short film under the guidance of an animation expert.

“We’ve always loved doing outreach activities with students, and we’ve always wanted to collaborate with MASC,” says Kelly Neall, Managing Director at the OIAF. “Animate Ottawa provided us with the perfect opportunity to do both, and highlight the City as well.”

Through Animate Ottawa, students will create a short film exploring what they love about Ottawa. The OIAF will use these films to introduce Ottawa to the hundreds of out-of-town visitors that the Festival brings in each year. Organizers have already visited two schools and the results are impressive!

Animate Ottawa begins with a screening featuring a variety of independent short animated films curated by OIAF’s Artistic Director, Chris Robinson. The 40 minute program includes a number of works from the National Film Board, from the macabre (The Big Swing, Paula Gillgannon) to the adorably absurd (Git Gob, Philip Eddols). Also featured is the accomplished Paper Man from Glebe Collegiate’s David Borish as well as innovative, low tech, personal films like Helen Hill’s Mouseholes. The goal is to present a program that is designed to inspire students to make a film. Many of these films use simple methods such as cut-outs and found objects, techniques students will be using themselves.

After the screening, students participate in a light table workshop with animation expert Tina LeMoine from MASC. Using natural materials such as pine needles, grains, sand and adding cut out characters, students will manipulate objects on a light table and film them. Students will be encouraged to watch and correct their actions.

The OIAF is excited to bring Animate Ottawa to schools free of charge, giving students the opportunity to experience the world of animation and immerse themselves in the creative arts.

This program is made possible with the financial support of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and the cooperation of MASC and the National Film Board of Canada.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976. OIAF is an annual five-day event bringing art and industry together in a vibrant hub, with a total attendance of 28,000 artists, producers, students and animation fans from around the world.

This year’s festival runs from September 21-25, 2016. For more information about the Ottawa International Animation Festival, visit

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