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Season Highlights
Canadian Masters
Annual • Founded 2016

The Canadian Film Institute’s Canadian Masters series is an annual celebration of excellence in Canadian filmmaking, featuring extensive onstage interviews, special screenings, and audience discussions with some of the greatest names in Canadian film history.

In our 2016-2017 inaugural season, we are honoured to present three extraordinary Canadian masters of the moving image: Atom Egoyan (November), Alanis Obomsawin (January), and Guy Maddin (March).

We are proud to be partnering with Carleton University’s School For Studies In Art and Culture’s Film Studies section, which in 2016-2017 is celebrating its 40th anniversary. For four decades, Carleton Film Studies has produced some of the most important and influential film scholars, critics, and curators in Canada, and has also played a key role in the development of film culture generally in our nation.
Café Ex
Annual • Winter/Spring • Founded 1998

Inaugurated in 1998, this on-going visiting artist series presents artist-curated evenings of independent experimental film and video in the intimate atmosphere of Club SAW. The series features Canadian experimental cinema, with guest filmmakers presenting their work and engaging in extensive discussions with audience members for a "pay-what-you-can" admission.

The 2016-2017 season has been announced! Click here for more information.

Presenting artists include:
Bright Nights: The Baltic-Nordic Film Festival
Annual • February • Founded 2011

Bright Nights 2017 PosterBright Nights 2017 Poster

In collaboration with the Embassies of the Baltic and Nordic nations, the Canadian Film Institute presents this annual festival of films from Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Iceland, and Norway.

The far reaches of the festival world – from Berlin and Cannes to Toronto and Montreal – have been gleaned for fresh and exciting perspectives in contemporary film. Inaugurated in 2011, Bright Nights has something for everyone, ranging from fiction to documentary to animation. All films are Ottawa premieres.

Bright Nights is presented in partnership with Winterlude, the annual celebration of all that is Winter in Canada's Capital Region.

The 2017 edition of Bright Nights takes place in February, with exact dates to be announced soon. More information will be posted on the official page, as it becomes available.

Archived Editions
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011
Latin American Film Festival
LAFF 2016 PosterLAFF 2016 Poster (design by Dany Pepin)

Annual • March/April • Founded 1987

The Latin American Film Festival (LAFF) showcases features, documentaries, and short films from south of the Rio Grande. Presented by the Canadian Film Institute (CFI), the event features only contemporary Ottawa premieres, gleaned from the screens of such festivals as Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, and Chicago to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of Latin America.

Each year, experience the work of Latin America’s greatest filmmakers, as well as Embassy-hosted receptions, over the span of the ten-day prestigious film event. Five-film Passports and special prices for members, seniors, and students are made available. This exciting event is presented in collaboration with the Group of Latin American Ambassadors (GRULA).
As part of the ongoing development and expansion of the annual Latin American Film Festival, the Canadian Film Institute introduced South ↔ North: New Latin American Documentaries in 2012, offering films with a Canadian connection.

Archived Editions
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
Israeli Film Festival
Annual • June • Founded 2004
2016 Israeli Film Festival Poster, designed by Gabriel Ruest2016 Israeli Film Festival Poster (Gabriel Ruest)

The Canadian Film Institute presents the Israeli Film Festival annually, in collaboration with the Embassy of Israel and the Israeli Cultural Forum (Vered Israel Cultural and Educational Program, and Jewish Community Council of Ottawa / Vaad Ha'ir Canada Israel Cultural Foundation).

Each year, the Israeli Film Festival brings premieres of the best contemporary Israeli cinema to Ottawa, introducing audiences to challenging and engaging dramas, comedies, and documentaries.

Archived Editions:
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
Ottawa International Animation Festival
oiaf-40_02.pngOIAF 2016 Poster

Annual • September • Founded 1976

Every September, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) presents the world’s most cutting-edge, quirky and important animation — and transforms Ottawa into the centre of the animation universe.

The OIAF is the largest event of its kind in North America, a major film event attracting attendees from around the world. Film buffs, art lovers and cartoon fans won't want to miss this year's great line up of screenings taking place at the National Arts Centre, ByTowne Cinema, National Gallery of Canada, Empire Theatres Rideau Centre and Arts Court Theatre.

Complete information can be found on the official website, animationfestival.ca, including this year's line-up, selections, events, guests, passes and travel info, tickets, volunteering, animation resources, and more!

Related Links:
African Film Festival of Ottawa
Annual • October • Founded 2015
African Film Festival of Ottawa 2016 PosterAfrican Film Festival of Ottawa 2016 Poster
Designed by Jerrett Zaroski

The cinemas of Africa have consistently delivered some of most impressive, urgent, and engaged films in contemporary world cinema. This annual festival showcases the best of African cinema’s diverse and extraordinary films and filmmakers.

The films selected primarily celebrate emerging voices from across the five regions of the African continent as well as its historical diaspora. They range across a number of genres from futurist to political thriller, melodrama to horror, social realist to fantasy. They are at once celebratory and critical, contemplative and reflexive, elegiac and prospective. The films have been screened, won awards, or entered for nomination at FESPACO (Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou), the Durban International Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the American Film Institute Film Festival and the Academy Awards (Oscars), among others.

The event is proudly presented by the Canadian Film Institute, in partnership with Carleton University's Film Studies and African Studies departments.

Archived Editions:
2016, 2015
Taiwan Film Nights
Annual • October

For many years now, the Canadian Film Institute, in collaboration with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Ottawa), has proudly presented many impressive examples of the internationally renowned contemporary cinema of Taiwan.

Archived Editions:
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 (I), 2012 (II), 2011
Japanese Film Festival
Annual • October/November • Founded 1985

The Canadian Film Institute's annual celebration of contemporary Japanese cinema, the Japanese Film Fesitval, is presented with the generous efforts of The Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan.

One of the CFI's longest-running events, the Japanese Film Festival has introduced Ottawa audiences to Japan's talented and innovative filmmakers, providing free admission for audiences since its inception in 1985.

Archived Editions:
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
European Union Film Festival
EUFF32 Poster     EUFF32 Poster, designed by Frédéric Lafontaine 

Annual  November/December • Founded 1984

The European Union Film Festival is an annual showcase of the best of contemporary cinema produced in the European Union. Over the span of two to three weeks, the Canadian Film Institute brings Ottawa audiences a wide selection of award-winning films from the Festival circuit, never-before-seen in the capital city.

Experience the drama, comedy, tragedy, and passion of the moving image from across the Atlantic and attend Embassy-hosted receptions alongside film fans, academics, students, and local expatriate communities. Five-film Passports for CFI members, and special prices for members, seniors, and students are made available. Each year, this prestigious event is presented in collaboration with the European Union Member States and the Delegation of the European Union to Canada.

Check out our page for the 2017 festival, EUFF32!

Archived Editions:
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
Other Events

The Canadian Film Institute has organized a number of other events and festivals, often in collaboration with Embassies or non-profit community organizations, including: For complete listings of our events since 2008, browse through our Past Events section in Festivals & Events.