After watching over 1,900 entries from around the world, the OIAF selection committee has chosen 92 films to be screening the 2017 Official Competition.
There is a definite air of defiance, not just in terms of content, but also through stylistic choices and a rejection of conventional narrative storytelling in this year’s selections. Current attitudes about the political and social environments of 2017 are very much reflected in this year’s OIAF selections. Leading the punk pack is The Story of O.J., a beautifully animated and brutally honest music video about race relations in America co-directed by Mark Romanek and JAY-Z. It was designed and animated by The Mill and Titmouse. Another highlight is Clyde Petersen’s feature Torrey Pines, a queer,raw coming of age story.
This year, there are two features in the Official Competition by the same director. This unprecedented feat was achieved by Japanese filmmaker Masaaki Yuasa, the well-known director of many anime films included the widely acclaimed Mind Game (2004). He currently has a new series in development for Netflix.
Canadian highlights for the year include a slew of work from the National Film Board including new work by Matthew Rankin, Chintis Lundgren and Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowsk plus Eva Cvijanovic.
Other Canadian animation highlights include Amanda Strong’s bold stop-motion film Four Faces of the Moon which fuses Canada’s colonial past with Strong’s own family story, . Vladimir Kanic’s Only Lovers Leave to Die and OIAF 17 poster designer Elise Simard’s Beautiful Like Elsewhere, create mesmerizing non-linear experiences that are hauntingly poetic, and achingly beautiful.