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OIAF Looks Back

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OIAF Looks Back
by Staff

(October 26, 2020 – Ottawa, ON) The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) plans to offer audiences something a little different for their 2020 online edition. The four retrospectives at this year’s festival put the spotlight on highly creative animation talent from the past and present, including work from Métis animator Terril Calder, Emily Pelstring’s fresh new take but with a nostalgic aesthetic, a look at the diverse Oscar winning Norwegian studio Mikrofilm, which just celebrated their 20th anniversary, as well as a deep look back at the great Estonian animator Elbert Tuganov, who was born 100 years ago on February 22, 1920 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“As much as OIAF is a celebration of the here and now, and the bright lights of animation’s future, highlighting the history of animation is also an essential part of the festival,” said Chris Robinson, Artistic Director, who chooses all the festival selections and retrospectives. “That’s what these screenings are for: to unearth animators and studios whose work may otherwise be lost to the past.”

Métis artist and stop motion animator Terril Calder has won awards at film festivals all around the world, including Sundance, imagineNATIVE, and Berlin. She has lectured and taught art through the years with various organizations that include the National Ballet School of Canada, Art in the Park program, The University of Manitoba, and Indigenous Roots. Her films destabilize and haunt the viewer, tackling a number of difficult issues like identity, isolation, and the unspeakable horrors of residential schools.

Emily Pelstring is as much a sound artist and performer as she is a visual artist and filmmaker. She is also a BFA graduate in Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), holds her MFA care of Concordia University in Montreal, and is currently a faculty member in the Department of Film and Media at Queens University. Her interests and creative output make her a true multi-disciplinary artist. Emily has a film in competition this year and created the OIAF20 signal film.
Torill Kove, animator,
The Norwegian studio Mikrofilm grew from a group of animators working in attics and basements into a powerhouse of animation. This studio’s body of work straddles industry and independence by mixing the commercial with personal passion projects, an approach that has resulted in a 2015 Oscar nomination for Me and My Moulton (image above) and a Best Animated Short Film Oscar win in 2007, for Torril Kove’s The Danish Poet. Mikrofilm’s co-founder Lise Fearnley is an OIAF jury member this year.

The first in Estonia to use the term “animation”, Elbert Tuganov had made 38 internationally acclaimed puppet films by the time of his retirement in 1982. More of an architect than a poet, Tuganov was someone with a vision and a will to see it through. He was also a trailblazer until the end, helping to establish studios all over the former Soviet Union, holding workshops for children, and publishing books on what it means to bring puppets to life. For the modern viewer, watching Tuganov’s films is a call to change established attitude.

OIAF special screenings are available to watch on-demand from September 23 to October 4 with the purchase of a pass or individual ticket, which can be purchased online.

SOURCE: Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF)