Pitch THIS!

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Presented in partnership with Mercury Filmworks, the OIAF’s annual Pitch THIS! pitching contest is an opportunity for Canadian creators to get noticed and kickstart their animated series concept!

This year ten Pitch THIS! semi-finalists have been selected and paired with established industry mentors. Over the course of the summer, semi-finalists will meet with mentors to refine their 10-minute long pitches before presenting them live at The Animation Conference (TAC) in September. 

The Pitch THIS! 2023 semi-finals will be held in front of the TAC audience on September 20th. Two projects will then be selected by the semi-finalist judges to go head-to-head against one another on the TAC mainstage the following day! These pitches will be presented before a live audience of TAC attendees, studio executives, and potential project financiers.


Pitch THIS! 2023 Schedule:

Wednesday, September 20

9:00 am – 11:40 am Pitch THIS! Semi-Finals, MacDonald Room

Pitch THIS! is TAC’s signature pitching contest. Ten semi-finalists present their projects to a jury of industry professionals, who will determine the two projects selected to compete in the next day’s finale.

TAC AnimaPass or TAC Only Pass is required for entry.

Thursday, September 21

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Pitch THIS! Finale, Drawing Room

Pitch THIS! is TAC’s signature pitching contest. The two finalists will present their projects to the TAC audience and a jury of industry professionals, who will determine the winning pitch.

The winner will be awarded a grand prize including:

  • $5,000 cash prize from Mercury Filmworks
  • Toon Boom Harmony Premium Annual license and online training
  • Two TAC AnimaPasses to OIAF 2024

TAC AnimaPass or TAC Only Pass is required for entry.




Allison Lownie and Onyka Gairey, Best Witches

Beccs Champagne, Ghost Stories

Daniela Smith-Fischer, Claudia Heights

Elton Su, Crimson Mandate

Emma Fiorante, Earth to Schneider

Hugo van Essen, Ferdinand The Self-Aware NPC

Justin Smith-Fischer, Marley and the Underdogs

Paula Peroff, The Breakfast Guild

Sadaf Amini, Maple Treehouse School

Shannon Fewster, Monster Problems



Casey Gonzalez, VP of Development, FredFilms

Emerald Wright-Collie, Director of Development, Sony Pictures Television Kids

Kris Pearn, Director, Sony Pictures Animation

Niki López, Creator/EP/Showrunner/Writer/Designer, Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Rikke Asbjoern, Writer/Director/Executive Producer


Semi-final Jury:

Grégory Magné-Grand, Original Content Director, Tonic DNA 

Marney Malabar, Children’s Media Consultant

Sam Chou, Director/Creative Director, Look Mom! Productions 

Semi-final Host:

Spencer Moreland, Animator/Filmmaker


Finale Jury:

Kirsten Hurd, Commissioning Editor, Kids TV, TVO Kids

Lauren Martinez, Vice President, Original Series and Movie Development, Cartoon Network

Lisa Cinelli, Executive in Charge of Production, CBC

Niki Williams, Sr Manager, Production and Development for Pre-K, Nickelodeon

Tommy Gillespie, Senior Director, Content Production, PBS Kids

Finale Host:

Heath Kenny, Chief Content Officer, Mercury Filmworks


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