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Ottawa International Animation Festival Reveals Jury

Festival season is well underway as Cannes has kicked off. Specifically in animation terms Annecy is just around the corner. Coming up later in the year is Ottawa International Animation Festival, which has been gradually revealing more information about this year's edition. In their latest announcement, they have revealed this year's Jury.

The jury includes Ottowa-native Neil Hunter. As well as being a seasoned professor at Algonquin College he has over 35 years of experience in the animation industry. Series he has worked on include The Racoons (1987-1991), Beetlejuice (1989-1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990-1995), The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (1993) and The Owl House (2020-2022). He remains active in the industry as a freelance contributor and has worked on series including The Loud House and Hilda.

"We’re pleased to welcome Neil Hunter to our jury this year. Neil has been an important part of the Ottawa and international animation community," says OIAF’s Artistic Director Chris Robinson. "His roots in Canada’s Capital go as far back as his work on the classic animated series, The Raccoons; Neil’s contributions to the animation program at Algonquin College have made the school among the most respected globally."

The shorts Jury includes Jonathan Djob Nkondo (France/United Kingdom), Anastasiya Verlinska (Ukraine) and Ivana Volda (Croatia). The feature Jury consists of Hunter and  Dahee Jeong (South Korea) and Thomas Volda (Croatia). The Juries will watch the official OIAF selections during the festival and decide which will be recognised in the Awards ceremony at the event's climax.

Hunter's insight from his time in the industry will be complemented by independent filmmaker Jeong and multidisciplinary artist  T.Volda. On the shorts Jury Verlinska is program director of LINOLEUM Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival,  Nkondo is a filmmaker, illustrator and cartoonist and I. Volda is a stop-motion animator.

"Each year the OIAF invites a half dozen international animation experts from all parts of the animation community to come to Ottawa, sit with the audience at the ByTowne Cinema, judge our short and feature competition programs, and then award the winning works," says Robinson. "We strive to find a good mix of diverse voices, cultures and tastes to ensure that jury deliberations are lively and balanced."

Submissions to the festival are open until 11:59 pm EDT on May 31, 2024. Entries are to be submitted via the OIAF Website. There are no fees for submission.

Ottowa International Animation Festival is among North America's leading animation events. Since 1976 the festival has hosted workshops, screenings, exhibits and entertainment for animation enthusiasts and professionals. This year's festival runs from September 25- September 29.