Save the Ottawa International Animation Festival

Our friends at the Ottawa International Animation Festival sent us an urgent plea to help save the annual toon event. According to Chris Robinson and Kelly Neall, Telefilm Canada, which has been the event’s major government supporter for almost 30 years, has suddenly decided to cut the festival’s funding.

“We are in a state of shock right now,” they write. “Usually events receive small decreases and are told what they must do to improve. In this situation, we were given no notice. We will strive to fulfill our obligations and we will host the Ottawa International Student Animation Festival this October 2003, but Telefilm’s decision to cut our funding almost guarantees the death of both Ottawa Festivals.”

Telefilm Canada told the festival organizers that the organization “in a position to only support events that are primarily focused on screening feature films that are destined for wide distribution.”

Nell and Robinson point out that they were planning on expanding the industry side of the festival for 2004, introducing a new business-networking event with a specific mandate to assist Canadian producers and productions companies.

If you’d like to express your support, you can write a letter mentioning that you’d heard of Telefilm Canada’s decision to cut its support and that you disagree with it and maybe explain why the Ottawa International Animation Festival is so important to the animation industry. Please address the letter to Richard Stursberg, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. Or you can fax (613) 232-6315, email a pdf ([email protected]) or mail (Ste. 120, 2 Daly Ave, Ottawa, ON K1N 6E2) your letter directly to the fest organizers. The deadline is June 25.