The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has shared its short film and feature film juries for 2024, which include noted Ottawa animator and Algonquin College professor Neil Hunter.

Serving on this year’s Short Jury are Jonathan Djob Nkondo (France/United Kingdom), Anastasiya Verlinska (Ukraine) and Ivana Volda (Croatia); Hunter, Dahee Jeong (South Korea) and Thomas Volda (Croatia) comprise the Feature Jury. The respective juries will watch the OIAF Official Selections during the Festival and determine which films will be recognized at the Award Ceremony on September 28, 2024, at the National Arts Centre. OIAF 2024 runs September 25-29. Visit the event website for additional information.

“We’re pleased to welcome Neil Hunter to our jury this year,” said OIAF’s Artistic Director Chris Robinson. “Neil has been an important part of the Ottawa and international animation community. 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.”

A seasoned animation professor at Algonquin College, Hunter leads the Animation Department with over 35 years of industry experience. He has contributed to various television series such as 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). Hunter remains involved in the industry through freelance work on Emmy Award-winning shows such as Hilda (2018) and The Loud House (2016-2017). 

Hunter’s knowledge complements that of independent filmmaker Jeong and multidisciplinary artist Thomas Volda on the Features Jury. Verlinska brings her experience as Program Director of LINOLEUM Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival, alongside Nkondo’s work as a filmmaker, illustrator and cartoonist, and Ivana Volda’s work with stop-motion animation. 

“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.” 

The OIAF entry process is open and accepting animated submissions until 11:59 pm EDT on May 31, 2024, through the OIAF website. There is no entry fee to submit an entry. If selected as a part of the Official Competition, films will be screened before the respective juries during the Festival and eligible for awards.

Source: OIAF

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.

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