The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI), celebrating the best of animation arts from around the world, is back for its second year this July 26th through 28th at TIFF Bell Lightbox and Corus Quay. With the addition of expanded industry and family programming new this year, TAAFI is quickly becoming Canada’s premiere animation festival. The industry-focused festival programme will continue to broaden and enlighten audiences from all strata of the animation industry with insights from industry leaders and speakers, exclusive events, a range of skills and business development opportunities for the amateur and professional artist alike, and a platform for the burgeoning animation industry within Toronto.
Families will find a host of exciting and engaging animation programming designed to introduce kids to the world of animation with screenings, chats and hands on workshops with professional animation artists. Overall, the packed three-day extravaganza has something for everyone leveraged by a diverse line-up of some of the best Canadian and international feature and short films that simply cannot be seen anywhere else. Festival programming announced to-date includes:
- Opening Night Film: Day of the Crows, a classically animated film based on a novel by Canadian writer Jean-François Beauchemin
- Family Fun: a cereal breakfast paired with morning cartoons on Saturday at TIFF Bell Lightbox followed by live script reads, a puppet show featuring master-puppeteer Jamie Shannon (Nanalan’, Big & Small, Mr. Meaty) and workshops just for kids
- Freshwater TAAFI: the festival heads outdoors with live music, caricatures and food trucks at Sugar Beach followed by the world premiere of Fish N’ Chips, the locally produced 3D-animated action comedy featuring the voice of John Leguizamo. Best of all, the outdoor fun and beachside screening is entirely FREE!
- Persistence of Vision: a tale of creative genius gone horribly awry, Persistence of Vision is the untold story of the greatest animated film never made. Visionary animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) toiled for more than a quarter century on his masterpiece – only to have it torn from his hands. Filmmaker Kevin Schreck has woven together mind-blowing animation, rare archival footage, and exclusive interviews with key animators and artists who worked with Williams on his ill-fated magnum opus to bring this legendary story to the screen.
- A screening of the brand-new animated series Axe Cop (voiced by Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman) based on the web comic written by eight-year old Malachai Nicolle, illustrated by his 32-year-old brother Ethan Nicolle. Premiering on FOX as part of their late night animation block on July 27, TAAFI will replay the first episode on July 28 followed by a Q&A with both brothers via Skype
- In Memorium: a tribute to visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen featuring a retrospective of his work
- TAAFI’s sell out Master Classes return, welcoming a number of successful animation arts professionals and organizations from the industry to provide specialized workshops. Confirmed professionals include world-renowned trainer Sam Youssef who has worked in both feature films and video games for Walt Disney Animation, Filmax, and Ubisoft as well as Scott Caple, concept designer for the smash-hit The Incredibles with additional credits to his name including Mulan, Tarzan, and Inspector Gadget
- A Retrospective of the NFB’s Hothouse: a sampling of some of the wide range of films the NFB Hothouse, an apprenticeship program for emerging Canadian filmmakers, has produced since its first edition in 2004. NFB’s Michael Fukushima will sit with the directors, and discuss the Hothouse process, and the effects it had on their development as filmmakers.
- Parties! Parties! Parties! The return of Nelvana Bouncing Ball and more networking opportunities than you can shake a pencil at!
Ticket on-sale dates TBA, please visit the TAAFI website for more information.
Festival Pass: $149 regular or $99 early bird
Includes Admission to all gala and regular screenings and The Nelvana Bouncing Ball TAAFI Party
Industry Day Pass: $249 regular
Mega Pass: $349 regular or $249 early bird
- Includes all Industry Day and Festival Pass events
- Kids screening prices are $5 for children ages 3-13; free for children under 3
Workshops: Range from $15-90
- Includes Pitch Labs and Story Labs
Freshwater TAAFI: Free
The Nelvana Bouncing Ball TAAFI Party: more information forthcoming
Gala Screenings: $20