John Rooney

TAAFI, YMA open new creator fund

Opening December 1, the John Rooney fund has earmarked US$15,600 for five emerging LGBTQ+ and underrepresented talent in animation.
November 29, 2021

Canadian nonprofits the Youth Media Alliance and the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) are accepting submissions for their new John Rooney fund, with US$15,600 available for five emerging LGBTQ2S+ and underrepresented animation creators in the region. It will include two streams—one focused on content development, and the other on scriptwriting—with each one offering US$7,800 (CAD$10,000) in support.

For the content development fund, one candidate will receive mentorship from industry professionals and up to US$3,900 (CAD$5,000) for creative development—which can be used to contract professional resources to bring their concept to life. They will be encouraged to pitch their project at industry events from 2022-2024, so the remaining US$3,900 is earmarked for travel and registration costs.

For the scriptwriting stream, four writers will be selected and assigned to a writing room for a show that’s in production in order to help them develop their scriptwriting and story development expertise. The fund will cover a maximum of 10 working days (at US$195 per day) on the yet-to-be-announced series.

Applications will be accepted through the YMA website from December 1, 2o21 to January 14, 2022. The winners will be announced in February 2022.

The fund was established earlier this year following the death of John Rooney (pictured), a Canadian animation executive with a wide-ranging background. Over the course of his career, Rooney (pictured) oversaw programming and content acquisitions for YTV, Nickelodeon Canada and ABC Spark; served as director of programming for Corus Entertainment’s kids and family division; and was the executive director of TAAFI.

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