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Ottawa International Animation Festival

25 September - 29 September 2019

Contact: Kelly Neall


Phone: 613-232-8769

Fax: 613-232-6315

Address: 2 Daly Avenue, Suite 120
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 6E2

Festival website

  • About
  • Submission Info

Founded in 1976 by the Canadian Film Institute, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OlAF) is the largest competitive animated film festival in North America and is among the most respected forums for animated art in the world. Each autumn, for five busy days and nights, the OlAF provides an engaging array of first-class screenings, exhibits, talks and special events, to highlight the talents of artists from Canada and beyond, and allow audiences the chance to discover the art of animation in all its diversity.

Total attendance to the OlAF averages 30,000 – including over 1,500 delegates from the animation world who visit Ottawa specifically for this event. In fact, the In 2017, the OlAF presented 29 talks, 64 screenings and 13 networking events over 5 days. It receives over 2000 submissions that are considered for 150 screening spots. Over 80 featured filmmakers were in attendance.

The OlAF is on the prestigious qualifying festivals list of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which allows the OlAF Grand Prize winner to bypass the usual qualification process for the Oscars.

Theme(s): Short Animation Made for Young Audiences 6-12

Year established: 2018

Is this festival exclusively animation?: Yes - this is exclusively an animation festival

This festival is recognised by ASIFA

Submission deadline:
31 May 2019

Entry fee:
FREE! There is no charge for this festival


  • Animated Feature Narrative Animated Short Non-Narrative Animated Short Student Animation Commissioned Animation (series
  • commercials
  • music videos) Young Audiences – Preschool
  • Ages 6-12 VR Animation
  • Animated Short
  • Childrens Short
  • Professional

Submission methods:

  • Click For Festivals
  • DVD
  • Online Link (& Password)
  • Other

Deadline for entry forms and film URLs: Friday, May 25th, 2018
There is no entry or registration fee.
Only animated films that were completed after May 26th, 2017 are eligible.
You must submit your entry form online through your OIAF login account.
Your preview film must be submitted on a streamable URL link. The link must remain accessible until the end of July.
If your film has dialogue that is not English and is not subtitled, you must include an English dialogue script.
Director's photograph (300 dpi), biography and 3 stills from the film (300 dpi) are required.
If your film is selected, we must receive a high-definition Quicktime .mov file (H264 or ProRes only, resolution 1920x1080).
We can accept DCP for Competition films, however we require a .mov file as well in order to screen at our non-DCP venues as needed.
The festival no longer accepts 35mm, Betacam SP or any other tape format as screening copies.
All films selected for the festival must be received by Friday, August 3rd, 2018 or you risk disqualification.
By submitting your online entry form, you are agreeing to the OIAF 2018 Rules and Regulations.

Official Rules and Regulations: Select Rules and Regulations from the menu above for the English online version. Remember, by submitting your film to the OIAF, you are agreeing to these rules, so read them carefully!
2018 Entry Categories: Our complete list of categories that you could enter your film under.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Learn everything you possibly could about the entry process with this handy guide.
Email us: Contact us at entries [at] if you have any questions or concerns about the entry process and we'll help you any way we can!


To submit your film, just log in on the left and select "Entry Form" from the User Menu. Don't have an account yet? Click here to register!


QUALIFICATION FOR ENTRIES: Only works completed after May 26th, 2017 will be accepted.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS: Film works submitted for selection must be presented as a URL link to a streaming video source. No downloads. The link must be active until the end of July. DVDs are no longer accepted.

VR submissions can be presented either as a URL link to a streaming video playthrough, or as a URL link to a VR build file. The link must be active until the end of July. Supported platforms are Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR only.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: The official languages of the Festival are English and French. The Festival requires all submissions to include English subtitles where applicable.

REGISTRATION AND DATES: No registration fee is required. The entry form and final preview URL must be submitted online by 11:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on May 25th, 2018. The entrant must include the director's biography, director’s photo (300 dpi) a minimum of 3 stills (300 dpi) and a trailer from the film where applicable. These files can be uploaded online, submitted on disc or emailed.

DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF FILES FOR SELECTION: Copies of works submitted for selection must reach the festival office on or before May 25th, 2018. Works arriving after this date will not be accepted. Blank entries or incomplete URL links will not be considered.

SELECTION: Each entry is considered for the Official Competition and the out-of-competition Panorama screenings. The Festival Selection team will choose the films to be screened in competition and panorama. Works will be judged within their category for conceptual, technical and aesthetic innovation and excellence. 

NOTE: The OIAF Festival Selection team reserves the right to switch a film's category if they feel the film is better suited to another category.


REQUIREMENTS: Directors or Producers must provide high-definition digital video files (H264 or ProRes .mov files only) without leaders. Directors or Producers of films selected for Official Competition have the option of sending a DCP copy as long as an .mov file is also provided.

The Festival also requires a Director bio, photo (300 dpi), three (3) CMYK 300 dpi film stills, and a link to the film trailer where applicable.

NOTE: The Festival does not accept 35mm, BetacamSP or any other tape format as a screening copy.

If the Festival Office does not receive the required presentation copy in the proper format on or before August 3rd, 2018, the selected work will be withdrawn from the competition or panorama program.

NOTE: The screening copy must have either an English dialogue track or have English subtitles. The entrant or producer must also provide an adequate supply of stills and documents to allow the festival to promote the film properly.

FEATURE FILMS: By submitting your film to the selection process you agree to accepting screening fees no greater than those outlined in the IMAA Fee Schedule ($258 CAD for the first screening and $129 CAD per screening thereafter). If selected for competition the Festival cannot pay fees higher than the above amounts.

TRANSPORTATION AND INSURANCE: The Primary Contact is responsible for the transport costs, insurance charges and customs fees incurred when shipping material to the Festival. The Festival is responsible for the costs incurred with the return of material to the Primary Contact. However, due to budgetary limitations, the material will be shipped via SURFACE MAIL. Filmmakers requesting the return of materials via courier must incur the cost themselves.

No entered material can be returned or loaned during the festival. Any filmmaker requiring his or her work for private use during the festival is asked to bring a separate copy. The Festival will be responsible for storage and insurance costs of the hard drives only between the time drives are taken into care and the time they are handed to the carrier. In case of loss or damage to a hard drive the obligation of the festival is limited to the replacement value.

COMPOSITION OF PROGRAMMES FOR OFFICIAL COMPETITION: The OIAF Festival Selection team will define the order and composition of the programs presented in the Official Competition and the overall program schedule. Short programs submitted on digital formats will be duplicated onto Competition-specific compilations for screening purposes only, and will not be made available beyond such purposes.

INVITATIONS: Invitations are given to filmmakers with films in competition. The invitation, intended solely for the use of the film's director, includes accommodation for the span of the event. If a film is made by several directors, only one of the directors will be entitled to complimentary accommodations. The invitation is not transferable under any circumstances.

ARTIST RENUMERATION: Screening fees for non-commissioned, independent works shown in Competition or Panorama are paid in Canadian dollars according to length as follows: 0-5 mins receive $87; 5-15 mins receive $130; 15-30 mins receive $172; 30-60 mins receive $214; 60+ mins receive $258. Unfortunately, commissioned works do not qualify for artist fee payments. We reserve the right to screen films in competition and panorama three times (one Gala, two repeats) during the Festival, with a possible fourth screening if the film is selected as an award winner or Jury Prize. We cannot pay additional fees to distributors. Films in the Commissioned category do not receive a screening fee. One director from each film in Competition will receive complimentary accommodations for their own use for the span of the Festival. All directors in Competition and Panorama will receive a complimentary pass for their own use.

