Calling all Canadian Creators, Pitch THIS! 2024 applications are now open

OTTAWA, ON – The Ottawa International Animation Festival’s (OIAF) Pitch THIS! application process opens at 5:00 pm EDT on May 7, 2024, for Canadian creators to submit their original animated series concept. Presented in partnership with Ottawa-based animation studio Mercury Filmworks as a part of the OIAF’s The Animation Conference (TAC), Pitch THIS! provides a unique opportunity for new voices to refine their craft and connect with a large audience of their peers, studio executives and potential financiers. Creators have until 11:59 pm EDT on June 17, 2024, to submit their pitch for consideration.

“So much incredible work has been showcased over the years at Pitch THIS!,” says OIAF Managing Director Kelly Neall. “We greatly appreciate Mercury Filmworks and the event’s other partners’ continued support in helping TAC develop fresh talent and getting their work on screen, especially as we celebrate 20 years of our industry conference.

A pillar of TAC, Pitch THIS! has helped launch careers and put animated series in the spotlight, including past participants Beccs Champagne (Ghost Stories), Mansa Chintoh and Malachi Ellis (Project Blackout), and Mike Geiger (Winston Steinberger and Sir Dudley Ding Dong). The opportunity is open exclusively to Canadian projects spanning all target demographics, from preschool to adult series. Creators from underserved and marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply, in particular BIPOC, people living with disabilities, women, gender non-conforming, and 2SLGBTQIA+ members of the animation community.

At Mercury Filmworks, we are driven by a passion for storytelling and more specifically stories told through the medium of animation. Our passion and commitment to telling stories with integrity and bold creative points of view have taken us far beyond even what we thought was possible. It is this desire that brings us back for the fourth consecutive year in partnership with the OIAF to be part of the Pitch THIS! event for 2024”, says Heath Kenny, Chief Content Officer at Mercury Filmworks. “Over the last few years, we have seen the quality of projects and the passion for storytelling go from strength to strength. We are excited to again pair up an amazing group of industry mentors with Canada’s future storytellers. Our belief is that together as a community we can reach higher and go further to create opportunities for Canadian storytellers to be seen on the global stage.

A rare chance for up-and-coming creators, this year’s Pitch THIS! winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Mercury Filmworks, an annual Toon Boom Harmony licence and Harmony Fundamentals on-demand videos from The Animation Study, $1,000 in legal services courtesy of Edwards Creative Law, and two TAC Animapasses to OIAF 2025. As of 5:00 pm EDT on May 7, interested applicants can submit their proposals through the Pitch THIS! application form. A maximum of two submissions per creator will be accepted. It is strongly recommended that applicants review the pitch requirements on the OIAF website before submitting their application.

If selected as one of the 10 semi-finalists, creators will be paired with an established industry mentor to fine-tune their pitch in preparation for the Pitch THIS! semi-finals on September 25, 2024, at TAC’s new venue the National Arts Centre. From the 10 projects, judges will select two pitches to go head-to-head against one another in the finals on the TAC mainstage.