Ottawa and Seattle

Sigh. The Ottawa International Animation Festival 07 has began. I unfortunately will not be attending this year. For the past three years I've attended this remarkable festival, and upon returning would sing its praises to everyone and anyone who would listen. I can't stress how important it is for students and animators to attend an animation festival, to see films that they normally wouldn't see and to hear filmmakers talk about their processes. Important because we shouldn't be confined to our typical comfort zone. Artists and animators should always be open to the NEW.

It's hard for me to check out the OIAF schedule because there's so much I'd like to see BUT CAN'T! Argh! For instance:

PERSEPOLIS looks very interesting.

Joanna Quinn's work is never dull.

AAchi & SSipak: a weird but wild looking film from Korea.

All of the Short Competitions look great, as usual.

And one of the main reasons why I'm kicking myself for not saving up enough money to go this year:

When Art Meets Industry: The Genius of UPA. There are four screenings:

The Trailblazers
The Directors
The Designers
The Legacy

This series of UPA screenings is, without a doubt, a consummate event. Probably never to happen again. If you find yourself within 100 miles of Ottawa, please -- do yourself a favor and go and see these extremely rare films shown on the big screen. I don't care if you're a follower of John K., you must see them. What UPA did was take animation and cartoons out of the proverbial pigeonhole that it was starting to make for itself during the mid-40's and gave audiences a chance to see something that they didn't think would be possible. Animation as art? Who knew?

Another event that I hate I won't be a part of at Ottawa is the Blogging Animation panel on Saturday, the 22nd. I was originally was supposed to be one of the panelists, but had to back out when I realized that I couldn't make it for the festival this year. Ironic, since I was the one who came up with the initial idea for this panel. I emailed the person in charge of the workshops and panels right after OIAF last year and gave a proposal for a panel on bloggers, to see it would work. This was way before PLATFORM, so I had to prove that this would be a good idea. I hope that the folks at Ottawa record this panel -- I'd be curious to see what Jerry Beck, Michael Barrier, Mark Mayerson and Jeff Hasulo have to say about this crazy blogging thing. Oh well! Maybe another time....


Well, at least I have something that will keep my mind off of not going to Ottawa:

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is hosting an exhibit of one of my favorite artists, Jim Flora! The opening is this Saturday, September 22nd, in Seattle. From the Fantagraphics website:

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle will host a rare exhibition of Jim Flora's original art, fine art prints, and Flora ephemera from September 22 through October 24, 2007. The opening reception on Saturday, September 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM will feature appearances by Flora scholars Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon, as well as musical interludes of period exotica by the Moon Spinners. Many works will be available for sale at remarkably affordable prices. Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's lively Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. 206.658.0110.

I will try and make it to the opening this Saturday. I've met Irwin before, but it's always good to keep in touch. He never ceases to entertain me with his fascinating stories -- he's a great storyteller. Excellent writer, excellent speaker. And it'd be great to finally meet Barbara Economon as well. Both Irwin and Barbara did a bang-up job on each of the Flora books.

So, if you're in the Seattle area this Saturday, swing by the Fantagraphics Gallery! Would love to meet ya.


  1. Hey Ward, I'm going to try to make it to the opening. I really want to see the Flora show. Everything unfortunately seems to be happening at the same time this Saturday though, so hopefully I'll get a chance to meet you.

  2. Dood, those UPA screenings at Ottawa are gonna be awesome. I'm not going to make it this year, either.

    Jerry Beck screened some rare UPA stuff at an ASIFA Hollywood meeting a few years back and there was some great discussion on the rise of animation as an art form.

    God bless little children, puppy dogs, and Jerry Beck.

  3. Ward, (not sure if it's possible) but why not have a family trip and drive up to see Persolpolis in Vancouver? It plays 3 times at the VIFF (Vancouver International Film Festival)this year.
    Monday, Oct 1st 10:00am
    Sunday, Oct 7th 7:00pm
    Thursday, Oct 11th 11:00am

    Check out the site.
    tickets are on sale now.

    Madame Tutli-Putli is also playing in a bundle of shorts called Storm Surge.

    i can't get to Ottawa this year but next year is a must.

  4. Hey! Great talking to ya on the phone! Glad to hear Portland's treating you well. This post is soooooo making me upset that I wasn't able to see those UPA screenings!!! Wow...that sounded so up my alley and, of course, I missed it. As we used to say in the South, "DANG-IT!"

    Also, was that Flora show here in NYC originally??? Double DANG-IT.