OIAF 2021 Talks

Ever wonder what goes into developing a show at Disney TVA? Join some of Disney Television Animations’ development executives as they discuss their journey to development and discuss what it takes to break in and make your own show. From pitch bible to pilot; hear about all the pieces of the process.

Emily Carson, Manager, Development
Kitty Walsh, Director of Development

This panel will reflect on creating genuine settings, stories, and characters in projects that explore various underrepresented cultures and communities.

Aubry Mintz, Director of Animation and VFX, Chapman University
Sidney Clifton, Senior Vice President of Animation and Mixed Media, Jim Henson Company
Raul Garcia, Director and Producer
Niki López, Creator and Executive Producer, Nick Jr's Santiago of the Seas

With the support of Netflix Canada, WIA Vancouver’s ACE (Animation Career EXCELerator) Program expands across Canada.

Designed to advance the careers of women in the animation industry, the ACE program provides mid-level career professionals with targeted and focused mentoring, support, and training, giving participants the unique opportunity to develop, create, and own original intellectual property.

Join ACE's Executive Producers, studio allies, and past participants as they share insights from the program's first iterations and offer guidance for those interested in applying to participate.

Brenda Gilbert, President, BRON Media Corp
Kim Dent Wilder, Executive Vice President, Mainframe Studios
Maisha Moore, Director of Development
Rose-Ann Tisserand, Founder and co-Executive Producer, WIA Vancouver's Animation Career EXCELerator Program
Tracey Mack, Co-Executive Producer, WIA Vancouver's Animation Career EXCELerator Program

The festival is soon wrapping, but there are a myriad of other resources and professional development programs out there to help you build a career and grow professionally in the animation industry. Mentorship initiatives can be particularly rewarding, providing invaluable networking opportunities in addition to career advice.

This panel will explore some of the industry-specific mentorship programs out there, provide tips on making the most of a mentorship opportunity, and offer insights into establishing a meaningful mentor-mentee relationship.

Azarin Sohrabkhani
Aydrea Walden, WIA Mentor Coach
Trent Correy, Director & Animator, Walt Disney Animation Studios
Kyle Marshall, Co-Executive Producer, Nickelodeon
Heather Kenyon, Executive Producer and Partner, Citizen Skull Productions

Join industry leaders and EDI executives as they discuss what studios can do to foster BIPOC and other underrepresented professionals in their journey to leadership.

Michelle Melanson, President, Headspinner Productions
Deanna Cadette, Executive Director, WarnerMedia Global Access Programs Canada
Jennifer Twiner-McCarron, CEO, Thunderbird Entertainment Group
Shirley Ley, Principal, BIPOC Executive Search Inc.
Morgana Duque, VP Production, WildBrain Studios

A look at the public funding resources to support studios in the efforts to have more inclusive and diverse environments, as well as support for individual creators and producers.

Adriana Chartrand, Lead, Indigenous Initiatives & Content Analyst, Telefilm
Diego Briceño, Program Lead, Equity & Inclusion, Canada Media Fund
Mark Haslam, Media Arts Officer, Ontario Arts Council
Maral Mohammadian, Producer, National Film Board of Canada
Paul Thinel, Program Officer, Explore and Create, Canada Council for the Arts

Join representatives from studios and advocacy groups as they share insights on rethinking and augmenting the hiring of underrepresented artists and staff.

Elizabeth Foster, Copy Chief & Special Reports Editor, Kidscreen
Kadon Douglas, Executive Director, BIPOC TV & Film
Tori Coulthart, Vice President of Production, Jam Filled Entertainment
Austin Wong, Director, Legal Counsel, Nelvana / Corus Entertainment

Delving into the unique challenges that women face in having their voices heard and amplified in the animation industry, this panel will explore ideas for finding opportunities and minimizing systemic challenges so that more women can find creative leadership roles including taking the directorial reins.

Emi Yonemura, Director
Lesley Headrick, Director
Mary Bredin, Creative Director, Green Tiger Club
Hong Qi, Director

The COVID pandemic has forever changed how, when and even where we work. From hybrid studios to workforces scattered across the country, studios and talent have adapted in ways that are both exciting and challenging for us all.

Join a diverse panel of voices as we explore the shifting work and culture models that are arising post-COVID, including massive cultural shifts that may forever change how we create amazing animation and VFX in Ontario — and around the world.

