Ottawa Digital Film Festival Launches Next Week

YouTube sensation Tiny Hamster in a Tiny Mansion screens at ODFF.
Ottawa’s rapidly expanding film scene adds a new event to its list when the Ottawa Digital Film Festival launches next week. The ODFF begins with a curious angle amongst the new film festivals launching in the 613 as an event primarily oriented towards local filmmakers looking to screen their work on the big screen. The twist is that ODFF goes against convention by asking filmmakers to share the costs of the screening themselves at a rate of $6 per minute. (Rounding up.) Many festivals actually pay the filmmakers recommended fees to screen their work, rather than the other way around. The spin has surprisingly seen little-to-no controversy, so the event shows that the value of seeing an artist’s hard work up on the big screen still holds a lot of value. Ticket sales, however, go into a pot for the winning film.

The irony, though, is that the line-up is almost entirely available online. All but three of the films are are publicly available on the filmmakers’ YouTube and Vimeo accounts, which usually poses a tricky dilemma for film events that have enough trouble putting bums in the seats when audiences can’t watch the films at home for free. All of the films, moreover, have screened in Ottawa in some capacity whether online or at other film festivals and film challenges, primarily Digi60.With that being said, though, many of the selections are among the winners and standouts of the local film scene.

Ottawa filmgoers can therefore see the inaugural ODFF as a second-run opportunity to catch films they missed or to see some favourites a second time. Better yet, use the festival as a chance to come out and show local filmmakers that there’s always an audience to see their work on bigger and better screens than laptops and phones. It’s all about enjoying movies together in the dark, people!

The 2015 ODFF line-up features:

Raymond Besharah

Marina Bruno

April Campbell
-->The Internet was made for this film! This video has almost 2 million views on YouTube, which probably makes it the most watched Ottawa production ever. (This is not a joke.)

Christopher Chitaroni
-Winner: Best Screenplay, Digi60 2014 Fall Festival

Lee Cyr

Leon Elliott

Amen Jafri
-Honourable mention: TVO Short Doc Contest

Christian Paolo Lat
Red Lights

Kristian Lariviere
-Winner: Best Overall Film and Best Directing (Open Category), Digi60 Fall 2013

Mark Parks
-Digi60 2014 Fall Festival submission

Kristian Perrault
-Digi60 Spring 2014 submission (I had a lot of fun judging that year!)

Kristian Perrault
-Winner: Best Director and Best Technical Work, Digi60 2013

Andrew Robinson
-2014 Opening Night selection at Ottawa’s Cellar Door Film Festival; Official Selection at the Toronto Independent Film Festival
-A CDFF Programmers’ Pick by yours truly!

Martin Rodriguez
-2014 #OIFF72 Challenge submission

Martin Rodriguez, Justin Aresta

Martin Rodriguez, Lana Elizabeth Bateman
-Digi60 2013 Fall Festival submission

Cory Thibert
-Tweet your review to @JamesFrancoTV after the show!

Cory Thibert
Do Not Touch
-2015 Ottawa Fringe Stiff Quickies selection

Vincent Valentino

The 2015 Ottawa Digital Film Festival screens Friday, May 15 at Rainbow Cinemas at 7:00 PM.
Please visit www.odff.ca for more info.