By Jerry Beck | Animation Scoop October 15, 2013 at 3:00AM
Last year, festival director Taylor Armstrong moved to Chicago from LA (and before that, NYC) and has yet to find a cozy animation scene like the ones he'd previously taken for granted as commonplace in the other big cities. So he decided the best way to get a read on the animation pulse in the mid-west was to host his own event.
Thus on April 17, 2014 at the Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge, IL, Armstrong will be hosting Animation Torrent, a one-night event consisting of two blocks of independent animation, followed by an after-party and mini awards ceremony.
Short and solid - the selected films will compete for "Best In Show", "Best Student Short" and an "Audience Award". The "Best..." categories winners will be determined by a diverse jury including Bill Plympton, PES and Tom Fulp (founder of Newgrounds.com), while the "Audience Award" will be determined by those in attendance at the screening.
Meanwhile in Toronto, TAAFI aka The 3rd Annual Toronto Animation Arts Festival International, is pleased to announce the opening for the 2014 Call For Submissions. This year’s Festival not only accepts animated shorts and feature length films but also encourages submissions of visual effects projects, commercials, game trailers/cinematics, motion graphics projects, as well as non-traditional animated arts content.
Submissions are free before December 15, 2014 and will remain open until January 15, 2014. Chosen by a committee of experts, official selection films will be eligible for awards in: Audience Choice, Best International Short, Best Canadian Short, Best Student Short and the coveted Grand Prix.
"The feedback on the screenings at TAAFI has been nothing short of astounding." says festival Executive Director, Ben McEvoy, "After only two years we have started to receive huge interest from all over the world, both in terms of submissions and programming as well as for our growing jury line up. 2014 is very quickly turning into the 'Year of the Animator' here in Toronto!"
I was a juror this past June at the 2013 festival and its the real deal - a world class festival in a major movie city. I'm planning to attend again. TAAFI 2014 will be held Mid June, 2014 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Corus Quay in spectacular downtown Toronto. For more information visit the Taafi website.