CASO & The Creative Future
Throughout 2021, CASO will be hosting a series of panels and sessions designed to help studios gain a broader understanding of the challenges and uncover opportunities facing the Ontario creative industries together.

Aisha Ghali, Independent Filmmaker
Raja Khanna, CEO and Co-Founder, Dark Slope
Mohammad Ghorbankarimi, Founder, President and VFX Supervisor, WeFX
Ricardo Curtis, Owner, House of Cool
Ben McEvoy, Partner and Executive Producer, Friends & Enemies

A panel discussion exploring the challenges of balancing work, life, and personal growth while working in the animation industry. Especially relevant to remote working, the panel will examine how to meet expectations, find your voice, and set your path, while juggling professional obligations and personal goals. Presented in partnership with The Animation Guild.

Jeanette Moreno King, Supervising Director on Little Devil and President of The Animation Guild
Paula Spence, Art Director and Recording Secretary for The Animation Guild
Bruce W. Smith, Creator of The Proud Family
Ben Juwono, Supervising Director on Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur
Kristin Donner, Co-Executive Producer on unannounced Nickelodeon show and Co-Chair of The Animation Guild Family and Membership Committee

Stories come from all over the world and everyone has a story to tell. Unfortunately, some voices are marginalized and their stories are rarely, if at all, represented in mainstream narratives.

This panel will dig deeper into why it's critical -- both to the industry and our larger societies -- to have diverse representation in animation from page to post. Advocates from across a variety of organizations will share their insights for advancing animation into a future that is more equitable, inclusive, and enriched.

Alison Mann, Co-founder and CEO, BRIC Foundation
Magdiela Hermida Duhamel, Founder and Co-Director, LatinX in Animation
Monique Henry-Hudson, Co-Founder, Diverse Toons
Roger Oda, The Animation Guild 839 People of Color Committee Co-Chair
Lexie Chu, Founder and President, Asians in Animation (AnimAsians)
Monica Lago-Kaytis, Co-Founder & President, Rise Up Animation

Your chance to have all your questions answered about the development of pre-school series at Nickelodeon!

Eliza Hart, Sr Director Preschool, Nickelodeon
Shawn Wu, Manager Preschool Development, Nickelodeon

Your chance to have all your questions answered about the development of features at Nickelodeon!

Nathan Schram​, Director of Development
Shawn Wong, Manager Animation Development, Nickelodeon

This dynamic panel discussion will bring together a group of early career artists and new professionals at Nickelodeon, to share their insights and experiences in starting a career in this industry and shed light on how to thrive and grow professionally in a studio environment.

Harold Anderson, Nickelodeon Community Efforts (NICE) Intern
Olivia Lauletta, Recording Engineer
Arelybel Iniguez, Production Assistant
Carl Edward Mongan, Story Artist

Join Hotel Transylvania: Transformania director (and former Ottawan!) Jennifer Kluska as she shares her journey from story artist to director for the Sony Pictures Animation franchise's final chapter.

Jennifer Kluska, Director / Producer
Ramin Zahed, Editor-in-Chief of Animation Magazine

Join one of Pixar’s newest directors, Aphton Corbin, as she shares how her “fake-it-till-you-make-it” approach led to the very personal story found in her film Twenty Something. From initial ideas through the final film, Corbin will dive into the SparkShorts process at Pixar, and provide a glimpse at how she was able to bring her story to life.

Aphton Corbin, Story Artist / SparkShorts Director

The Making of Pixar’s SparkShort Nona

Animation Exposé

Tickets Available:  Sunday, September 26, 2021 5:00 PM EDT


Long-time Pixar Story Artist, and first time director, Louis Gonzales will take audiences through his experiences making the newest SparkShort, Nona, his ode to family (and wrestling). A personal story influenced by the many strong women in his life, Gonzales will share how Nona was created, and demonstrate how ideas can be hard to pin down, especially when you’re up against the ropes of deadlines and deliverables.

Louis Gonzales, Story Artist / SparkShorts Director

Hear from the first-time director, producer, production designer, and head of story behind Sony Pictures Animation's smash-hit original feature, The Mitchells vs. The Machines!

Director Michael Rianda, Producer Kurt Albrecht, Production Designer Lindsey Olivares, and Head of Story Guillermo Martinez share some of the challenges and excitement of taking on new roles and making a No. 1 Netflix hit.

