Ottawa Animation Fest

November 10, 2009 at 4:11 am Leave a comment

This is the first of a series of articles i am writing on different conferences/festivals i went to this fall..in part to research for Scientific American/La America Cientifica. These are not “reviews” or at all comprensive..just my observations with regard to what what might interesting in the realms of art and technoscience.

The first fest was the Ottawa Animation festival in Ontario. My partner, Gina Kamentsky and I went from Friday Oct 16 to Sunday Oct. 18, 2009. For me, it was an opportunity to experience a LOT of animation and to familiarize myself with the language of animation.

picnic in Ottawa between films

A quick summary..we primarily went to see the shorts. it was amazing to see so many different forms in such a short time. With respect to science and art, here are a few I enjoyed (Somerville, MA) animator Karen Aqua’s animation called Twist of Fate. I also enjoyed The Machine by Rob Shaw. I loved Pears or Aliens by Ray Lei (from China). Melissa Graziano’s Love on the Line, currently included in our video journal INtransit SE: Can You Hear Me Now was awesome. There was another film, Q and A by the Rauche brothers . The audio was a recording of a conversation between a mother and her son who has Asbergers. The conversation was then animated.I love this strategy actually..using conversations and animating over them. Then there was Please Say Something by David O’Reilly, a really neat lo bit ideosycratic piece about a cat and a mouse. And the neo techno culture futuristic distopic superhero piece The Man in the Blue Gordini by Jean Christophe Lie is outstanding.

For my pans however, I have to site Ian Miller’s piece for getting the “most exploitive use of a recorded conversation.” his animation True Confessions was really lame. its description is ” A true confession from a drug addict”. It should be “a conversation I found/recorded/whatever that I thought I could exploit, and by the way I think drug addicts are really funny and pathetic.” He also made another one that trashed transwomen. And it won a prize at this festival. I wish he would use his animation skills to ..actually be funny. My other pan was this Pixar piece that I have already forgetten the name of, but it involved cute stork jokes. Yawn.

I saw the Stereolab at the National Film Board: Exploring the 3 dimensions and have to commend the film board for putting together a pretty interesting compilation of 3-D animation. Another stand-out event for me was the panel on independent game development called Mechanics and Metaphor: Designing independent games. On this panel was Erin Robinson, the creator of Nanobots and Nathan Villa who showed his game-in-developement Critter Crunch.

This last event was a great exposure to the world of independent games-creation for me. The whole experience of Ottawa was an animation-thon well worth attending.

-sam smiley

Still from the Man in the Blue Gordini

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Entry filed under: conferences.

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