Since 1976, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has grown to be one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment. An annual five-day event it features the world’s most quirky, provocative and inspiring animation.



When the festival introduced a Canadian Student Competition in 2020 to showcase the work of talented artists from the country’s renown academic programs Switch Animation became involved as our goals were aligned. Already entrenched in support for the passions of young artists this new competition was a perfect extension of our education support which includes:

·        Exposure in elementary schools with the Girls in Tech Conference introducing youngsters in grades 6-8 about careers in animation.

·        Involvement with xoto schools who are encouraging animation in high school curriculum.

·        Investment in the Switch Scholarship Program at major Ontario colleges.

·        Host and primary sponsor of the Animation Lounge workshops available to both beginner and professional digital artists.


In its first year the Canadian Student Competition featured 17 films, showcasing the work of over 60 talented young filmmakers. One of the films selected by the OIAF judging panel was created by 2020 Switch Scholarship winner from Seneca College Samantha Van Rootselaar entitled Breaker Point. It is the story of Jamie, a huge horror fan who despite a young age, explores the depths of their house during a power outage where the horrors in the mind might prove to be a lot more than they’re ready to handle.



See Samantha’s scholarship demo reel and that of our other scholarship winners at Scholarships Archive – Switch VFX & Animation (


Education and the support of young talent in Canada is a passion of Switch VFX & Animation. We believe Canada needs to cultivate and keep our talented artists working within our industry and one of the best ways show them support is to give them opportunities to showcase their talent. The Canadian Student Competition gives young filmmakers this exposure.


Once again, this year the Ottawa International Animation Festival will be taking its screenings and talks online with extended dates from September 22 to October 3, 2021. Be sure to check out the work of Canada’s talented students as well as the innovative artistry of some of the world’s best filmmakers.


Original Article appeared on LinkedIn