Kurt Albrecht, Producer
Mike Rianda, Director
Lindsey Olivares, Production Designer / Lead Character Designer
Guillermo Martinez, Head of Story

Convos with Creators: Gyimah Gariba (Big Blue)

Animation Exposé

Monday, September 27, 2021 12:00 PM EDT

Passholders Only


A chance to hear from the creators behind some of this season's fresh new animated series!
Join Ghanian-Canadian Creator Gyimah Gariba for an intimate conversation about creating Guru Studio's newest comedy adventure series, "Big Blue."
Gyimah is a multi-faceted designer whose clients range from musicians to sports broadcaster ESPN. He has designed covers for Marvel Comics, created promotional content for Adidas, collaborated with UGGs, and was named one of Animation Magazine's Rising Stars of 2020. "Big Blue" which is set to air on CBC Kids later this year follows sibling adventurers Lettie and Lemo and their quirky submarine crew as they unravel the mysterious secrets of an underwater universe.
Gyimah will be joined on the virtual stage by Drew Mullin, Executive in Charge of Production at CBC Kids, for a behind-the-scenes look at creating, developing, and producing a new original animated property.

Gyimah Gariba, Creator, Big Blue
Drew Mullin, Executive in Charge of Production, CBC Kids
Riccardo Durante, Series Director, Big Blue

Join the writer-director duo Dan Ojari and Mikey Please for a behind-the-scenes look at Robin Robin, a stop-motion musical special produced by Aardman and launching on Netflix this November.

When her egg fortuitously rolls into a rubbish dump, Robin is raised by a loving family of mice. As she grows up, her differences become more apparent. Robin sets off on the heist to end all heists to prove to her family that she can be a really good mouse – but ends up discovering who she really is.

Dan and Mikey will be joined on the virtual stage by Montreal-based, Sarajevo-born filmmaker and animator Eva Cvijanović, with a special introduction by Aardman's Co-founder and Creative Director Peter Lord.

Peter Lord, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Aardman
Daniel Ojari, Writer/Director, Robin Robin
Michael Please. Writer/Director, Robin Robin
Eva Cvijanović, Filmmaker

Black Write Talent Incubator: Discovering New Black Storytellers and Illustrators

Animation Exposé

Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:00 PM EDT


The Black Write Talent Incubator, supported by Nelvana and Kids Can Press, is a newly launched initiative to discover, support and mentor emerging Black storytellers and illustrators. Its vision is to match promising talent with industry professionals from two of Canada’s leading children’s content companies in order to develop original work.

Join this panel to learn how the Black Write Talent Incubator will give budding creators the chance to develop their work and make essential connections in the television, animation, and publishing industries. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A, so please join us!

Athena Georgaklis, Head of Development, Nelvana
Carl Brundtland, Director, Legal Counsel, Corus Entertainment
Naseem Hrab, Associate Publisher, Creative, Kids Can Press

Join Ottawa-based animation vets José Pou and Bradley Cayford as they discuss their careers as storyboard artists! Both artists have vast experience in the animation industry, and will chat about everything from staying busy, to selecting projects and collaborators, and how they continue to sharpen their skills.

José Pou, Storyboard Artist
Bradley Cayford, Storyboard Artist, Robin Robin

Convos with Creators: Vivienne Medrano (Hazbin Hotel, Helluva Boss)

Animation Exposé

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 12:00 PM EDT

Passholders Only


A chance to hear from the creators behind some of this season's fresh new animated series (and recent fan faves)!

Join Creator Vivienne Medrano (aka Vivziepop) for an intimate conversation about creating her Youtube hit series, "Hazbin Hotel" and "Helluva Boss."

Vivienne will be joined on the virtual stage by Bryan Dimas, Associate Producer, Development at Warner Bros. Animation and Co-Director of LatinX in Animation.

Vivienne Medrano, Creator, HAZBIN HOTEL and HELLUVA BOSS
Bryan Dimas, Co-Founder & Co-Director, LatinX in Animation | Latino Film Institute

Join Netflix Animation’s Story & Art teams as they discuss a behind-the-scenes look at the trainee and mentor journey.

