Toronto Animation Film Festival

Toronto Animation Industry Conference

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Where: Toronto Reference Library & Online

When: November 2-4, 2023

Previous Events:

Toronto Animation / VFX Job Fair

Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire - Behind the Scenes

Thu, Nov 2nd

3:30PM - 4:30PM



Animation fans around the world got a chance to glimpse into the marvelous future of Africa with the incredible Disney+ animated anthology series Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire. We’ll take a closer look at one of these stories, and the collaboration between Cape Town studio Triggerfish and Portfolio Entertainment that brought it to life. Join Leanne Preston (Senior Producer) Tendayi Nyeke (Executive Producer & Development Executive), and Ryan Irwin (Animation Director) for a behind-the-scenes look at  “You Give Me Heart”, a story of an unknown artist who wins a cosmic talent show and becomes the new God of Creativity!


Leanne Preston Cortez, Development Executive, Moonbug Entertainment

With over 17 years’ experience in the kids and family entertainment business across Development, Production and Executive Leadership positions, Leanne Preston Cortez is currently Development Executive at Moonbug Entertainment based in Los Angeles and is responsible for developing content across Moonbug’s portfolio brands such as CoComelon, Blippi and Little Angel. Leanne was formerly Senior Producer at Triggerfish on African Anthology, Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire for Disney+. Prior to Triggerfish, Leanne was CEO and Producer at Unanico Group. Throughout her career, Preston Cortez has worked for companies across the globe to develop and produce original content including: Nickelodeon, Gaumont, Axis, Toonmax Media, CCTV, Left Pocket Studio, Citizen Skull, Digitoonz and Red Kite Animation on successful series such as Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, Lego City Adventures, George of the Jungle, House of Anubis, Ella Bella Bingo and Emmy and GooRoo.


Ryan Irwin, Animation Director, Portfolio Entertainment

Animation director with over a decade of experience, building and heading up multiplayer departments within the animation pipeline, on shows like: (Bravest Warriors season 4), (Hot Streets), (Hero Elementary), (World of Oliver Fits), and (Kizazi Moto, You Give Me Heart). Currently working in multiplayer independent projects.


Tendayi Nyeke, Executive Producer / Development Executive, Netflix

After over a decade-long career in live action where she wrote, directed, and produced multi-genre work that has been awarded and sold in global markets, Tendayi Nyeke transitioned into animation as a development executive for the Emmy Award Winning animation firm, Triggerfish Animation. Tendayi looked after the story development of a diverse slate of shorts, series, and feature films with global streamers and studios. She’s most proud of her role as Executive Producer on Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, an animated African Sci-Fi Anthology with Disney+ for release in 2023, where she supported 14 directors across the continent. Her feature film Tribe made the official MIFA 2022 selection which she pitched at the Annecy Animation Festival and was highlighted by Cartoon Brew as one of the top 5 films to watch. Tendayi is thrilled about her current role as a co-executive producer for Netflix Animation Feature Film.

Tendayi holds an MBA in Music and Creative Industries and is passionate about where art and business meet. Her dream is to do her part to amplify diverse voices worldwide and use creativity to celebrate the fun, madness, and beauty all of us possess.


Adriana (Vargas) Blake, Storyboard Artist, Copernicus Studios

Adriana (Vargas) Blake is a Venezuelan/American/Canadian (phew!) artist with over 10 years of experience in the animation industry as a storyboard artist and revisionist; with credits in shows such as Johnny Test, Arthur, and Magic School Bus: Rides Again among many others. She’s volunteered at TAAFI on and off throughout the years, recently becoming an official STAAFI and board member in 2021. She's a wife, mom, D&D nerd, and likes mermaids and tea.


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