In Pursuit of Infamy
Titmouse chief Chris Prynoski’s ode to fame for fame’s sake in Hollywood lands in the feature spotlight at the 2016 Ottawa International Animation Festival. By Tom McLean.
Robinson: I think maybe it’s a reflection of the personalities of the staff. ... We try to make things fun. We don’t go in for red carpet stuff. We don’t care about world premieres. We just want people to come and have a good time. ... I know some festivals are a little bit more exclusive and you struggle to find out where parties are and how to get in to them. And that’s something we don’t like to do in Ottawa. We like everybody to be involved, and I think that’s helped us over the years.
Animag: What do you enjoy about this job, having done it for a while?
Robinson: Where I get the most personal satisfaction is when I sit — I’m actually looking at the walls where I do it right now — where I get index cards and write out all the films that are looking like they’re going into competition and then I program it on the walls. It’s like ordering the films, the choreography of the competitions. That’s still my favorite part of the process, where you’re starting to see the identity of that year’s festival defined up on the walls. It’s just so much ordering films, where you get to have some power over audience reactions and things like that and just finding a rhythm. ... The other aspect is when the festival’s here and you’re seeing old friends come and you’re meeting new people, like when I moderate the Meet the Filmmakers sessions.
Animag: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s festival?
Robinson: I always like opening night because we always plan some jokey openings. A long time ago, we got rid of formal openings; it was just something that always bothered me. And then sometimes sitting in the competition to see the reactions to what you’ve selected, because you’re doing that in isolation, so it’s always interesting — sometimes painful — to sit with an audience and see a film again. ... And then the last day I’m always looking forward to. [
Other Festival Highlights
Animator’s Picnic Presented by Cartoon Network, this special event for passholders will convene at Rideau Falls, where lunch, beverages and 40th anniversary cake will be served. It’s also the location of the beloved pumpkin carving contest and one of the most relaxing, enjoyable and productive events of the entire festival. 40 Years of OIAF Posters
Exhibition The festival posters have always been a highlight of the Ottawa experience, and for the first time all of them will be on display in one place.
The lineup of artists who have contributed poster art includes Wendy Tilby, Ishu Patel, Marv Newland, Dave Cooper, Nick Cross, Andreas Hykade, Theodore Ushev, Gary Baseman, Run Wrake, Andrea Stokes, Gary Panter, Gary Leib, Koji Yamamura, Howie Tsui, Oscar Grillo, Jonas Odell, Caleb Wood (and the Hut Collective), David OReilly, Aaron Augenblick and Mati Kütt, and Michael Zavacky.
The opening of the exhibition on Wednesday will introduce the creator of the 2017 poster. Posters will be available for purchase and some of the artists will be in attendance to sign copies. Closing Night Party The final chance to soak in all the wonders of the festival, bid adieu to friends old and new and start making plans for 2017. [