About Ottawa Canadian Film Festival
The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival (previously known as Ottawa Indie Fest) is a cultural, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to recognize, promote and celebrate the art of cinema by showcasing Canadian films and filmmakers. Our mission is grounded in the belief that Canadian film and filmmakers are distinctive and vital to our country’s culture and the development of the local economy.
We believe in programming and content that provides Ottawa audiences with entertaining and high-quality independent films, information, activities and events. Our festival, events, online presence and resources aim to encourage collaboration, artistic innovation and creativity while providing access for a broad audience segment.
The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival is committed to cooperation and collaboration with other arts organizations as well as the business community. Our programs are interactive, entertaining, educational and great value for the money.
The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival was founded as result of independent filmmaker Jith Paul’s series of public screenings of over 150 Ottawa based and Canadian independent films for a period of four years. Known as the “Treepot Film Festival“, they were committed to fostering collaboration and learning amongst emerging filmmakers. Paul successfully curated and presented short films, documentaries and music videos with trailers and promos at independent movie theatres, universities, colleges and parks in downtown Ottawa.
Although successful and popular with local audiences, Paul decided it was time to take the “Treepot Screenings” to the next level in order further promote independent filmmakers and to reach out and appeal to larger and broader based audiences in a more formalized structure and as a result the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival was born.
Jith Paul is an Ottawa-based filmmaker whose directorial debut Algebra was featured at Festival international Entr’2 marches in Cannes and has screened at festivals in Canada, Scotland, France, Italy and India. His second directorial project, the crowd-funded comedy ‘A Clean Slate’ was awarded Miglior Cortometraggio Internazionale – America (Best International Short Film – America) at the Valle d’Itria Film Festival in Italy. He is currently producing Karim Ayari’s Before Me, a bilingual narrative film that explores social intolerance and its impact on children.
Jith is a graduate of the television broadcasting program at Algonquin College and holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo. An Associate Member of the Canadian Cinema Editors (CCE) professional association, he edited Partners for Peace, an official selection at the Victoria Film Festival in 2015, ‘North Boys’, winner of the Founder’s Award at the Yorkton Film Festival in 2012 and ‘This is My Witness’, an Official Selection for the 2012 Amnesty International Reel Awareness Human Rights Film Festival.
Jith curated short films and documentaries for the 10 screening series the Treepot Film Festival, a celebration of indie film, which he founded in 2011. He is currently works as a Web Stream Producer at CPAC, the Cable Public Affairs Channel, is vice-chair of the Board of Directors of SAW Media Arts Centre and freelances as a photographer, camera operator and editor.
Jith publishes a web series featuring Ottawa Filmmakers on this site.
Ed Kucerak is an Ottawa-based independent director/producer specializing in documentary and television productions. Founder of Kublacom Pictures, he has produced and directed documentaries for a variety of Canadian and US broadcasters. His films have been screened in numerous Canadian and international film festivals. Ed’s recent documentaries include Partners For Peace, How Can a Boy, This is My Witness, One of the Last and The Secret Lives of Butterflies.
In addition to his passion for documentary storytelling, Ed is an avid photographer and his photos have been published in numerous publications. He is an active member of the Documentary Organization of Canada and the Saw Video Media Arts Centre.
Ed authors a series of posts about indie filmmakers called “Five Questions with…” on the festival’s website.
Blair Campbell is a graduate of the television broadcasting program at Algonquin College in Ottawa and he began his working life in that industry. Following a successful career in high tech business development, Blair is returning to his first love – film production. Executive Producer of A Clean Slate , winner of the Miglior Cortometraggio Internazionale – America (Best Short Film, International-America) at the Valle d’Itria Film Festival in Italy, 2014. He is interested in projects that move, inform and entertain. He is an active member of the SAW Media Art Centre.
Jaime was born and raised on Cape Breton Island in the small fishing and mining village of Mabou. With deep Scottish roots on the Island, she grew up immersed in Scottish music, language and culture. At 18 she ventured off across Canada with Katimavik eventually settled in Ottawa. Here, she studied Media and Communications at Algonquin College and went on to obtain a Political Science and Human Rights degree at Carleton University.
Jaime has always identified music, film and art as deep passions of hers and finally took a leap and took Video Production workshops at SAW video. After completing Video School House through SAW she worked to network within Ottawa’s film community, and hopes to continue to do so. Getting involved with Ottawa Indie Fest in 2017, she has watched it transform into OcanFilmFest and hopes taking on a deeper role will this local film festival will continue to drive her passion for film and the arts in the Ottawa area.
Check out Jaime’s blog Frame by Frame.
Sifiso holds an international diploma in film direction from Center for Research in Arts of Film and Television from India. He’s a skilled photographer, director and producer with seven years’ experience. He founded the Mpumalanga International Film Festival (MIFF) in South Africa in 2013 with an aim of providing a platform for the industry to grow and local artists to express themselves. Prior to MIFF, he worked as a film and video manager at the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation in the Film Office focusing on funding for film, scriptwriting and directing. His film credits include working as location manager for a feature film, Liphutsa Lami, which was screened on Dstv’s Mzansi Magic. In 2015, Sifiso relocated to Canada and joined SAW Video in 2016 as a board member.
In addition, he is currently running his own videography business called The Akuna which he founded in 2017 and he has worked on a number of music videos with local artists in Ottawa and Gatineau.
Partnerships and Collaborations
One World Film Festival
We have developed a strong relationship and collaboration with One World Arts’ One World Film Festival such as programming a series of Canadian documentaries in 2015 at the National Art Gallery of Canada and co-presenting a number of Canadian documentaries in 2017 at Saint Paul University.
Ottawa Champions Baseball Club
In partnership with the Ottawa Champions Baseball Club, we have programmed a series of films by local and pan-Canadian filmmakers at a special yearly summer event at the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Baseball Park with the aim of presenting films to sports fans and potential new film going audiences.
Ottawa Independent Video Awards
We have supported and participated in the SAW Video Media Art Centre’s inaugural Ottawa Independent Video Awards by sponsoring “The Best Director Under 25 Award”. By sponsoring this award, we encouraged young filmmakers in the craft of creating and telling stories that entertain and captivate audiences locally, nationally and internationally.
Canadian Indie Film Nights and Events
Our organization has supported and promoted The Lost Dominion Screening Collective‘s screening of the Canadian films such as The Luck of Ginger Coffrey, Skip Tracer and On the Trail of the Far Fur Country at the ByTowne Cinema.
It addition we continue to promote and support numerous events and screenings of independent Canadian films on an on-going basis such as SAW Video’s Jumpstart Screenings and the Canadian Film Institute‘s talks with filmmakers and the screening of their films.
Ottawa Indie Fest 2017
On June 3, 2017, under its former Ottawa Indie Fest banner , the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival had its inaugural all day screening of Canadian independent films at the beautiful La Nouvelle Scène Theatre in the heart of Ottawa’s art district.
Click here for a recap of the event.
Treepot Film Festival
Jith, Ed and Blair were part of the Treepot Film Festival, a series of 10 curated screenings of short films, documentaries, music videos and feature films screened at independent cinemas and parks in the Ottawa area between 2011 and 2014. Click on the graphic below for more information on the screenings, the featured films, filmmakers and selected press coverage.