Selick, Canemaker Moons Rise at Ottawa

The Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival (OIAF) has announced the slate of films selected to screen in competition this year. The list includes a number of high-profile projects, including Moongirl, which Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) directed for Laika (formerly Vinton Studios), and The Moon and The Son, the latest short from acclaimed independent animator John Canemaker (Bottom’s Dream). The 16th edition of the now-annual fest runs September 21-25 in Ottawa, Ontario.

From a field of 1,883 entries the fest received from 64 countries, only 109 were chosen for official competition. An additional 46 films will be shown in out-of-competition screenings. Other short films that made the cut include Milch from two-time OIAF Grand Prize winner Igor Kovalyov (Bird in The Window), Fallen Art from Tomek Baginski (The Cathedral), The Meaning of Life by Don Hertzfeldt (Rejected) and Cannes Grand Prix winner, Jona/Tomberry, a graphic novel adaptation by Rosto (The Rise and Fall of the Legendary Anglobilly Feverson).

Animated features vying for top prizes are Empress Chung from Korean filmmaker Nelson Shin; Frank and Wendy from Priit Tender, Ulo Pikkov and Kaspar Jancis of Estonia; and Nyócker! (The District) by Hungarian animator Áron Gauder.

On the television side, adult series squaring off this year are Coolman! ("Hootchy Kootchy Haiku") from Nelvana, Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show (Episode 104) from Acme Filmworks, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law ("Birdgirl of Guantanamole") from Turner Studios, The Newsroom ("Learning to Fly") from 100 Percent Film & Television Inc.

Kids shows in the running are Curious Pictures’ Codename: Kids Next Door ("Operation: A.R.C.H.I.V.E."), Nickelodeon Animation Studio’s My Life As a Teenage Robot ("Mr. Warburton"), Astley Baker Davies’ Peppa Pig ("Cousin Chloe") and Collingwood O’Hare Ent.’s The Secret Show ("Lucky Leo").

Competing for Best School Showreel this year are Supinfocom, Valenciennes in France), École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) in France, Sheridan College in Canada and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the U.S. Each school will present the international jury with a 40-minute compilation of their best new student work from the past two years. The general public can view these works separately at the Animation Resource Centre throughout the festival and the winner will be announced at the Closing Ceremonies on Sept. 25.

For a complete list of films selested for the 2005 Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival, go to the official website at www.awn.com/ottawa.