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Our Festivals
European Union Film Festival
EUFF 2015 PosterEUFF 30th Anniversary Poster, designed by Gabriel Ruest

Founded in 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.

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Ottawa International Animation Festival
oiaf-40_02.pngOIAF 2016 Poster

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!

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Latin American Film Festival
LAFF 2016 PosterLAFF 2016 Poster (design by Dany Pepin)

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).
Café Ex

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.

Presenting artists have included:
DiverCiné Film Festival

DiverCiné 2016 PosterDiverCiné 2016 Poster

The DiverCiné Film Festival highlights the cultures of La Francophonie in all their diversity. Through its programming, this cultural presentation gives prominence to films selected for major international festivals and gives Canadian audiences an opportunity to see first-rate movies created by filmmakers from various countries of the francophone sphere that are rarely screened in Canada. DiverCiné celebrates the creativity of La Francophonie in Canada and around the world.
DiverCiné is organized by the Embassy of France in Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canadian Film Institute, in partnership with ByTowne Cinema and The Cinematheque.

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Bright Nights: The Baltic-Nordic Film Festival

Bright Nights 2016 PosterBright Nights 2016 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.

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African Film Festival of Ottawa
LAFF 2015 PosterAfrican Film Festival of Ottawa 2015 Poster

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 first African Film Festival of Ottawa reveals the richness of the rarely seen cinemas of Africa.
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.
In partnership with Carleton University's Film Studies and African Studies departments, and the Group of African Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Ottawa, the Canadian Film Institute is proud to present the African Film Festival of Ottawa, launched in 2015.

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Israeli Film Festival
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.

The 12th anniversary edition of the Israeli Film Festival launched in 2015.

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COR-AÇÃO: The Portuguese Language Film Festival
The Portuguese Language Film Festival premiered in the celebration of the Language Day of CPLP (Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries), May 5th, 2012. Organized in collaboration with the Embassies of Angola, Brazil, Mozambique and Portugal, the festival's great success with Ottawa audiences has led to the development of an annual event.
In 2013, the Portuguese Language Film Festival returned with a new name: COR-AÇÃO ("Colour-Action"). Combined, "coração" means "heart" in Portuguese, a term that reflects both the passion and the personality in all the excellent films shown each year in the Festival.
The 2015 edition returned in May, celebrating its 4th annual edition of COR-AÇÃO.
Festival Japan
The Canadian Film Institute's annual celebration of contemporary Japanese cinema, Festival Japan, is presented with the generous efforts of The Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan.

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

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University of Ottawa Human Rights Film Festival

University of Ottawa Human Rights Film Festival 2014 PosterUniversity of Ottawa Human Rights Film Festival
2014 Poster
Presented by the Canadian Film Institute in collaboration with the Human Rights Research and Education Centre of the University of Ottawa, the University of Ottawa Human Rights Film Festival tackles, in both fiction and documentary films, the most compelling human rights concerns of our times. The films selected explore everything from gender to globalization, from political repression to aboriginal rights. This remarkable collection of powerful, award-winning films will not only open your eyes, but also open wide-ranging discussions and debates about human rights issues that concern us all.
In addition to the screenings, the Festival includes guests and audience discussions.

The 2014 edition of the Festival takes place October 2 - 5, at the Alumni Auditorium at the University of Ottawa.

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German Language Film Festival

Each year, in collaboration with the Embassies of Switzerland, Austria, and the Federal Republic of Germany, the Canadian Film Institute presents a collection of contemporary German-language films.

The sixth edition of the German Language Film Festival takes place in May 2013.

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India Film Festival
India Film Festival 2012 PosterIndia Film Festival 2012 Poster

The Indian Film Festival returns to Ottawa in September, 2012, in collaboration with the High Commission of India, celebrating 100 years of Cinema in India.

Challenging audience expectations of Bollywood as the only source of Indian cinema, the films of the India Film Festival are critically-acclaimed dramas, comedies, thrillers, and musicals, providing new and exciting experiences of the artistic talents of India. Since its inception, admission to the India Film Festival is completely free for all audiences.

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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 Now Showing section.