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Toronto Animation Film Festival

Toronto Animation Industry Conference

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Where: Online

When: November 11-13, 2021

Previous Events:

Toronto Animation / VFX Job Fair

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.

3

days

60

speakers

1

stream of content

20

sessions

4

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.

speaker

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.

speaker

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.

speaker

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.

speaker

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!

speaker

Adrian Thatcher

Director, Series Creator and Showrunner, Nelvana

speaker

Ana Gusson

Director, ACE Program

speaker

Ashley Nichols

Animator, Freelance

speaker

Ben McEvoy

Producer, Friends & Enemies

speaker

Christian Potenza

Actor, Voice Actor, Infinity Forge

speaker

Cindey Chiang

Art Director, ACE Program

speaker

Chris McPherson

Voice Actor, Freelance

speaker

Cory Bobiak

Creative Director, Brown Bag Films

speaker

Carlie Lytwyn

Senior Lead Lighting Artist, Tangent Animation

speaker

Dan Fill

President & Co-Founder, Dark Slope Studios

speaker

Darin Bristow

Executive Creative Director, Pipeline Studios

speaker

Dave Cunningham

Supervising Director, Nickelodeon

speaker

Dorielle Retemyer

Animator, CBC

speaker

Dave Padbury

Development Executive, Guru Studio

speaker

Dave Capdevielle

Co-Creator, Far-Fetched

speaker

Eva Pekárová

Composer, ACE Program

speaker

Edgar Martins

Storyboard Artist, The SPA Studios

speaker

Erica Miles

Animation Director, ACE Program

speaker

Gustavo Cosío

Storyboard Artist, Netflix Animation Studios

speaker

Grayden Laing

Artist, Animator & Filmmaker, Establish Media

speaker

Gregory Little

SVP, Content, Mainframe Studios

speaker

Hannah Daigle

Creator of Satina, ScumHouse Studios

speaker

Jennifer Griffiths

Executive Director, Big Jump Entertainment

speaker

Jubilanté Cutting

Founder, Guyana Animation Network Inc.

speaker

Jennilee Murray

Production Manager& Producer, Jam Filled Entertainment

speaker

Joe Raasch

VFX Coordinator, Seneca College

speaker

Jorge R. Gutiérrez

Writer, Director, Creator, Netflix Animation Studios

speaker

James Baxter

Director of Character Animation, Netflix

speaker

Joel & Spencer

Creators - Animators - Drinkers, Freelance Weenies

speaker

Kris Pearn

Director & Writer, Sony

speaker

Katie Shanahan

Episode Director, Netflix

speaker

Lindsey Olivares

Production Designer / Lead Character Designer, Sony Pictures Animation

speaker

Lorna Withrington

Vice President, Development–Animation, WildBrain

speaker

Lisa Whittick

Series Director, Yowza! Animation

speaker

Mike Hunter

Manager of Creative Culture, Jam Filled Studios

speaker

Mike Valiquette

Owner & Creative Director, Go Lucky

speaker

Martin Massiah

Business Development Consultant, Massiah Capital

speaker

Mark Jones

Chair of Creative Arts and Animation, Seneca College

speaker

Mike Barth

Animation Director, Jam Filled Entertainment

speaker

Megan Nicole Dong

Creator, Netflix

speaker

Minh Pham

Animator, Guru Studio

speaker

Nneka Myers

Design Artist, Nelvana

speaker

Phil Johnston

Writer & Director, Walt Disney Animation Studios

speaker

Robyn Campbell

Writer, ACE Program

speaker

Rose-Ann Tisserand

Founder and Co-Executive Producer, ACE Program

speaker

Richard Chen

Art Director, Tangent Animation

speaker

Rob Silvestri

Animation Director, Tangent Animation

speaker

Robert Reid

Animation Specialist, Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica

speaker

Rachel Reade Marcus

VP of Creative Development, Guru Studio

speaker

Rose Stacey

Creative Development Executive, Atomic Cartoons

speaker

Stephanie Betts

Chief Content Officer, WildBrain

speaker

Sunday Muse

Voice Actor, Freelance

speaker

Sergio Martins

Animation Supervisor, The SPA Studios

speaker

Shishir 'S' Pande

CEO, EXAR Studios

speaker

Stephanie Yelovich

Opera Singer, Infinity Forge

speaker

Seán Cullen

Voice Actor, Freelance

speaker

Tracey Mack

Co-Executive Producer, ACE Program

speaker

Tara Billinger

Art Director, Clone High

speaker

Tini Wider

Producer, ACE Program

speaker

Vanessa Esteves

Supervising Creative Producer, Series Creator and Showrunner, Nelvana

speaker

Zach Bellissimo

Co-Creator, Long Gone Gulch

Thu, Nov 11th

Fri, Nov 12th

Sat, Nov 13th

5:30PM - 6:30PM

TAAFI Spatial Chat
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Opening Night Reception

It's the opening night of TAAFI's Industry Conference and what better way to kick things off than with a virtual reception! Dust off your tux, pantsuit or ballgown and strut your stuff on the red carpet for a selfie screen grab.