COMPETITION JURIES: The Festival will have three juries: one international jury for the feature; one for independent, student, commissioned competitions and VR; and one Children’s Jury comprised of 6-13 year olds to judge the young audience competition finalists. All members of the international juries will be closely connected with the art of animation. The jury members will elect a president at their first meeting. Productions produced or directed by members of the jury are not eligible for entry in any Official Competition that they are judging. The decisions of the juries are final.

FESTIVAL PRIZES: The juries will present the following awards:
Grand Prizes
GRAND PRIZE for Best Animated Feature
GRAND PRIZE for Best Short Animation
Category Prizes
PRIZE for Best Narrative Short Animation
PRIZE for Best Non-Narrative Animation
PRIZE for Best Student Animation
PRIZE for Best Canadian Student Animation
PRIZE for Best Commissioned Animation
PRIZE for Best Virtual Reality (VR) Animation
PRIZE for Best Preschool Animation Made for Young Audiences
PRIZE for Best Animation Made for Young Audiences 6-12
Craft Prizes
PRIZE for Best Script
PRIZE for Best Animation Technique
PRIZE for Best Use of Sound
PRIZE for Best Design
Other Prizes
Canadian Film Institute (CFI) Award for Best Canadian Animation
Film Critic's Prize

A prize will be awarded to the best entry in each of the Competition Categories. The juries, at their discretion, may also award additional special prizes.

NOTE: The juries have the right to withhold an award in any category where no entries, in the Jury’s view, meet its standards for recognition.

MENTIONS: The producers and directors of award-winning films at OIAF should mention the prize obtained, the year and the name of OIAF in the credits of their film and on all related documentation.

PROMOTIONAL USE OF WORKS: By accepting these terms the entrant grants the Festival the right to show, for publicity purposes only, up to 10% of the running time of the production to a maximum of three minutes free of charge and for a period of one year from the entry date. Any other proposed use outside of the Festival will be referred by the Festival to the Primary Contact for direct negotiation.

ACCEPTANCE OF REGULATIONS: By agreeing to and submitting the entry form for the Ottawa 2018 International Animation Festival, the participant accepts, without reservation, the terms of the present regulations as stated in this document.

When deciding how to submit your film, choose the category that best describes your film's production environment, distribution method and/or purpose:

A - Feature Film
Animated Feature: Animated film over 45 minutes in length.

B - Independent Short Films Competition
Short-format, non-commissioned animated films or videos. Suggested maximum length of 30 minutes.

Narrative Short: Structured with some sort of narrative or story. (ie. "something happens")

Non-Narrative: Structured without a clear narrative or cause-effect plotline.*
*Note: 'Non-narrative' does not mean 'dialogue-free'. Dialogue, i.e. narration, is fine.

C - Student Animation Competition
Films made by students who are either currently enrolled in a high school, post-secondary or graduate diploma or degree or were so enrolled during the films’ production.

D- Commissioned Films Competition
Works that are funded and produced for specific commercial or promotional purposes.
Commissioned Animation: Including but not limited to commercials, title sequences, station/program identification spots, music videos, and animation series made for adults. Please note only one episode per series is eligible and is limited to 22 minutes and under.

E - Films/Videos Made for Young Audiences
Independent or commissioned films that are produced and distributed specifically for young audiences aged 0-12. Please note only one episode per series is eligible and is limited to 22 minutes and under.
Short Preschool Animation Made for Young Audiences: Any non-feature animated film (under 30 minutes) that is aimed specifically at young audiences aged 0-5.
Short Animation Made for Young Audiences 6-12: Any non-feature animated film (under 30 minutes) that is aimed specifically at young audiences aged 6-12.

F - Virtual Reality (VR) Competition
Immersive works that are created for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Samsung Gear VR virtual reality platforms.
Immersive works: Independent and commissioned projects including but not limited to narrative short experiences, installations, time based works, interactive works, and non-linear narrative or non-narrative experiences. If applicable, please note only one episode in any series is eligible and all submissions are limited to an experience length of 20 minutes and under.

Festival recognised by: (what does this mean?)

  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Link to entry form

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