Announcing the jury for the TAAFI Film Festival Awards! These four experts have been training for this moment by watching several hours of the best animation in our festival! This year’s jury will be awarding prizes for Best Kids Film, Best Canadian Film, Best International Film, Best Student Film and the Grand Prix of the Festival. This is our jury, they are good people.
Leisl Adams is a Director, Storyboard Artist and Illustrator in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
She has been worked in film and TV for over 20 years, storyboarding for clients like Warner Bros, Disney Jr., Mattel, Teletoon and CBC. She directed the second season of American Girl’s WellieWishers (Mattel), and the short film The Elephant In the Waiting Room (The Empathy Project). Her debut graphic novel, Batter Royale was published in June 2022 by Abrams Books, and she currently works as a Storyboard Supervisor at Mercury Filmworks.
Batter Royale - Now available from Abrams Books!
Celeste is a mixed-race writer/creator focused on creating fun, powerful content, full of heart and humour for young audience.
She has written for numerous broadcasters and production companies as well as have a number of her own shows in different stages of development and production.
Animation and mixed-media have always been a big part of her projects big and small; from stop-motion, to composited in puppets and a whole universe outside the window of a cardboard box spaceship, to 2D documentary recreations that mix hand drawn animation and 1950s Kodachrome slides, Celeste’s imaginary worlds are constantly pushing the boundaries of reality.
Celeste is active with BIPOC TV and FILM where as well as learning from their amazing outreach programs, she is also mentoring new writers. When not writing, Celeste can be found off-road unicycling through ravines or reading with her pet rabbit, Twig.
Christopher Walsh is co-owner of Mad Lab Productions. He is the co-creator and producer of the original animated series Moogaloops, for Sesame Studios. Chris has worked extensively in the stop-motion television industry, and his own short animated films at animation festivals, internationally. His textbook Stop Motion Filmmaking is published by Bloomsbury Publishing. He is long-time faculty in the Honours BA Animation Program at Sheridan College. He has an MFA in Film Studies from York University.
Aaron Long is an animator and filmmaker from Toronto. He currently lives in Los Angeles, and has directed for Bojack Horseman, Tuca & Bertie, Triptank and more. He also creates independent cartoons Sublo & Tangy Mustard and Fester Fish which appear online and in festivals around the world.
Kaj Pindal Award
TAAFI is proud to announce that the Animated Person Of The Year award will henceforth be known at the Kaj Pindal award. Kaj Pindal (1927-2019) was an instrumental force in Canadian animation through his work with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and it is our pleasure to rename the award in his honour.
Past recipients include Kaj Pindal, Ray Harryhausen, Marv Newland and Dean DeBlois (Dir. How to Train Your Dragon).