Toronto Animation Film Festival

Toronto Animation Industry Conference

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Where: Online

When: November 11-13, 2021

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Toronto Animation / VFX Job Fair

Writing Zootopia & Wreck It Ralph with Phil Johnston

Fri, Nov 12th

5:30PM - 6:30PM


Join writer, director, producer Phil Johnston as we delve into his writing process. How he got into writing cartoons, what are the nuts and bolts of his writing process, and what makes the movies he writes so damn good?!


Barnabas Wornoff, Creative Producer, Smiley Guy Studios - Chair & co-founder, TAAFI

As well as being TAAFI's Chair and one of its co-founders, Wornoff helps with speaker programming, TAAFI sing-a-longs, behind the scenes tomfoolery and enjoys Hawiian pizza.

Wornoff is a full-time professor at Seneca College, where he coordinates the 3rd year 2D stream and mentors his students while they make incredible cartoons. Seneca2D.com

Wornoff also animates and consults for studios in Toronto, and has worked on toons such as Corner Gas Animated, Numb Chucks, Nature Cat, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Total Drama Island, Jimmy Two Shoes, Peg and Corn, Esme and Roy and did storyboard cleanup on Danny Phantom. Currently he's a Creative Producer and Animation Supervisor at Smiley Guy Studios where he's managing animation revs on a new show for Netflix.

Barnabas has his Masters in Creative Media and Education from Bournemouth University in England and is a new dad.


Phil Johnston, Writer & Director, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Phil Johnston is a filmmaker best known for his work on three of the biggest animated films of the 21st century — as a writer of the Academy Award-winning Zootopia and the Academy Award-nominated Wreck-It Ralph and writer & director of Ralph Breaks the Internet, for which he was also nominated for an Oscar. Johnston got his start in independent film, garnering an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his Cedar Rapids script. His collaboration with Sacha Baron Cohen, Grimsby, received no awards or nominations, but it did have one of the most repulsive scenes in the history of comedy. So, at least there’s that. Johnston is currently writing and directing a yet to be announced limited series at Netflix.

Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Johnston worked as a broadcast journalist, earning three Emmy Awards for his work. He holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.F.A. in film directing from Columbia University. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jill Cordes, their two kids, Fia and Emmett and a dog named Izzy.


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