July6-8 was the first TAAFI festival. TAAFI stands for Toronto Animation and Arts Festival International. I suspect that the acronym was chosen before the full title was worked out, but that's okay. TAAFI is catchy.
Ben McAvoy and Barnabas Wornoff are the two guys who made it all happen. They spent the better part of a year pulling everything together and I have to say it was a successful festival, especially for a first-time event. The TIFF Bell Lightbox, located in downtown Toronto and easily accessible, was a good venue, keeping all the events under a single roof. The fest was a good mix of screenings, workshops and presentations and there was more happening than any individual could take in.
Some of the events included a screening of Rock and Rule with a reunion of some of the crew, the North American premiere of Ronal the Barbarian, a northern European 3D cgi feature that parodied sword and sorcery movies, workshops by Charlie Bonifacio on posing, Peter Emslie on caricature and John Kricfalusi on story development. There were panel discussions on games, the state of the Ontario industry, independent animators and a retrospective of Kaj Pindal's career.
There were four programs of shorts and a separate program of student films all programmed by Mike Weiss.
I know from talking to Ben that the festival was a financial success and that there are plans to do it again next year. While there are organizations like The Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) and the Computer Animation Studios of Ontario (CASO), Toronto has been a fragmented animation commmunity. Here's hoping that TAAFI continues to be successful and serves as a hub and rallying point for the Toronto animation community.
I didn't have my camera with me over the weekend, so the following pictures are lifted from other sites or individuals. Below are shots from Grayden Laing's blog.
The photo below is by Sanaz Asli.