The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International, taking place June 13-16, kicks off with the Canadian premiere of the feature film Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart.
The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI), celebrating the best of animation arts from around the world, is back for its third year from June 13-16 at Corus Quay and George Brown Waterfront Campus with Festival passes and tickets on sale.
This year’s Festival programming has something for everyone anchored by a diverse line-up of some of the best Canadian and international feature and short films that simply cannot be seen anywhere else including director Michel Gondry’s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) animated ode to Noam Chomsky, Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? The industry-focused programming will continue to broaden and enlighten audiences with insights from the biggest names in animation from across the globe. In addition, families will find a host of exciting and engaging animation programming designed to introduce kids to the world of animation with screenings, caricature drawing, and hands on workshops perfect for Father’s Day weekend.
Highlights of the Festival programming announced to-date include:
- Opening Night Ceremonies and Feature Screening – TAAFI kicks-off with the Canadian premiere of the feature film Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. Set in late 19th century Edinburgh, Little Jack is born on a day so cold that his heart remains frozen and the defective organ must be replaced with a cuckoo clock. Jack will survive as long as he doesn’t touch the hands of the clock, lose his temper or, above all, fall in love. Preceding the film is a salute to one of the first animated films, Gertie the Dinosaur, 100 Years later and a first look at the final product of the College Animation Challenge. Animating to the theme “It Happened In a Pub...”, nine Ontario animation schools each created a 15-second reel, compiled into one short film
- FREE “Animation Arts Maarket” – new this year at the George Brown College Waterfront campus, the “Animation Arts Maarket” features one of a kind original art, books and toys by local and international animation artists
- TAAFI Toonville – Children and adults can learn about animation this Father’s Day weekend with screenings of the latest cartoons— including five of the amazing new Mickey Mouse shorts— followed by hands on workshops with the animators, voice actors and artists behind them. Plus, family portrait caricatures, cartoon face painting and drawing, drawing, drawing, including a Mickey Mouse tutorial from some of the actual animators from Mercury Filmworks who brought Mickey back to life (all materials provided)!
- Guests: this year’s all-star line-up of industry guests includes:
- David Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh – the Creators of Emmy-nominated show Phineas and Ferb, the longest running Disney Channel original series
- Rex Grignon – the Head of Character Animation at DreamWorks has worked on films including Antz, Shrek, and Madagascar
- Natasha Allegri – the writer, storyboard artist, and comic book artist best-known Adventure Time, Fionna and Cake, and Bee and PuppyCat — the most-backed animation series to date on Kickstarter
- Erick Oh – the Pixar animator has worked on films including Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University
- Stephen Silver – the Character Designer for Disney Television Animation, Sony Feature Animation, and Nickelodeon Animation, has designed characters for shows like Kim Possible, Danny Phantom, and Kevin Smith’s Clerks,
- Kris Pearn – the Co-Director of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, who also worked on Open Season, Surfs Up
- Terry McGurrin – the Story Editor for Total Drama Island and the voice actor and story editor of Scaredy Squirrel
- Camille Eden – Senior Artistic Recruiter for Disney Feature Animation
- Brooke Keesling – the Manager of Animation Talent Development for Cartoon Network Studios who has worked on show including Adventure Time, Regular Show, Clarence, Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe and Ben 10
- Workshops – TAAFI's workshops return! Industry members won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn from this year’s Festival guests.
- Feature Film Screenings –This year’s diverse line-up of feature films include Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? from director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), who applies his playful imagination to animating a series of conversations with the esteemed linguist, philosopher, political commentator and activist Noam Chomsky and Academy Award-nominee Bill Plympton’s Cheatin’, where a newlywed wife proves the depth of her love by becoming her cheating husband’s mistresses.
- Animated Shorts – every year TAAFI selects the best-animated shorts from across the globe to screen at the Festival. This year’s selection includes everything from the hilariously strange and incredibly dark, to family-friendly shorts just for kids.
- Pitch-A-Palooza – the coveted industry event is back, welcoming 80 lucky writers and artists to pitch their next big idea to over 20 industry leading production and broadcast executives.
- Parties! Parties! Parties! – the return of the Nelvana Bouncing Ball— the biggest animation party of the year— and more networking opportunities than you can shake a pencil at!
Source: Toronto Animation Arts Festival International
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.