Sci Fi

Sci-Fi Indie Animated Function ‘RIFT’ to Display at TAAFI

U.K.-based animation studio HaZimation announced today that their latest film, RIFT, will screen at the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) for their 2023 Film Festival. Described as a “bold and high-concept animated feature film,” the sci-fi thriller will be one of the first films screening online for festival attendees, slated for February 13 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

“The TAAFI team is ecstatic to have RIFT as a part of our film lineup for the 2023 festival,” said TAAFI Chair Karen Jackson. “The film’s unique concept and visually stunning animation make it stand out among the competition. We are eagerly looking forward to the audience’s reactions to the film and the impact it will have on the animation community. It’s not every day that a film comes along that pushes the boundaries of the medium, and we are honored to be able to share RIFT with our audiences.”

Passes for TAAFI ’23 are now on sale at


Directed by HaZimation founder Hasraf “HaZ” Dulull (The Beyond, Disney’s Fast Layne), whose original concept was turned into a screenplay by Stavros Pamballis, RIFT tells the story of Max, a young boy held captive in a research facility, who uses his ability to create spacetime rifts between parallel universes, searching for the one in which his brother Leon, a former-marine, manages to rescue him. With attempt after attempt ending in Leon’s death, the strain starts to take its toll on both brothers. When Max discovers his captors are using his power against him, he realizes he must stop focusing on how the story ends and rewrite it from the beginning.

The 93-minute film is produced by HaZimation co-founder Paula Crickard (Jolt, The Protege); executive produced by Yariv Lerner (Expendables, The Hitman’s Bodyguard), Amy Gardner (Identicals), and Jason Potter. Bringing RIFT to life on screen are BAFTA-winning actor Jane Perry (Cyberpunk 2077, Returnal), Cade Tropeano (Blackbird) and Dave Fennoy (The Walking Dead), with motion-capture performances from Ace Ruele (Marvel’s The Eternals) and Alex Kong (Marvel’s What If…). The film was graded by colourist Vanessa Taylor (The Northman).

“Screening RIFT at TAAFI 2023 Film Festival at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema is a momentous occasion for us at HaZimation. We’ve poured our hearts and souls into the making of this film, and to have it showcased at such a prestigious festival is a true honor,” said Dulull. “TAAFI is not just a platform for us to showcase our work, it’s also an opportunity for us to be a part of an incredibly talented community of animators, storytellers and filmmakers from around the world.

“The festival is a celebration of the animation art form and the incredible talent it holds. We are thrilled to be a part of this festival and to have the opportunity to share our unique vision with audiences. RIFT is a film that pushes the boundaries of animation and storytelling and we hope that it will be an immersive and thought-provoking experience for the young adult audiences.”

The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) will take place from February 13-18, starting with online programming and switching to in-person at the Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto.

HaZimation is a micro-studio led by Dulull and co-founded by industry veteran Crickard, which develops and produces feature films, television and video games through its propriety pipeline utilizing Unreal Engine. HaZimation develops its own IP / content as well as co-producing with outside studios and producers. The studio’s boutique team is currently in production on various animated feature film projects and video games, all aiming for metaverse extensions. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.


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