Welcome to Toronto’s Animation Industry Conference! ONLINE AGAIN! (Eastern Time)
TAAFI INDUSTRY 2021 is 3-days of cutting-edge, awe-inspiring animation industry talks by the coolest folks we could trick into talking. We've got cartoon creators, divine directors, passionate producers and awesome artists of all sorts!
Catch it all live, Toronto time (ET) or come back and watch what you missed for three months after. We're utilizing both our online portal for watching and our Discord Hub for interacting with fellow attendees.
Plan on joining us each day for a selection of epic curated treats, and stick around after to rub elbows with fellow attendees and a slew of super nice speakers.
stream of content
virtual networking events
We’ve got a smattering of creators and showrunners, a handful of directors, a dash of designers, a smattering of writers, and a dusting of effects artists. Our speakers represent a diversity of stories, directions and designs that have shaped the industry and are animating to inspire our future.
James Baxter, Director of Character Animation, Netflix
James was born in 1967, in Bristol, and raised in Bishop’s Stortford, England. He started experimenting on little animation tests with a 8mm camera at age 16. James attended Cambridge College of Arts & Technology for one year and West Surrey College of Arts & Design for one year before leaving to work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit in London. James moved to California to work for the Walt Disney Company, where he worked as the supervising animator on classic characters like Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Rafiki in The Lion King. He then moved to DreamWorks SKG where he worked on Prince of Egypt, Spirit, Stallion of the Cimmeron and Shrek 2. From 2005 to 2008, James had his own studio, James Baxter Animation which produced several projects, including the hand drawn animation for the Disney feature film Enchanted, and the opening sequence of DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda. He returned to DreamWorks Animation to work on How to Train Your Dragon 1 and 2, and The Croods. James is now the director of character animation at Netflix.
Lindsey Olivares, Production Designer / Lead Character Designer, Sony Pictures Animation
Lindsey Olivares is the production designer and lead character designer on Sony Pictures Animation's original animated comedy The Mitchells vs. The Machines, streaming now on Netflix.
Before joining Sony Pictures Animation, Olivares worked as a freelance visual development artist and illustrator with a focus on character design and caricature. Her freelance clients have included Disney Television Animation, DreamWorks Animation, Locksmith Animation, Nickelodeon, Google, Furry Puppet Studio, Titmouse, Hornet Inc, Psyop, Airbnb, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Her film credits include DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Penguins of Madagascar, and Trolls, as well as Sony Pictures Animation’s The Emoji Movie.
Megan Nicole Dong, Creator, Netflix
Megan Nicole Dong is the creator of Centaurworld (and voice of Glendale). She's worked in feature film, adult, and kids/family series, and makes silly comics for social media.
Jorge R. Gutiérrez, Writer, Director, Creator, Netflix Animation Studios
Jorge R. Gutiérrez is a Mexican animator, painter, voice actor, writer, and director. Born in Mexico City and raised in Tijuana, Gutiérrez has completed various films, cartoons, illustrations, and paintings exploring his love with Mexican pop and folk culture. He was the director & co-writer of the Guillermo Del Toro produced animated feature The Book of Life for Fox, which earned him a 2014 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. He was also the writer & director of the Emmy nominated Son of Jaguar VR short for Google. Along with his wife and muse, Sandra Equihua, they created the multiple Emmy Award–winning animated television series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon. Gutiérrez most recently wrote and directed his animated event limited series Maya and the Three for Netflix.
And dozens more speakers!
Jorge R. Gutiérrez
Joel & Spencer
Megan Nicole Dong
Rachel Reade Marcus
Shishir 'S' Pande
Animation Workflow Demo with Guru Studio Animation Director Andrew Strimaitis
Are you looking to hone your craft as an animator? Wondering what separates anim-"meh"-tion from anim-azing performances? Join Guru Studio Animation Director, Andew Strimaitis for a special demonstration of his original animation workflow which many animators have found immensely helpful for developing a solid performance base. Come learn, ask questions, and see what it takes to become a successful animator at Guru Studio!
Nelvana’s TOON’d Up Trivia in partnership with Toon Boom Animation
Ready to put your animation knowledge to the test? Want to WIN a 1-year subscription to Harmony and/or Storyboard Pro?! Join Nelvana’s Emmy-Award Winning Head of Nelvana Operations and Technology, Ross Maudsley, this Saturday at 12:45pm EST for a FUN and not-to-be-missed Trivia event featuring AMAZING PRIZES courtesy of Toon Boom Animation, in celebration of Nelvana’s 50th Anniversary! Download the Kahoot! App in advance for optimal experience!
Jam Filled Jamterrogation AMA
Want to learn more about Jam Filled Studios? Who are these magical makers of motion mastery? Join some top senior talent on Saturday, November 13 @ 12:45pm EST for a TAAFI exclusive Jam Filled Jam-terrogation Q&A! Find out what we’re working on, what kind of jobs are available and what it’s like to work for one of Canada’s top animation studios! Ask us anything!!
Brown Bag Films Q&A
Come learn more about @BrownBagFilms. We have some exciting opportunities on some fabulous new shows. We will have leads from our Animation, Design and Rigging team to discuss our projects. Join us on Saturday, November 13 @ 12:45pm EST for a TAAFI exclusive Brown Bag Films Q&A! Learn about our shows, our positions and how we are growing over the next year! Find out what we’re working on, what kind of jobs are available and what it’s like to work for at a Global Animation Studios! We look forward to answering all your questions!!
Student Pass - Online Access
Limited quantities available
Early Bird Special
Full 3 day conference pass
23 x Sessions
40 x Speakers
Big ideas deserve big opportunities, come show us yours! (Sponsored by WildBrain)
TAAFI is looking for two great pitches to go head to head in front of a diverse panel of animation industry experts and yours could be one of them! Pitch competitions usually only offer critiques by industry execs. The Big Pitch will have a panel of judges representing departments throughout the animation pipeline. You’ll learn not only what makes a pitch sell but how to make it work from every angle. Submit your animated TV or web series concept by November 8th, 2021 for a chance to be chosen as one of our two finalists who will pitch to a live audience from the TAAFI main stage.
TAAFI Meet & Greet
The TAAFI Industry Meet & Greet is a special chance to have a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with various industry experts from around the world from such studios as Guru, Headspinner, Epic Story Media, CBC, Industrial Brothers and more! Click below to get the skinny.
Be a STAAFI
Care to volunteer at this year’s conference? Well things are kinda weird, but we'll need a few savvy Discord users to help out during the Meet & Greet, and at other times. Think you got what it takes? Fill out the form below. Thanks beautiful staafi!