15th Annual TAIS Animation Showcase Competition & Gala Screening


TAIS presents the 15th Annual TAIS Animation Showcase Competition featuring 21 short animated films from Canada and from around the world. The showcase offers a snapshot of contemporary animation that explores the endless possibilities of the animated image.


Check out the trailer!

Something in the Garden

Director Marcos Sánchez 


An unexpected journey into the deep of the neighbor’s backyard.

Marcos Sánchez (1980) is a Chilean artist, animator and filmmaker. He works in Santiago making drawings, paintings, animated films and music videos.

Weekday Night

Director Rachel Samson 


Weekday Night (Soir de semaine) in an animated short made up of drawn observations evoking feelings of exaltation, humor and intimacy inherent to slumber parties.

Rachel Samson is an animation filmmaker from Quebec City interested in traditional, digital and under-camera animation as well as screenwriting and just drawing in general. Rachel is currently working on her next short, Crème à glace (22) with the support of Embuscade Films.

Any Instant Whatever

Director Michelle Brand 

United Kingdom 

A man in a room, in a film – it is the becoming of something and simultaneously becoming in itself. Nothing is as solid as we believe. The film explores our perception of time and change, bodies and objects, and our inability to comprehend the full motion of things.

Michelle is a German-English Animator-Filmmaker and Sound Designer based in London, who enjoys discovering new ways of expressing complex ideas visually. She studied animation at the Royal College of Arts in London and the University for Creative Arts in Farnham, UK. Her films attempt to visualise philosophical concepts, with a special focus on time, movement and change. Playing with many different structures and aesthetics, she keeps blurring the lines between theory and practice.


Director Roman Muradov 

United States

A paper airplane causes a stumble in a poetry recitation and ruins a life. First short film by the award-winning author/artist Roman Muradov, made in Blender using a combination of 3d animation and hand-drawn scribbles.

Roman Muradov is an award-winning author and illustrator living in New York City. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Paris Review, Vogue, and Lucky Peach, among others. His books include On Doing Nothing, Vanishing Act, (In A Sense) Lost & Found, Jacob Bladders and the State of the Art and the End of A Fence, as well as the French collection Aujourd’hui Demain Hier. His works have also been translated into German, Italian and Korean, and he’s done numerous residencies and workshops around the world. He has designed books for Penguin Random House, including the Penguin Classics Centennial Editions of James Joyce’s Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He also has a couple of medals from the Society of Illustrators, a cube from the prestigious Art Director’s Club, and an imaginary dog named Barchibald.

Polar Bear Bears Boredom

Director Koji Yamamura 


A polar bear who is very bored with various marine animals in the deep blue sea.

It continues an ancient tradition of “Caricatures of Frolicking animals” in scroll painting-style; this time, “Frolicking Sea Animals,” in animation form, with a play on Japanese and English language word-plays: “Hokyoku-Guma Suggoku Hima. / Polar bear bears boredom”, “Kawauso Kawaisou. / Other otter, poor otter,” etc.

Born in 1964, Koji started working on animated films as an amateur, at the age of 13. During the 1990s, he explored various styles and techniques while working mainly on films for children. Nominated at the Oscars for Best Animated Short, “Mt. Head” marked a turning point, leading him to join the world’s most renowned animation filmmakers. His major works since include “The Old Crocodile” (2005), “Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor” (2007) and “Muybridge’s Strings” (2011). His films were awarded with more than 100 prizes, including Grand Prizes at the four most important international animation film festivals: Annecy, Zagreb, Ottawa and Hiroshima. He has been part of many international juries, and has held numerous retrospective screenings around the world. He has been selected as the 2 place at 25 top short animated films directors over the last 25 years in 2021 at Animac, the International Animation Showcase of Catalonia. He was rewarded with the National Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2019. Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts.

Petal to the Metal

Director Emily Pelstring 


This hand-processed 16mm film reflects on botanical animism. It is a song written for night-crawlers, compost, and shadows, inspired by human flower-lust. Water, fire, earth and air are interwoven with the garden’s creature crew. The work draws a parallel between the photographic alchemy of cinematic experiments and the photosynthetic processes of plants.

Emily Pelstring is an artist and filmmaker, and is faculty in the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Her work incorporates crafts, available materials, a variety of animation techniques, and visual tricks such as holography, stereography, and Pepper’s Ghost to explore links among technology, spirituality, and magic. Emily is engaged in an artistic collaboration with Jessica Mensch and Katherine Kline called Sistership TV, a web-based variety show that gathers numerous artists to explore questions across ecology, media studies, materialist theory, and feminist theory. She is also a co-organizer of an international symposium called The Witch Institute, which brings together scholars, artists, and practitioners to explore the meaning and impact of current media representations of the witch.

A Girl Who’s Afraid Of Touching People

Director Liang-Hsin Huang 

United Kingdom 

You see a girl or you don’t. But at least you know she is afraid of touching people. Now she is going on a journey to overcome her fear from the past to the present, from the pain to the relief. Running across the snow, hiding in an apartment and going to the sea.

Liang-Hsin Huang is a Taiwanese animation filmmaker recently graduated from Royal College of Art. She is interested in creating atmospheric scenes and hand-drawn art styles.

On Fire

Director Dylan Glynn 


On Fire depicts Glynn’s personal expression of a collective experience. Inspired by Naomi Klein’s metaphor of the three fires,the fires of hatred and greed which allow for the greatest atrocities of human suffering, the literal fires of a burning planet rapidly transforming as we race towards climate apocalypse and the fiery passion of movements that work to build a new world for the many and not the few.

Dylan Glynn is an award-winning animator, painter, and author based in Toronto, Canada. His multidisciplinary practice is characterized by its emotion, grace and sense of wild-movement. His work has been recognized and exhibited by Society of Illustrators (Gold Medal SOI 62), American Illustration, Somerset House and the Canadian Screen Awards

Red Fire

Director Mona A.Shahi 

Iran, Islamic Republic of 

The Darkness Demon has swept over the world, trying to set the ending of Light unlike the earlier promises and prophecies. It is in such an era that a flock of Red birds travel in search of the Red Fire; a Fire that according to the prophecies, wipes out the blackness and puts an end to the constant eclipse and absence of the Sun. But where are they going to find the Red Fire?

Mona A. Shahi was born in Iran in 1983. She graduated from Sharif University of Technology with a BS in Physics and earned her MA in Directing Animation from Tehran University of Art. She’s been working professionally in the fields of scriptwriting, directing, animating; and has been teaching animation aesthetics, directing and scriptwriting in various academic levels. Her animations had the chance of being selected or presented in many well-known festivals like, Atlanta, Hiroshima, Stuttgart, Animamundi, Zinebi and etc.


The Rind

Director Alex Meunier 


The last hole in the fabric of the universe is discovered.

Alex Meunier is a Canadian animation artist born in Calgary, Alberta. Currently living in Vancouver, BC.


Director Isaac King 


Screen addiction. Species at risk. Whatever!

A dead tree goes viral, attracting wildlife, a nature lover, and a crowd of online followers. Animated entirely outside, “WhateverTree” examines our connection to nature in the age of social media, screens, and selfies.

Isaac King is an award-winning animation filmmaker and artist from Canada. As a director of short films and commercials, his work spans a wide range of media including drawing, stop-motion, cutout and pixillation. His latest work experiments with outdoor animation and time-lapse photography. Using handcrafted and digital techniques, he focusses on environmental and social issues with humour and warmth. His films have screened worldwide, winning numerous awards including the Annecy Audience Prize.



Director Giovanna Lopalco 


A procession of men in white clothing walk a young woman in a strange procession. In this obscure landscape, a perpetual biological universe will transform her body.

Giovanna was born in Italy in 1982. She studied animation at the Experimental Centre of Cinematography in Turin, then joined an author’s residency at La Maison des Auteurs (Angoulême,France) where she worked as an illustrator and Background Artist. She worked for several international animated films: Ethel and Ernest; by Raymond Briggs, Pinocchio; by Enzo and Lorenzo Mattotti, Psiconautas the forgotten children; by Alberto Vazquez. Season is her first short film as a director.

Washing Machine

Submitter Alexandra Májová 

Czech Republic 

Wash and love.

Alexandra Májová is czech illustrator, animator and director. She studied animation at FAMU. In the course of her studies, she spent time at the animation department of Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. She has directed the short animated student films, Swimming Pool (2010) and Mythopolis (2013), among others, which won a number of significant awards both domestic and international. She currently illustrates children’s books and works on animated children TV series Hungry Bear Tales (Bionaut production 2021).

Elevator Alone

Director Anastasia Papadopoulou


Four people and the time they spend in an elevator. Inspired by everyday life and by the difference in people’s behavior when they are alone, in contrast to the socially acceptable behavior that individuals adopt when in public space and especially in the confined and always awkward setting of an elevator.

Anastasia is a director, stop motion model maker and animator based in the UK and Greece. She has recently completed her first personal work “Elevator Alone”, a graduation short stop motion film which she wrote, directed, animated and constructed the sets and puppets. Her work includes Cat Steven’s “Wild World” music clip, Locomondo’s “Star” music clip, “I’m here” tv commercial for Klinex as either a set/puppet maker or animator. This year she worked as art director/model maker for Effie Papa’s “In between” short stop motion animation movie, expected to be completed late October 2021.

The Lost Seahorse

Director Benjamin Fieschi-Rose 


A vulnerable seahorse is swept away from his coral reef and must survive the dangerous journey home.

Benjamin Fieschi-Rose is a filmmaker, creature designer and visual artist from Vancouver, B.C. He is a graduate of the Film Studies program at Ryerson University. Ben spent his childhood exploring the ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. His passion for the natural world finds its way into much of his creative work.

Missed Connections: “Was that your limb? – w4m”

Director Patrick Dias 


With narration sourced from a real Craigslist Missed connections ad, and visually wrapped with a fictional narrative—this is a story of a space captain late for his own launch, and the woman who was at the right place but at the wrong time. 

Pat is an Indian / Filipino, Toronto based designer and animator—a graduate in graphic design and self taught in illustration and animation. What fuels him is doing passion projects that inch him closer towards his goal of being repped as a director, and finding his stylistic voice. He spends his extracurricular time honing his slingshot skills, doing archery, and attempting to pet various outdoor cats.

DING (Thing)

Director Malte Stein 


Haunted by a little thing, a man gets driven to the edge.

Malte Stein

Born 1981 

2007 -2013 Studies of Animation in University of Film and Television “Konrad Wolf” Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany

2005 – 2006 Studies of Filmscenario and Dramaturgy in filmschool “Filmarche” Berlin


2018 Flut (Flood)

2013 Blauer Traum (Blue Dream)

happy people

Director celinefreud 


Welcome to the world’s most mentally unwell metropolis! “happy people.” is a response to the current cultural desert. In its depiction of an interlinked schizopolis (schizotypal-metropolis, schizophrenic-metropolis, schizo-metropolis; borrowed from Soderbergh’s 1996 experimental comedy, Schizopolis), the artist aims to satirize a contemporary, postmodern era marked by irony, commercialism, and nihilism.

celinefreud is an independent animator, painter, and illustrator straight out of Toronto, Ontario. His works are aesthetically, metaphysically, and philosophically rooted in the absurd, the traumatic; disjunctive, oddball narratives, with rhyme, without reason, fascinated with the intersection of “high and low” artmaking, the cyber-landscape’s effect on the soul, and love in the age of collapse. It’s hip, it’s with it, it’s what we’re all into.


Director Jesi Jordan 


This animation is about the symbiotic relationship humans have with earth and about a mother’s journey to seek justice for her child. The big foot tramples on a baby flower before it has the chance to flourish. Her mother journeys through the roots of the earth and sprouts into various forms of life as the tries to cling onto the memory of her child one last time. Together, the plants expel a seed from the bosom of a rose and plant the seed of Justice into the earth. Animation is created with charcoal on paper by Jesi Jordan. ‘Justice’ musical track is written and sung by Jennifer Castle off of her album ‘Monarch Season’.

Jesi Jordan is a self taught traditional animator from Ontario, Canada. She has been creating animated diaries for the past 15 years.

A Bite of Bone

Director Honami Yano 


A little girl reflects on her last summer with her father at his funeral.

Honami Yano was born in 1991 on a small island in Japan. During her university years spent in Kyoto, she went on an exchange program to the Rhode Island School of Design, which led her to discover independent animation. At Tokyo University of the Arts, Graduate School of Film and New Media, she studied under Koji Yamamura and created her graduation project, “Chromosome Sweetheart”(2017).That won the KuanDog Prize International Student Short Films at The KuanDu International Animation Festival (Taiwan), and was nominated in Japan and overseas. After graduation, she worked at Tokyo University of the Arts, Graduate School of Film and New Media as a researcher assistant for three years.While doing so, she made her first film after graduation.Produced by Koji Yamamura, it was the first work for his studio and gallery Au Praxinoscope.

The Fourfold

Director Alisi Telengut 


Based on the ancient shamanic rituals and animistic beliefs in Mongolia and Siberia, an exploration of the indigenous worldview and wisdom. With hand-crafted imagery, a testament of reclaiming animism for planetary health and non-human materialities.

Alisi Telengut is a Canadian artist of Mongolian origin. She creates animation frame by frame under the camera with mixed media to generate movement, and explore hand-made and painterly visuals for her films. Her works received multiple international awards and nominations, including the Best Short Film at Stockholm Film Festival (Sweden), Best Animated Film at Mammoth Lakes Film Festival (USA) and the Jury Award at the Aspen Shortsfest (USA). Her short film The Fourfold was a Canadian Screen Award nominee for Best Animated Short at the Canadian Screen Awards and a Prix Iris nominee for Best Animated Short Film at the 22nd Quebec Cinema Awards. Alisi’s works have been exhibited internationally, such as at Sundance (USA), TIFF (Canada), the Canadian Cultural Centre at the Embassy of Canada (France), RISO – Contemporary Art Museum of Sicily (Italy), CICA Museum – Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (South Korea), Museum Berlin Lichtenberg (Germany) among others. They have not only been presented as animation and moving image artworks with the unique visual style, but have also contributed to ethnographic and ethnocultural research. Her recent work has been added to the permanent collection of Art Science Exhibits Berlin (Germany) that represents the leading-edge of art making with dedication to positive action for Earth’s recovery.

Alisi is currently a PhD candidate at Filmuniversitaet Babelsberg Konrad Wolf in Germany.

TAIS 2021 Showcase is presented with the support of the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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