TAAFI ANNOUNCES 2021 TORONTO ANIMATION FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) announced the full lineup for the 2021 Toronto Animation Film Festival, featuring the first Apple TV+ animated original WolfwalkersGermán Acuña’s Nahuel and the Magic Book, Ujicha’s Violence Voyager, and including a special screening of Sony Pictures’ classic hit Heavy Metal, followed by a Q&A with director Gerald Potterton.

The 2021 Toronto Animation Film Festival will run online from March 24 to 27, 2021, showcasing more than 100 animated shorts and five feature films.

“While the 2021 Toronto Animation Film Festival will be taking place in a different environment, we planned this year’s festival with work from all over the world, in addition to classic hits that will unite our community filled with animation enthusiasts, moviegoers, and TV fans,” said Barnabas Wornoff, Co-Founder and Chair of TAAFI. “This year, we’re so excited to share that multiple filmmakers and artists will join us in sharing this virtual film festival journey with you.”

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS | FEATURE FILMS

WOLFWALKERS | 90 MINUTES

Wolfwalkers opens during Oliver Cromwell’s brutal colonization of Ireland, in the county of Kilkenny, which has fallen to English settlers after a bloody siege. On Cromwell’s orders, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe (voiced by Honor Kneafsey), and her father, Bill (Game of Thrones’ Sean Bean), are sent from England to track and kill the last of the wolves that live in woods outside the city walls. Adventurous and rebellious, Robyn sneaks into the woods and discovers a world unlike any she’s ever known. There she meets Mebh (Eva Whittaker), a wild girl who was raised by wolves, and through her unique new friend begins to realize it’s not the forest that should be feared, but the “townies.” But, as she grows closer to the forest world, her relationship with her father is put to the test, as Robyn herself becomes one of the very things he is ordered to obliterate.

The final instalment in directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart’s “Irish folklore trilogy” is a stunning testament to their singular animation style and storytelling skills. With visual references to pre-Celtic imagery and Studio Ghibli alike — and some catchy songs — Wolfwalkers is an instant classic for all ages.

NAHUEL AND THE MAGIC BOOK | 99 MINUTES

Live Q&A with director Germán Acuña

Nahuel lives with his father in a fishing town, yet he has a deep fear of the sea. One day, he finds a magical book that seems to be the solution to this problem, but a dark wizard is after it and captures Nahuel’s father. This is where his fantastic adventure begins: to rescue his father while overcoming his deepest fears.

VIOLENCE VOYAGER | 84 MINUTES

An American boy named Bobby and his friend Akkun set out for the mountains to build a secret hideout. On their way, they stumble upon a mysterious amusement park called Violence Voyager. It doesn’t take long for things to get weird as the boys discover a group of scared children who can’t seem to escape and soon find themselves under attack by robot-like humanoids. For his three years in the making follow-up to THE BURNING BUDDHA MAN (2013) director Ujicha again employs a blend of animation and manga called “geki-mation,” creating grotesque body horror nightmare imagery from painstakingly detailed, hand-painted paper cut-outs. Chock-full of B-horror, sci-fi and kaiju film references, this blood-soaked late-night flick is not for the kiddies.

HEAVY METAL | 86 MINUTES 

Based on the sexy science fiction cult comic, “Heavy Metal” combines extraordinarily stunning visuals, new wave music and a series of mind-bending stories in a unique motion picture experience. The anchor of the film is an eerie green ball that magically transports us into a series of adventures in the past, future, and into the world beyond. Included are stories of the space super heroine, Taarna; the hardboiled exploits of Harry Canyon, cab driver of the future; and the adventures of “Den:’ who the green ball changes from an introverted teen into a macho hero. This groundbreaking animation extravaganza also use the voices of John Candy, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy and Joe Flaherty, as well as writers, directors, and artists from around the world.

THE CROODS: THE NEW AGE | 95 MINUTES

The Croods have survived their fair share of dangers and disasters, from fanged prehistoric beasts to surviving the end of the world, but now they will face their biggest challenge of all: another family.

The Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved … except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans.

The Bettermans (emphasis on the “better”)—with their elaborate tree house, amazing inventions and irrigated acres of fresh produce—are a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder. When they take the Croods in as the world’s first houseguests, it isn’t long before tensions escalate between the cave family and the modern family.

