The Ottawa International Animation Festival — North America’s leading animation fest — has announced the Official Selection for its 2016 Animated Feature Competition. Taking place September 21-25 in the Canadian capital, this year’s OAIF marks the event’s 40th anniversary with another enchanting line-up of films from around the world.
“It’s one of the strongest years we’ve had in the feature competition,” says Chris Robinson, Artistic Director at OIAF. “We’ve got a record number of Canadian features and what really impresses me is how utterly diverse and unique each film is. I don’t relish the feature jury this year. Picking a Grand Prize winner will not be an easy task.”
OIAF’s 40th year breaks new ground with three Canadian productions in the feature film Grand Prize competition. Previous Grand Prize winner (1978, La Traversee de l’Atlantique a la rame) Jean-Francois Laguionie returns with Louise En Hiver, a hand-painted piece about an elderly woman stranded in a seaside town. Anne Marie Fleming’s Window Horses stars Sandra Oh as the voice of Rosie, a young Canadian poet of Chinese and Persian descent who travels to Iran and winds up on a journey of understanding. And indie hit La Guerre des Tuques (Snowtime!) from Jean-Francois Pouliot and Francois Brisson is a colorful new take on the coming-of-age film classic.
From the U.S. (or “Canada’s pants” as some would say) comes Penny Lane’s mixed-media documentary about goat testicle transplanting medical fraud John R. Brinkley, Nuts!; and Chris Prynoski’s vibrant, obscene adult comedy Nerdland, starring Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt as two Hollywood failures who hatch a crazy plan to get famous by their 30th birthdays.
From Jan Bultheel, Cafard (a Belgium/France/Netherlands co-production) carves out the world of 1914 in the director’s distinctive motion-capture style, following a champion wrestler named Jean Mordant who enrolls in the first armored car military division and embarks on a dramatic odyssey to avenge his daughter. And from Spain, Pedro Rivero & Alberto Vazquez’s Psiconautas, the forgotten children brings the world of award-winning graphic novel Birdboy to life, centered on two teenagers living in the fallout of an ecological disaster who both long to escape in their own ways.