Ottawa’s embassies showcase international art and culture

Aside from processing passports and visas, Ottawa’s embassies have been busy this summer organizing art exhibits and cultural events. Eva Ricarda-Willems, head of communications and culture at the Embassy of Germany in Ottawa, said there’s lots of competition to organize cultural festivals during the summer months. “The bigger embassies have lots of events, so there’s some competition when it comes to planning,” she said. Despite the competition between embassies, Ottawa’s International Animation Festival will see collaboration between several local institutions. Starting on Sept. 20, the festival will showcase short films from different countries all over the world, including France and Germany, according to the festival website. In addition to their participation in the film festival, Ricarda-Willems said the Embassy of […]

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Animation Fest celebrates 40 years

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) celebrated its 40th anniversary with festivities new and old. The festival showcased the best of animation in the past year, but also held special events to commemorate the anniversary. Artistic director Chris Robinson said the big way the festival celebrated its anniversary was with screenings of all of the grand prize winners since 1976. The screenings served as an opportunity for audiences to see how the world of animation has changed over the past 40 years. “The animation when I was a kid was pretty simple, pretty limited,” Robinson said. “Today, the technologies have changed and the diversity of techniques and styles are pretty mind-blowing.” Like previous years, this year’s competing films came from […]

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The Arts Section’s favourite moments of 2015

Kyle Rogers: John Crowley’s Brooklyn I saw John Crowley’s Brooklyn, one of the finest films of the year, alone in a Picturehouse cinema in Liverpool, United Kingdom. I bought the student membership for 15 pounds because movie ticket prices are nearly double that of Canada, and I find going to the cinema to be one of the most cathartic activities you can do—particularly when you’ve been away from your home for months and are really starting to miss what you know. While Brooklyn is particularly praised for its heartfelt, old-fashioned romance, what hit home for me was the flawless portrayal of homesickness. Young Eilis has lived in the same small town in Ireland her whole life and knows that there […]

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Animation festival showcases international talent

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) showcased new films, student art, and the debut of some films. One of the main events was a retrospective of Michèle Cournoyer’s short films titled Isolation Drills, featuring titles from throughout her decades-long career, including a debut of her new film, Soif. According to the OIAF festival guide, Cournoyer’s films grapple with such issues as aging, rape, war, and addiction, but Cournoyer said she uses surrealist techniques to keep the films more interpretive and less intense. “That’s what I do now, metamorphosis, because all my subjects are so serious and have such deep content so it’s a way for me to make it lighter . . . Then you can digest them a little […]

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Film review: Animation Festival

The thing that is so impressive about the Ottawa Animation Festival short competition is the diversity of entries. Beyond the range of visual styles, there is also an incredible variety of tone and subject matter. The lineup contained a breadth of international work created by professional animators to high school students. The audience was immediately treated to the marvellous visuals of Dance of Death.  Telling the story of an old man’s brief journey into the afterlife, it uses the playful metaphor of his waltz with a veiled skeleton. The sweeping score and animation, which used a jittery sketchbook aesthetic, were magnificent considering it was produced by students of a Korean arts high school. Showing how broad a form animation can […]

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