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Film Submissions
Rules and Regulations

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2014 Film Submissions
  • Deadline for entry forms: Friday, May 16th, 2014
  • Deadline for preview DVDs: Friday, May 30th, 2014
  • There is no entry or registration fee.
  • Only animated films that were completed after June 15th, 2013, are eligible.
  • You must submit your entry form online through your OIAF login account.
  • Your preview film must be submitted on a playable DVD (NTSC or PAL).
  • 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.
  • We cannot accept customs charges. Do not label a value over $10 CAN on your package.
  • DVDs submitted for selection will not be returned.
  • If your film is selected, we must receive a high-quality Digital Video File (minimum resolution 1280 x 720).  
  • 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 8th, 2014.
  • By submitting your online entry form, you are agreeing to the OIAF 2014 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!
  • 2014 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.
  • Animation Pimp's Ottawa Festival Entry Tips: A tongue-in-cheek (if a bit outdated) article with helpful tips, courtesy of AWN. For those over 18 and not easily offended.
  • Email us: Contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have any questions or concerns about the entry process and we'll help you any way we can!


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QUALIFICATION FOR ENTRIES: Only works completed after June 15, 2013 will be accepted.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS: Works submitted for selection can be presented as a URL link to a streaming video source, or on DVD in either NTSC or PAL.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: The official languages of the Festival are English and French. If possible, submit your work with an English dialogue track or with English subtitles otherwise, please submit an English dialogue script.

REGISTRATION AND DATES: No registration fee is required. The entry form must be submitted online by 11:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on May 16, 2014. The preview film must reach the festival office no later than May 30, 2014 or it will not be considered. The entrant must include the director's biography, director’s photo (300 dpi) and a minimum of 3 stills (300 dpi) from the film. These files can be uploaded online, submitted on disc or emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF FILMS FOR SELECTION: Copies of works submitted for selection must reach the festival office on or before May 16, 2014. Works arriving after this date will not be accepted. Entrants are asked to indicate the Entry ID when sending their preview DVD. Please ensure that your film is actually on the disc you have entered. Blank entries or incomplete URL links will not be considered.


Suite 120, 2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario  K1N 6E2  Canada
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NOTE: We cannot accept customs fees. Do not list a value higher than $10.00 CDN on your entry package.

SELECTION: Each entry is considered for the Official Competition and the out-of-competition Showcase screenings. The Festival Selection team will choose the films to be screened in competition and showcase. 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 he feels the film is more suited for another category.

DVDs submitted for selection will not be returned. All works submitted for selection will be made available to the general public during the span of the Festival for screening in the Animation Resource Library.


REQUIREMENTS: Directors or Producers must provide digital video files (minimum resolution 1280 x 720).

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 film or video screening copy in the proper format on or before August 8, 2014, the selected work will be withdrawn from the competition or showcase program.

35MM FILM: In response to changing projection availability, unfortunately the festival can no longer accept 35mm as a screening format.

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.

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 prints only between the time prints are taken into care and the time they are handed to the carrier. In case of loss or damage to a print, 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 independent and feature works shown in Competition or Showcase are limited to $75 CAD. We reserve the right to screen films in Competition and Showcase 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 Showcase 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 school, independent, student and commissioned competitions; and one Children’s Jury comprised of 6-13 year olds to judge the Kid’s 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 juries are not eligible for entry in the categories of the Official Competition. The decisions of the juries are final.

FESTIVAL PRIZES: The juries will present the following awards:
GRAND PRIZE for Best Animated Feature
GRAND PRIZE for Best Independent Short Animation
PRIZE for Best Animation School Showreel
PRIZE for Best Narrative Short Animation
PRIZE for Best Experimental/Abstract Animation
PRIZE for Best High School Animation
PRIZE for Best Undergraduate Animation
PRIZE for Best Canadian Student Animation
PRIZE for Best Graduation Animation
PRIZE for Best Promotional Animation
PRIZE for Best Music Video
PRIZE for Best Animation Series for Adults
PRIZE for Best Short Animation Made for Children
PRIZE for Best Animation Series Made for Children
Canadian Film Institute (CFI) Award for Best Canadian Animation

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. It is the jury's responsibility to decide which of the winning entries will be presented on the Festival’s Closing Night.

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: Unless otherwise indicated on the entry form, the entrant grants the Festival the right to show, for TV publicity purposes only, up to 10% of the running time of the production to a maximum of three minutes. 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/or submitting the entry form for the Ottawa 2014 International Animation Festival, the participant accepts, without reservation, the terms of the present regulations as stated in this document.

Submissions 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 considered full- or feature-length

B - School Competition
Animation School Showreel: A maximum of 40 minutes of a training/education institution’s best films from July 2013 to June 2014. Must include full versions of each film; no excerpts. It is the duty of the entrant to select the films. Films can also be entered individually in the appropriate Student Animation Competition category. Please fill out separate entry forms for any individual student films being submitted under Category D.

C - Independent Short Films Competition
Short-format, non-commissioned animated films or videos
Note: As it is extremely rare that any short film exceeding 30 minutes is selected for competition, we strongly recommend a maximum length of 30 minutes.
Narrative Short: Structured with some sort of narrative or story. (ie. "something happens")
Experimental/Abstract Animation: Structured without a clear narrative or cause-effect plotline.