Mix and mingle with fellow attendees, have a drink from your fridge, and watch TAAFI Programming Ace Thalia Lemon draw some emoji's live for our Discord Server. It will be a weird kind of awesome. See you there for a special hour of power before things kick off with Lindsey Olivares. Click this LINK to join the Reception in Spatial Chat. You'll need to upload a photo of yourself, and use your camera and mic. https://spatial.chat/s/TAAFI

At 6pm we'll have a cheers to kick things off right with everyone in the space. So have your bubbly (a real one) handy. 🍻🥂

Also if you just want to watch, check out our news page at 5:30pm to just livestream it. https://taafi.com/news

With Barnabas Wornoff Creative Producer, Smiley Guy Studios - Chair & co-founder, TAAFI Thalia Lemon Storyboard Supervisor, Freelance

Moderator: Ben McEvoy Producer, Friends & Enemies

6:45PM - 7:45PM

Online
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Opening Keynote with Lindsey Olivares

Join our opening keynote talk by Lindsey Olivares, the production designer and lead character designer on Sony Pictures Animation's original animated comedy The Mitchells vs. The Machines, streaming now on Netflix. Lindsey will share some behind the scenes concept sketches and drawings that helped shape the visual look of one of the best films from the past few years. What's it like to both be the lead character designer and production designer? What is a production designer? Tune in to find out.

With Lindsey Olivares Production Designer / Lead Character Designer, Sony Pictures Animation

Moderator: Ben McEvoy Producer, Friends & Enemies

8:00PM - 9:00PM

Online
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WIA Vancouver Presents: Widening our Lens; Advancing Women in Key Creative Roles

Animation Career EXCELerator's (ACE) mission is to de-mystify the process of creating original animated content and provide an opportunity for women and those who identify as women to hold the key creative and decision-making roles needed to make that content. ACE does this by providing targeted and focused mentoring, support, and training to mid- level career professionals as they develop and create their own intellectual property, and earn a key credit to help advance their careers. 

Join the executive producers and Team ACE 2 as they discuss the program’s impact to their career, ACE 3’s plans to expand across Canada with Netflix Canada, and the many ways artists and studios in Toronto can participate.

With Ana Gusson Director, ACE Program Cindey Chiang Art Director, ACE Program Eva Pekárová Composer, ACE Program Erica Miles Animation Director, ACE Program Robyn Campbell Writer, ACE Program Rose-Ann Tisserand Founder and Co-Executive Producer, ACE Program Tracey Mack Co-Executive Producer, ACE Program Tini Wider Producer, ACE Program

Moderator: Tracey Mack Co-Executive Producer, ACE Program

9:00PM - 11:00PM

TAAFI Discord
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Opening Night Networking: Games Night!

It's opening night of TAAFI Industry, and what better way to rub elbows with fellow attendees than by beating the pants off them in one of five (5) different games rooms in TAAFI's own boppin' Discord Server. Join Gamesmaster Quinn and your fellow TAAFI attendees for an evening of gaming fun. Classic games from Pictionary to animation based Trivia. We'll be running Jackbox, get ready for something Drawful, a broken-telephone of animation called Gartic Phone, or join the taboo room for a round of Cards Against Humanity. 😡

There's no wrong choice, except not coming. That's clearly the wrong choice.

See ya after the amazing WIA Panel in the 🎲TAAFI Discord.

With Joel & Spencer Creators - Animators - Drinkers, Freelance Weenies Thalia Lemon Storyboard Supervisor, Freelance

Moderator: Ben McEvoy Producer, Friends & Enemies

Studio Sessions

session

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!

Click here to join!

session

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!

Click here to join!

session

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!!

Click here to join!

session

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!!

Click here to join!

General Pass - Online Access

Limited quantities available

Early Bird Special

$48

Regular

$60

Full 3 day conference pass

23 x Sessions

40 x Speakers

Networking Spaces

Student Pass - Online Access

Limited quantities available

Early Bird Special

$24

Regular

$30

Full 3 day conference pass

23 x Sessions

40 x Speakers

Networking Spaces

hotel

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.

hotel

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.

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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!

Sponsors

TAAFI is a non-profit volunteer organization, supported by many of the leading animation studios and industry organizations throughout the year as well as at each of the events. Without them we couldn't bring our programs to you, our audience.

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