John Aoshima, Head of Story
Yuhki Demers, Production Designer
Alyssa Taylor, Prop Designer
Zi Chen, Storyboard Artist
Joy Lee, Prop Designer
Nate Theis. Head of Story
Paul Hornschemeier, Art Director
Madison Dunn, Storyboard Revisionist
Michael Moloney, Storyboard Artist
Apollonia Vick, Story Revisionist
Grazia Como, Program Manager, Early Career Recruiting

What Makes a Story Portfolio Stand Out at Walt Disney Animation Studios

Animation Exposé

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 3:00 PM EDT

Passholders Only


Join Walt Disney Animation Studios' Story Artist Anthony Edurese, and Senior Artistic Recruiter Matt Roberts, as they discuss Anthony's career journey, how he approached creating his reel and portfolio, and ultimately, what made his portfolio stand out when he applied for this role. Q&A session to follow.

Matt Roberts, Senior Artistic Recruiter, Walt Disney Animation Studios
Anthony Edurese, Story Artist, Walt Disney Animation

Team Titan's Christophe Villez, Kevin Bertelli, and Larson Liberlin De Shoriba Diop share their creative process using the EPOS plugin for Unreal Engine.

OIAF's TECH TALKS highlight an artist's perspective on software hacks and technical tricks for crafting compelling stories.

Christophe Villez
Kevin Bertelli
Larson Liberlin De Shoriba Diop

Oscar-nominated director Erick Oh (Opera) and 8x Emmy Award-winning Baobab Studios share the process of creating "Namoo" ("Tree") in Korean. Learn about how they combined the oldest 2D animation hand-painting techniques with the most cutting-edge real-time animation technology, Quill, to bring "Namoo" to life.

OIAF's TECH TALKS highlight an artist's perspective on software hacks and technical tricks for crafting compelling stories.

Erick Oh, Filmmaker

Animator, director, and technical specialist Martyn Jones shares his creative process using CelAction2D software.

OIAF's TECH TALKS highlight an artist's perspective on software hacks and technical tricks for crafting compelling stories.

Martyn Jones, Technical Director, Karrot Animation

For Harmony 21, Toon Boom is broadening their horizons and sharing some of their 2D animation capabilities, as well as some new features specifically designed for game development. Mike Horowitz and Marc Anhoury from Double Stallion Games will show you what Harmony can do for your 2D game development.

Join us after the pre-recorded presentation for a live Q&A with Marie-Ève Lacelle, Toon Boom Solution Specialist.

OIAF's TECH TALKS highlight an artist's perspective on software hacks and technical tricks for crafting compelling stories.

Mike Horowitz, Animator & Artist at Double Stallion Games
Marc Anhoury, Programmer at Double Stallion Games
Marie-Ève Lacelle, Solution Specialist at Toon Boom Animation

This year has seen a rise in the demand for 2D animated TV series, feature films and Toon Boom has responded by adding additional power and performance to its industry leading 2D animation software. Create art and emotion in every style with one powerful end-to-end animation software.

Join talented animator and trainer Matt Watts for a live workshop on Rigging tips to improve Cut-Out Animation Efficiency in Harmony 21.

Matt Watts is an Animator/ Illustrator/ Trainer - Toon Boom Harmony animator, rigging artist and technical director. Passionate for animating, training, and helping people smile.

Register to attend

September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. On this day and everyday, Canadians and Canadian organizations like the OIAF reflect on the tragic history and enduring legacy of the residential school system, a colonial tool of oppression and genocide targeting Indigenous communities and cultures.

Today, we give space to Indigenous filmmakers and industry leaders to speak about what truth and reconciliation can look like in our industry, the Canadian animation community, and beyond.

Glenn Gear, Filmmaker
Melanie Nepinak Hadley, Program Director, WarnerMedia Access Canada
Jesse Wente, Executive Director, Indigenous Screen Office
Terril Calder, Filmmaker
Erica Daniels, Program Advisor, National Screen Institute

Illumination Labs teamed up w/ Brain Dead, the Los Angeles-based streetwear brand, to produce ‘Mutant Sequencer’ — a series of 5 animated short films each produced by Brain Dead's cutting edge artists & Designers! The shorts explore alternative, and boundary-pushing short form animated content geared towards an older audience.

“Mutant Sequencer” is Brain Dead's first foray into a "media first" project, in which artists create the media before the product. Together with Illumination Labs, creatives had complete artistic control over their projects, whether they wanted to prioritize storytelling, production design, or pure experimentation, giving them no explicit constraints, reflecting their shared commitment to putting culture and creatives first.