Just when all seems lost, a new threat will propel both families on an epic adventure outside the safety of the wall, one that will force them to embrace their differences, draw strength from each other and forge a future together.

MYSTERIES OF LIFE | SHORTS

MY TAGALONG | Canada

ROBERTO | Spain

A LITTLE TOO MUCH | United States

HER VOICELESS SONG | Japan

ROUTES | Argentina

THE WHEAT KEEPER | China

UMBRELLAS | France

DARK CLOUDS & RED ROSES | China

OUTGROW | United States

HOSPLAND | China

HULLABOO | ROUGH CUT

Including a Q&A with director James Lopez

In this behind-the-scenes look, Hullabaloo director James Lopez and Jake Akuna, VFX Supervisor, will show some select rough sequences from the animated project followed by a Q&A discussing their process and the challenges with producing crowdfunded films.

DARKEST OF DAWNS | SHORTS

MANTIS LOVE | France

TOO LATE | Canada

MEMORIES FOR SALE | Costa Rica

NEUROSI5: MOMENTO | Brazil

WEIGHT OF CONSCIOUSNESS | United Kingdom

EN CONTINU | France

MY PET CAT, DEPRESSION | United States

MUM’S SWEATER | France

WINTER MEMORIE | Iran

POLKA-DOT BOY | France

IN RED | China

UNIVERSALLY REMOTE | SHORTS

CORONUS | Turkey

THE ROPE | Japan

DAYS LIKE THESE | Canada

PEBBLES | United States

COFFIN | France

THANKS, GOODBYE | Netherlands

A STEP INTO MY WALLPAPER

REAL HUMAN BEING | United States

COXSWAIN’S CHICKEN KITCHEN | United States

A COUPLE ON THE ROOFTOP, THE CELLULAR ANTENNA

AND THE METAL BIRDS | Israel

LIGHT COLLECTOR | China

SIGNS | Switzerland

FRAMED MEMORIES | Malaysia

QUARANTINE CHORUS | United Kingdom

KIDS CARTOONS | SHORTS

DINNER IS SAVED | United States

WILD | France

THE LITTLE HEDGEHOG | United States

OLLIE | Belgium

RHINO | United Kingdom

HEDERA | United Kingdom

PREPAWSTEROUS | United States

REACH | United Kingdom

TEST FLIGHT | Canada

SPELLBOUND | United Kingdom

THE STARKEEPER | United Kingdom

STUDENT SHORTS | SHORTS

EVERYTHING PIZZA | United States

THE BOX ASSASSIN | United States

THE HOTLINE | Canada

BEHIND THE SCENES | United Kingdom

WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE | Canada

SUNSHOWER | Hungary

7 WAYS TO UPGRADE YOUR BRAIN | Belgium

BREAKER POINT | Canada

SHI YANG | France

THE ALIEN NIGHTMARE | France

LA BESTIA | France

SCATTERSHOT | Canada

MIME YOUR MANNERS | United States

THE PORTRAIT OF A BORING MAN | Russian Federation

THE TRAIN RIDE HOME | United States

MY LIL’ BUD (FLOWER) | Poland

THE ODDBALL COLLECTION | SHORTS

#happy | Taiwan

SPEED | United Kingdom

7B | United Kingdom

THE MYSTERY OF LEONARDO | Belgium

INCOGNITO | Hungary

WASTE AWAY | United States

CMBR | Martina Testen

SEXY SUSHI | Singapore

RISE UP | Netherlands

WALKS ALONE | Israel

THE ORGANIZED LIFE | United States

MAD IN XPAIN | Spain

BLANKET | Germany

CARTOON PARTY | SHORTS

THE SNOW BALL | Canada

DRIED OL’ BONES | USA

MERCURY CORP | Spain

BORING | France

LEAVE ME BE! | United States

SPACE APERO | France

MR RURU’S ADVENTURE | China

SHELLSHOCKED | Canada

SWOON | Canada

REEL LIFE | France

HAUNTED | Italy

DEADLY CATWALK | France

WIRE | USA

WHAT THE HECK SHOULD I WRITE ABOUT? | Romania

MOUNTAIN MOVE | Canada

To view the full program and purchase festival passes, please visit: watch.eventive.org/taafi2021 

Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI):

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Twitter: twitter.com/thetaafi

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