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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Animated Events: The Ottawa International Animation Festival 2013

Well, September was host to the second largest animation festival in the world: the Ottawa International Animation Festival. So since I was in attendence for the fest, I thought I'd share some of the animated films that were either produced or co-produced by women animators.

Most of these haven't hit the internet yet because they're still working their way through the festival circuit, but I've included trailers where possible. Definitely check them out if you have a chance.

"Soup of the Day" was animated by Lynn Smith through the National Film Board of Canada using her animation style mixing paint-on-glass and cut-out animation.

Ottawa also had the world premiere of Eleonore Goldberg's short film "Wandering".

"Virtuoso Virtual" by Thomas Stellmach and Maja Oschmann is an abstract non-narrative animation that synchs a classical score with an animated line of ink. On the big screen during the fest, this film just hypnotized the crowd.

Virtuos Virtuell (clip) from Thomas Stellmach on Vimeo.

"But Milk is Important" by Elrik Bjornsen and Anna Mantzaris told the story of a man with social anxiety... and the fluffy, well-meaning monster trying to help him overcome his fears.
Animasjonsfilm “But Milk Is Important” from Grafill on Vimeo.

I was very happy when "But Milk is Important" won the Public Prize at the festival. Meaning, this film received more votes from the viewing public than any other film at the festival's competition screenings.

Two films that I can't find trailers for are the student films "Fists of Finance" by Sheridan College's Melissa Allen and "Unfortunately" by Karla Monterrosa from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Quoted from the Ottawa Festival's website:

"Fists of Finance" is: "The story of when the greatest kung fu master refused to pay his bills and unleashed the math fury of his otherwise mild-manned accountant."


"Unfortunately" is about a girl who "After getting her first period, an antsy teenager tries to find her new place in the world as a woman."

I wish that there was more that I could post about these two delightful films, as "Fists" has this really cool "Samurai Jack" look-and-feel to it and I really enjoyed the thoughtful perspective shared by "Unfortunately". But, I'll just have to keep an eye open for them after their festival runs are over and post more info later. Hopefully, I'll be able to track these two animators down and maybe get an interview out of them.

Another set of student animators: Kyra Buschor, Anna Habermehl, and Constantin Paeplow screened all four of their "Rollin' Safari" animations that they produced as third-year projects at Filmakademie Baden-W├╝rttemberg (all of which can be viewed on their youtube page at the following link).

Lastly, Russian animator Anna Shepilova has posted her entire film "It's Raining" on Vimeo. I highly encourage viewers to watch it--though be warned, as this film's themes are a little more mature, it's probably not suitable for viewing at work.

All told, I counted thirty-eight films at the festival competitions and retrospectives (student, international, canadian, etc) that were either created by women animators or where women were prominent members of the production team. One of the things that Ottawa does, which I really appreciate, is that they publish film and bio information on their website for most of the films screened--which you can access via clicking on the hyperlinked animator's names in the above post.

I have to say though, that one of the highlights of the festival for me was when I had the opportunity to meet Lauren MacMullan, Walt Disney's first ever solo-woman short film director.

Eric Goldberg and Lauren MacMullan