Devin Flynn, Creator, Brain Dead
Nick Meledandri, Producer
Steve Smith, Creator, Brain Dead
Kyle Ng, Producer
Jordan Speer, Creator, Brain Dead

Pleased to Meet Me: Celebrating RISD Animation

Indie Talks

Tickets Available:  VOD: September 22 - October 3


Presented in conjunction with our 3-part retrospective tribute to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), this unique panel discussion includes teachers and alumni discussing the wonders of RISD animation. Following the screening, OIAF attendees can meet up with the panelists during our special RISD reception at Camp OIAF.

Présentée en conjonction avec notre hommage rétrospectif en trois parties à la Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), cette table ronde unique réunit enseignants et anciens étudiants de la RISD qui discutent des merveilles du programme d’animation de l’école. À la suite de la projection de la rétrospective, les participants au OIAF pourront rencontrer les panélistes au Camp du OIAF lors de notre réception spéciale pour célébrer la RISD.

Panelists / Panélistes
Amy Kravitz, Professor of Film/Animation/Video
Steven Subotnick, Critic, RISD
Pilar Newton
Michael Langan
Africanus Okokon
Nayon Cho, Artist / Filmmaker

Moderated by / Discussion animée par
Chris Robinson, OIAF Artistic Director

OIAF 20 Grand Prize winner, Kang Min Kim, will discuss the technical and conceptual genesis behind his inimitable short films (Deer Flower, 38-39˚c, Jeom, Kkum), his assorted commercial work and how he landed in this crazy little community of animation.

Le lauréat du grand prix du FIAO 20, Kang Min Kim, discutera de la genèse technique et conceptuelle de ses courts-métrages inimitables (Cerf fleur, 38-39˚c, Jeom, Kkum), de ses divers travaux commerciaux et de comment il a atterri dans cette petite communauté farfelue qui est celle de l'animation.

Moderated by / Discussion animée par
Chris Robinson, OIAF Artistic Director

The Joys of Jodie Mack

Indie Talks

Tickets Available: VOD: September 22 - October 3


The ultimate recycler, experimental animator, Jodie Mack, animation’s Dr. Frankenstein, finds beauty and repurpose in life’s leftovers as she breathes new life into the forgotten, discarded and unconventional. In this one on one conversation, Mack discusses her work, teaching and the politics behind her concepts. 

Passionnée du recyclage, l’animatrice expérimentale Jodie Mack, la docteure Frankenstein de l’animation, découvre la beauté et le renouveau dans les restes de la vie, et ce, en revitalisant ce qui est oublié, abandonné et non conventionnel. Dans cette conversation en tête-à-tête, Jodie Mack parle de son travail, de son enseignement et de la politique qui sous-tend ses concepts. 

Moderated by / Discussion animée par
Chris Robinson, OIAF Artistic Director

Getting to the Roots of The Orange Tree Project at Sisler High School

Toon Apprentice  - Free for Teens - grab a pass

Saturday, October 2, 2021 1:00 PM EDT


Sisler High School students and teachers share reflections on The Orange Tree Project, a year-long collaborative animation program supported by mentors from Nickelodeon.

Carson Smith, Director of Nickelodeon Community Efforts
Jamie Leduc, CREATE Department Head, Sisler High School
Xierra Cansino, Sisler Student Animator
Sam Balanial, Sisler Student Animator
Megan Koscielny, Sisler Student Animator

Creators and executive producers Lucy Heavens and Nic Smal talk about their careers and the lessons they’ve learned on the road to their new upcoming Disney Channel animated series “KIFF.” Lucy and Nic also offer a special challenge for young students to harness their own creativity, and Nic offers a tutorial on how to draw the main characters from the show.

Lucy Heavens, Creator and Executive Producer
Nic Smal, Creator and Executive Producer

Visual Storytelling with Greg Beettam

Toon Apprentice  - Free for Teens - grab a pass

Saturday, October 2, 2021 11:00 AM EDT


Whether you are illustrating comics, graphic novels, children's books, or even science presentations - using visuals to effectively tell a story is a valuable tool. In this workshop, students will learn the tools and techniques used in comics and graphic novels for narrating their stories visually.

Greg Beettam, Artist / Writer