NFB at 2023 Ottawa International Animation Festival

eAwaz Entertainment

Montreal – With 19 productions or co-productions in the official selection, including four in competition, the National Film Board of Canada will be in the spotlight at the 2023 Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF). This year, the lineup of NFB projects features artists from the Greater Ottawa Region, among others, and the films in competition are inspired by literary works, poetry, children’s books, and songs. The largest festival in North America dedicated exclusively to animation, the OIAF will welcome festival-goers from September 20 to 24.

Quick Facts – The NFB at the OIAF

  • One film in competition – Narrative Short Animation: The Girl with the Red Beret (La fille au béret rouge) by Janet Perlman
  • One film in competition – Non-Narrative Short Animation: Miserable Miracle by Ryo Orikasa
  • One film in competition – Animation for Young Audiences (7–12): HARVEY by Janice Nadeau
  • One film in competition – Animation for Teen Audiences (13+): Boat People by Thao Lam and Kjell Boersma
  • Canadian Panorama: Aphasia (Aphasie) by Marielle Dalpé
  • Retrospective, special screenings and a show-and-tell: NFB HOTHOUSE@20, celebrating 20 years of the HOTHOUSE mentorship program for emerging animators, and a show-and-tell with the NFB Animation & Interactive Studio.

Narrative Short Animation – official competition

  • The Girl with the Red Beret (La fille au béret rouge) by Janet Perlman (5 min 35 s)
    Short Competition 2 Gala: Thursday, September 21, 3 p.m. and Saturday, September 23, 3 p.m.
    Producer: Marc Bertrand for the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio
    Press kit:

    This joyful, heartwarming animated film portrays Montreal in all its vitality, creativity and diversity, with plenty of humour and good cheer, to the tune of Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s timeless hit “Complainte pour Ste-Catherine.”

Non-Narrative Short Animation – official competition

  • Miserable Miracle by Ryo Orikasa (8 min)
    Short Competition 5 Gala: Friday, September 22, 7 p.m. and Sunday, September 24, 3 p.m.
    Produced by Emmanuel-Alain Raynal and Pierre Baussaron for Miyu Productions; Jelena Popović, Robert McLaughlin and Michael Fukushima for the NFB; Nobuaki Doi for New Deer; with the support of CNC & the Ciclic Animation Residency.
    Press kit:

    Inspired by Henri Michaux’s poems and drawings about his experiences with mescaline, Miserable Miracle explores the limits of language and perception, creating connections between sound, meaning, shapes and movement.

Animation for Young Audiences (7–12) – official competition

  • HARVEY by Janice Nadeau (9 min)
    Animation Made for Young Audiences 7+ Kids Day @ OIAF Screenings: Wednesday, September 20, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
    Animation Made for Young Audiences 7+ Gala: Saturday, September 23, 9:30 a.m.
    Co-produced by the NFB (Marc Bertrand) and Folimage (Reginald de Guillebon), with the support of the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. Head of Development: Corinne Destombes (Folimage).
    Press kit:

    Selected for more than 45 festivals including Clermont-Ferrand, REGARD, Stuttgart, Annecy and Animafest Zagreb, HARVEY has received four awards and special mentions. Told through the eyes of a child with an overflowing imagination, the film is a poetic, luminous look at bereavement and coping with the loss of a parent. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Hervé Bouchard, illustrated by Gatineau-born filmmaker Janice Nadeau.

Animation for Teen Audiences (13+) – official competition

  • Boat People by Thao Lam and Kjell Boersma (10 min)
    Animation for Teen Audiences 13+ Gala: Friday, September 22, 3 p.m. and Saturday, September 23, 3 p.m.
    Producers: Justine Pimlott for the NFB’s Ontario Studio and Jelena Popović for the NFB’s English Program Animation & Interactive Studio
    Press kit:

    Co-directed by Thao Lam and Kjell Boersma, Boat People is an animated documentary that uses a striking metaphor to trace one family’s flight across the turbulent waters of history. The film speaks across time and culture to anyone who’s ever fought to protect their family or community. Thao Lam, who is also a children’s book author and illustrator, wrote and illustrated an award-winning book on the same subject, The Paper Boat.

Canadian Panorama

  • Aphasia (Aphasie) by Marielle Dalpé (3 min 45 s)
    Canadian Panorama screenings: Thursday, September 21, 5 p.m. and September 22, 7 p.m.
    Producer: Marc Bertrand for the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio
    Press kit:

    Aphasia is the debut professional animated short of Marielle Dalpé, daughter of well-known Franco-Ontarian author and actor Jean-Marc Dalpé. The film is an unsettling sensory experience that immerses us in the world of people with Alzheimer’s disease who are facing the loss of their language capabilities. Aphasia will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The English-language version screening at OIAF features the voice of veteran actress Clare Coulter, whose recent credits include the Amazon Prime series Three Pines.

Retrospective, special screenings and a show-and-tell

    To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the HOTHOUSE mentorship program, a retrospective entitled NFB HOTHOUSE@20 will include a selection of 14 notable short films. Two shorts by HOTHOUSE alumni will be screened before each of the seven films in the Feature Competition. They include works by Ontario-born animators David Barlow-Krelina (The Visitor, 2012), Alexandra Lemay (All the Rage, 2014) and Paloma Dawkins (Scientifiq Piqniq, 2013).
  • Show-and-tell with the NFB Animation & Interactive Studio
    On Sunday, September 24, at 11:30 a.m. at the Arts Court theatre, 
    the NFB English Program Animation & Interactive Studio will be using the 20th anniversary of HOTHOUSE as an opportunity to explore its production process. Executive producer Rob McLaughlin and producers Jelena Popović and Maral Mohammadian, along with filmmakers Torill Kove and Eva Cvijanović, will present an informal show-and-tell on how the studio works and how animators can work with it.

Ottawa International Animation Festival channel on

  • This channel features many of the NFB short films that have been honoured at the OIAF between 1976 and now. Don’t miss these gems of animation!