New Technologies & Creative Opportunities

TIFF Kids - Industry Programming

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Speakers will explore the breakthroughs in digital technology and how children's content creators can use these innovations.
Breakthroughs in digital technology seem to be announced on a weekly basis, but what can new technologies offer the children's content creator? How can you expand your IP and find new ways to connect children with your characters through creative play? What can academic research and development teach us about using digital media to empower children to design their own meaningful play experiences, while utilizing your IP?

Guest Biographies

    • Orla Garriques
    • Orla Garriques is a co-founder of DruMeBa Inc., an interactive media/social purpose business whose mandate is to develop systems and software that assist with the development of social, communication and cognitive skills. A multifaceted producer, programmer and project manager, Garriques has worked for a wide range of award-winning production companies, leading media organizations, and entertainment brands and arts initiatives, including ASTOUND Initiative, an ambitious new venture that seeks to encourage private investment in Ontario's creative industries. An alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre, Garriques is passionate about the use of media to create collaborative participatory experiences for audiences in traditional and non-traditional environments. Most importantly, she is committed to use of media and the arts as a means to engage, entertain, educate and empower children.
    • Katie Nicholson
    • A graduate of the Child and Youth program at Ryerson University, Katie Nicholson is the Respite Facilitator at the Geneva Centre for Autism, where she has worked for over four years serving children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in a recreation program that encourages community integration. She is passionate about supporting individuals with an ASD and working with their families to achieve their individual goals.
    • Mark Argo
    • Mark Argo is an artist and technologist who has worked extensively in creative applications of software, hardware and networks. His work has been exhibited internationally across Asia, Europe and North America, and has been featured in major technology magazines such as Wired and Linux Journal. Among his many accomplishments, Argo has served an artistic residency at the Fabrica Communication Research Center in Treviso, Italy from 2005 to 2006; was named recipient of the MobileAsia competition's grand prize in 2006; and, in 2008, founded Aesthetec Studio to develop these interactive experiences for museums and science centres. Under Argo's intiative, Aesthetec Studio has recently completed work on the new Telus Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Alberta-the first new Canadian science centre in 25 years.
    • Matt Thompson
    • Matt Thompson is the Director of Community Engagement and Chief Storyteller for the Mozilla Foundation, a global non-profit organization dedicated to making the web better. Matt is passionate about bringing open web tools and thinking to areas like education, media, science and the arts, with an emphasis on media and digital literacy projects with partners that include the MacArthur Foundation and Knight Foundation. Before joining Mozilla, Matt worked on media reform and open internet campaigns, winning a 2007 Webby Award for his work with Based in Toronto, Matt is a former CBC radio producer and has been a guest speaker at McGill University, the Library of Congress, and the London School of Economics.
    • Kevin Gillis
    • Kevin Gillis is one of Canada's leading independent producers. He is the creator, producer, director and head writer of the highly acclaimed, Gemini award-winning animated family series, The Raccoons, as well as the animated sitcom Producing Parker (starring Kim Cattrall). In 1991, Gillis co-founded Skyvision Entertainment, where his credits as executive producer included: Robocop: The Series, Heart of Courage and F/X: The Series He then went on to serve as executive vice-president and executive producer of Catalyst Entertainment (1996-2001), where he oversaw a series of television movies of the week, before launching Breakthrough Animation Inc. (B/A) in 2003. As managing partner of B/A, Gillis produced, executive produced and sold the Gemini Award-winning animated series Atomic Betty, Miss BG, Jimmy Two Shoes, and My Big Big Friend. After co-founding Skywriter Media & Entertainment Group Inc. in 2009, a year later Gillis co-founded Skyreader Media Inc., a company dedicated to developing new technology and product for the emerging interactive eBook market and for broadcast as a second screen. To date the company has produced and taken to market 25 titles of interactive eBooks and is working with a number of major publishers and content owners enabling their interactive publishing and self-publishing initiatives with Skyreader's unique patent pending and patented interactive authoring tool.