The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has announced the programming slate for its business-oriented Animation Conference (TAC), which runs alongside the film festival. In recent years, the festival has attempted to position the conference as a meeting ground for North American producers and networks. The 2014 conference, which will focus on “content creation and exploring the connections between the artistic and business sectors,” includes face-to-face business time, industry panels, one-on-one talks, and pitching opportunities.

The conference also offers a program called Fast Track, a “speed-pitching event where producers have the opportunity to meet privately with dozens of highly desirable executives in one shot.” While the notion of meeting a ‘highly desirable’ animation exec sounds about as fanciful as spotting a Sasquatch, the conference’s Art+Biz Day keynote will be delivered by a highly desirable artist, Vincent Waller, who is the creative director of SpongeBob SquarePants. I worked with Vincent many eons ago on Ren & Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon, and he is the consummate pro and an asset to any production. He’s sure to have something good to say.


Some of the Animation Conference programming highlights include:

  • Tom Warburton, creator of Codename: Kids Next Door in discussion with Chris Robinson, Artistic Director of OIAF
  • Marc Landsberg (Social Deviant) discusses how the explosion of social media content is driving consumer engagement
  • Mercury Filmworks President Clint Eland in discussion with Eric Coleman, Disney TV senior v-p of original series, and Mike Moon, v-p of creative, to explore how Disney Television Animation has been creating hit after hit
  • Case study: The evolution of Dora the Explorer to Dora and Friends: Into the City
  • Development exec Melissa Wolfe discusses children’s programming at Amazon Studios

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