The prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has selected 39 short films for its main shorts competition. Among those films, which include live-action and documentary films, there are seven animated works.

On the feature side, two animated entries made the cut. The first animated feature to be announced is the world premiere of Wendell & Wild, the new stop-motion feature from Henry Selick (Coraline), co-created with Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us). The second animated entry, appearing in the festival’s Contemporary World Cinema section, is Pierre Földes’ Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, a European co-production adapted from short stories of Haruki Murakami.

Below, in more detail, are the animated shorts screening at TIFF 2022, which will take place September 8-18 in Toronto, Canada.

Against Reality

Director: Olivia Peace
Country: U.S.

This University of Southern California thesis project from multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker – and this case, programmer – Olivia Peace is an autobiographical short. The work, which was created using AI art-generation tools, joins the AI-generated fray as a stand-alone short film.


Director: Nikita Diakur
Countries: Germany, France

The newest short from Russian-born German animator Nikita Diakur (Fest) is a deadpan experimental slapstick comedy in which a cg avatar of the filmmaker goes through the unpredictable motions of learning a backflip.


Directors: Pierre-Hugues Dallaire and Benoit Therriault
Country: Canada

Canary is the story of a boy and a bird who find hope and connection in the deepest and darkest of places. Directed by Pierre-Hugues Dallaire and Benoit Therriault together with the team at Montreal’s Rodeo Fx, Canary will make its official debut at TIFF.

The Flying Sailor

Directors: Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis
Country: Canada

The latest from Canadian animation power duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, and produced by the National Film Board of Canada, The Flying Sailor is the imagined experience of a true story from the docks of the devastating Halifax Explosion of 1917.

The Garbage Man

Director: Laura Gonçalves
Country: Portugal

Director Laura Gonçalves tells the story of her uncle Botão – a garbage man for 30 years in France – through the voices of the family members who knew him best.

Ice Merchants

Director: João Gonzalez
Countries: Portugal, France, United Kingdom

Ice Merchants, recent winner of the Leitz Cine Discovery Prize at the Cannes Critics’ Week, is the first independent short from filmmaker João Gonzalez. The short is about a pair of isolated ice sellers, a father and his young son, who perform daily superhuman feats to stay afloat.

Shadow of the Butterflies

Director: Sofia El Khyari
Countries: France, Qatar, Portugal

Surrounded by delicate butterflies inside a lush, hidden forest, a woman connects with her past choices and present emotions. Shadow is the fourth short from Casablanca-born Royal College of Art graduate Sofia El Khyari.

Pictured at top: “Canary,” “Ice Merchants,” and “Backflip”