The panel will also include the Netflix Original animated hit’s crew with co-director Rob Lodermeir, Sebastian Brodin, Fiona Toth, Kyle McQueen, Helén Ahlberg, Aniket Natekar, Mark Stanleigh.

The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) announced an exclusive virtual behind-the-scenes panel with Canadian writer and director Kris Pearn for the Netflix Original animated feature film The Willoughbys based on the novel by Lois Lowry.

The virtual panel discussion will be held on Thursday, August 6th at 7:00 PM. It will include a discussion on the film’s creative process with never-before-seen art and exclusive storyboards. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled to kick-off our monthly programming with this event to celebrate and grow the Canadian animation industry,” said Barnabas Wornoff, co-founder and chair, TAAFI. “Having known Kris for many years, we are honoured and excited for him and his team to join us in showcasing homegrown talent, ultimately reinforcing the importance of Canadian artists and filmmakers in animated storytelling.” 

Kris Pearn will be joined by co-director, Rob Lodermeir; director of cinematography, Sebastian Brodin; lead editor, Fiona Toth; production designer, Kyle McQueen; head of FX, Helén Ahlberg; animation lead, Aniket Natekar; and co-writer and storyboard artist, Mark Stanleigh.

Born and raised in Canada, Kris Pearn is an Annie Award™-nominated artist who began making cartoons for both film and television after graduating from Sheridan College. He notably worked on Open Season, Surf’s Up, Arthur Christmas, Shaun the Sheep, Pirates: Band of Misfits, and Home to name a few. He was the Head of Story for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and co-directed Cloudy Two: Rise of the Leftovers. He has illustrated several books including Edward The Tree Climbing Dog, Project Superhero, and Tales of Spiffing.  

“It’s an honour to be part of TAAFI’s programming and to have this opportunity to talk about an animated feature film made in Canada, celebrating the diverse group of international artists behind the success of the film,” said Kris Pearn, writer and director. “This will not only be a chance for us to share our journey of creating the film and show some never before seen art, but it’ll be a bit of a reunion. A lot has happened since the lockdown, so there’s plenty to talk about.”  

The Willoughbys is available now for streaming only on Netflix. Convinced they’d be better off raising themselves, the Willoughby children hatch a sneaky plan to send their selfish parents on vacation. The siblings then embark on their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family. Starring Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara, Terry Crews, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski and Ricky Gervais.

The event is sponsored by Switch VFX and Animation

To register for free tickets and/or make a PWYC donation: bit.ly/TAAFIxTheWilloughbys

Event Details:

Making of The Willoughbys

Behind-Scenes Talk with writer and director Kris Pearn, including Rob Lodermeir, 

Sebastian Brodin, Fiona Toth, Kyle McQueen, Helén Ahlberg, Aniket Natekar, Mark Stanleigh.

Date/Time: Thursday, August 6th at 7:00 PM 

Location: Online 

Register for tickets here: bit.ly/TAAFIxTheWilloughbys

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