For the animation industry, summer’s end signals the beginning of the build-up towards the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF). The 2018 edition, running September 26 to 30, will see more than 28,000 attendees from around the world converge on Canada’s capital for five days of screenings, talks and exhibits. OIAF’s adjoining industry-driven forum, The Animation Conference (TAC), is also turning 15 this year — packing topical discussions, networking and pitching programs in September 26 to 28.
As the world’s leading animation software and official sponsor of the Pitch This! competition at TAC, Toon Boom Animation will be sending a delegation to the Ottawa International Animation Festival 2018. Among those in attendance will be Francisco Del Cueto (Chief Technology Officer), George Stamatakos (Director of Marketing), Maureen Miller (Marketing Communications Manager), Bradley Kravitz (Sales Director — North America) and Philip Greenstein (Senior Director — Academic Sales). They will be booking meetings and building connections among Toon Boom’s global creative community.
Launched in 1976, the Ottawa International Animation Festival has grown into the second largest event in the industry behind Annecy International Animated Film Festival. TAC has also become an essential professional and business development opportunity for creators and producers. The 15th edition will include an interview with Frederator founder Fred Seibert and a keynote address from Brent Butt, comedian and showrunner of Corner Gas Animated (produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro).
Keep reading to see what cannot be missed at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and The Animation Conference 2018.
1. Pitch This! 2018 — September 26 to 27
Held annually at TAC, Pitch This! has become the highlight of the animation business forum. The competition is a platform for emerging creators to get their projects seen and developed. Those shortlisted receive mentorship from industry leaders before pitching their work to a 300-strong audience of potential partners. Toon Boom’s Marketing Director, George Stamatakos, will be on the judging panel this year, helping to decide the winner of a $5,000 development award, Toon Boom software licences and training, and entertainment legal services from Edwards PC, Creative Law.
2. Toon Boom workshops — September 29
Students and professionals can learn the industry-standard animation software, Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro, from the experts. The Harmony animation techniques workshop (sign up here) will introduce attendees to the preferred workflows of senior animators, used to create high-quality content. The Storyboard Pro skills workshop (sign up here) will illustrate the preproduction software’s powerful drawing and story development tools, and explain how it is used by studios to create storyboards and animatics.
3. Features and shorts screenings — Throughout OIAF
This year’s feature competition is not only diverse, but divergent from mainstream 3D blockbusters. Namely, there are plenty of 2D animated pieces from around the globe including Taiwan (On Happiness Road), Colombia and Ecuador (Virus Tropical) and Estonia (Captain Morten and the Spider Queen), among others. Additionally, this year’s shorts selections are receiving big buzz, including a screening of Rick and Morty “Exquisite Corpse” plus plenty of indie gems to discover.
4. TAC Panels — September 26 to 28
Besides the aforementioned Fred Seibert Tells All: Confessions of a Serial Media Innovator and Brent Butt keynote address, The Animation Conference will also play host to a number of industry panels on some of today’s most interesting and relevant trends. Among them are Crunchyroll’s To Be or Not to Be Original (Content): Anime Edition and What’s Up Europe?, with the latter including speakers from Telefilm and the French, Spanish and Polish markets sharing news and coproduction information from their respective regions.
5. Toon Boom Boat Cruise — September 26
After a long day of pitching and panels, delegates can unwind together over a drink as they are taken on a two-hour boat cruise along the Ottawa River. Starting at the Rideau Locks, the sightseeing highlights will include Parliament Hill, the Canadian Museum of History, Rideau Falls and more. Given Toon Boom Animation’s position as the bridge between global schools and studios of all sizes, this networking opportunity is not to be missed.
What are you most excited about at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and The Animation Conference 2018? Let us know in the comments below!
Banner image source: Ottawa International Animation Festival.