D - Student Animation Competition
Films made by students who are either enrolled in a school, or were enrolled during the films’ production
High School Animation: Films under 10 minutes directed by students attending a government- or privately-funded general education program, generally stretching from ages 15-18 (also known as “upper” or “secondary” school)
Undergraduate Animation: Films directed by students enrolled in a post-secondary (diploma or degree) program that lasts from 6 months to 4 years, with the standard requirement usually being a high school diploma.
Graduation Animation: Films directed by students in a post-graduate (diploma or degree) program that lasts from 6 months to 2 years, and requires prior experience or an undergraduate diploma/degree for enrollment. In addition, "final" or "thesis" (graduation) projects for undergraduate programs would be considered within this category.

E - Commissioned Films Competition
Works that are funded and produced for specific commercial or promotional purposes
Promotional Animation: Includes commercials, title sequences, and station/program identification spots
Music Video: Includes works made to specifically promote and/or compliment a music soundtrack
Animation Series for Adults: Animated series (22 minutes and under) not specifically aimed at children demographics. Only one episode per series is eligible.

F - Films/Videos Made for Children
Works that are produced and distributed specifically for children and youth demographics
Short Animation Made for Children: Any non-feature animated film (under 30 minutes) that is aimed specifically at young audiences.
Animation Series Made for Children: Any special or series (22 minutes and under) created specifically for a young audience. Only one episode per series is eligible.

General Information
How frequent is the Ottawa International Animation Festival?
Is there still a biennial Student Festival?
What is the deadline for entries to the 2014 Festival?
Is there an entry fee?
If I enter, what costs am I responsible for?

If I send you a link to my site, can you tell me if my work is good enough to submit?
My film has lots of live action with some animation. Is it still considered animation?
My film wasn’t accepted for last year’s festival. Can I submit it again this year?
What’s the minimum length you can accept for a film? The maximum?
I live in the country of (…). Can I still send you my film?
Can films be screened at other festivals prior to screening at OIAF?
My film is on YouTube/Vimeo/otherwise posted online. Does this affect my eligibility?
My film won’t be finished until after the deadline. Will you still accept it? I’ll send you a finished version once it’s done.
I only have my film on DVD, and don't have a digital file ready now. Can I still submit my film?
My film is not in English. Does it need subtitles?

My child is not yet old enough for high school. What category should her film be entered in?
Can I enter multiple episodes of a series?
I finished my film while in school, but I have since completed my program. Am I still able to submit my film to the high school or (under)graduate category?
What are the categories for 2014 and which one should I enter my film in?
Can I submit a film to more than one category?
How do I submit to the School Showreel category?

Entry Form
How can I get an entry form?
Can I download a PDF version of the entry form?
I don’t like to fill out entry forms. Can I just send you my film anyway?
Who is the "Primary Contact"? (What does this mean? or we have multiple directors for our film; who should fill out the form?)
Do I really need to fill out every single crew member?
Can I put multiple films on one entry form?
Do I need to send you a paper entry form?
My film’s ratio is 16:9, but I don’t see that listed in your options.
What does “Premiere” mean?
How will I know you received my entry form?
How can I update or fix my entry details? (I pressed “Submit” before I was done OR I put in the wrong title OR My film has been shown somewhere else and I need to change the premiere type.)

Additional Documents
What other information should I send to complete the submission process?
How should I send you my additional documents?
Is there a deadline for the additional documents?
How big should my director photo and film stills be?
Should I send biographies and pictures for everyone credited?
I think my film synopsis is too long. Is there a word count limit?
I’m submitting more than one film; do I have to send you a copy of my bio and picture for each film?
How will I know you received my additional documents?

Preview Copies
Can I just use FTP or a file transfer service like WeTransfer/YouSendIt for my preview film? Can I burn a MOV or AVI directly as a data file onto the DVD? What about a CD? What about thumb/flash/pen/USB drives?
I read that you have new format requirements for films selected for screening. Does this mean I can’t send my Beta tape? Should I be sending a DVD instead?
Can I put multiple films on one DVD?
I’m nervous that maybe my DVD won’t work. Can I send a backup DVD just in case?
What should I write on my DVD (case)?
What should I include with my DVD?
How do I properly label the package so that it is not delayed by customs?
How will I know you received my DVD?
I understand that the deadline is May 30, 2014, but does this mean you have to receive it by then, or it only has to be postmarked no later than May 30?
Do you return the DVDs?
When are the films selected?

What criteria are used to judge the submissions?
Under what circumstance can my film be rejected immediately?
... What? Really?
How will I know if my film has been selected?
I heard something about screening digital files... is this true? Are you sure you can’t accept my 35mm / BetacamSP / 16mm / DigiBeta / HDCam / miniDV / Blu-Ray for screening?
What if my film has been selected and I need a visa to enter Canada?
Who is given a free pass?
Where can I find out about hotel accommodations?
When is the schedule of events published?

Technical Help
Your website isn’t working!
Whenever I try to upload my files and click “Submit”, the webpage just sits there. Did you get them?
I uploaded the wrong file! How can I delete it?
I clicked the “Submit” button twice, and now there are two entries with the same name in my account. How can I delete one?