Virtual Animation Dingle Goes Global

Tucked away in the most westerly point of Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way, lies Animation Dingle in Dingle Town, presented by Jam Media. No stranger to guests and celebrities, Dingle welcomes strangers to its shores. 

Animators gather annually in Dingle town to be part of this unique, boutique festival.  Animation Dingle, run in partnership with Screen Ireland, prides itself on inclusivity; here you can find the best from the animation industry chatting in one of Dingle’s iconic pubs to upcoming student animators. With the assistance of Enterprise Ireland, guests travel by plane, train, bus, car and taxi to get there.

In 2021 Animation Dingle has thrown open its doors and gone global. Tickets are now on sale for the Virtual Animation Dingle Festival 2021. You can see what they have on offer this year via their platform and in their digital brochure.

This year’s live conference itself is delivering an incredible lineup of guests and speakers and is brought to you from a virtual Dick Mack’s Pub in Dingle.

The festival co-founders, Maurice Galway and John Rice of JAM Media, are delighted to welcome Tánaiste and Vice President of Ireland Leo Varadkar to officially open the 9th Animation Dingle Festival on Wednesday, 24th March.

The Conference itself packs a punch and Animation Dingle is proud to announce that Oscar®-winning director Don Hall, fresh from his work on Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, and known for his work on Disney’s Big Hero 6 and Moana, will be heading up a strong line-up of guests including Madeline Sharafian, Oscar®-nominated director of Pixar’s Burrow and Steven Clay Hunter,director of Pixar’s OUT.

The Making of Disney’s Chip ‘N’ Dale: Park Life will offer a nuts and bolts look at the development and production of the new Disney+ series produced by Xilam Animation, with director Jean Cayrol, production manager Amelie Muller and Disney execs Shamik Majumdar, Gerardo Orlando, Katie Barba and Orion Ross, who will host the session.

Presented by Enterprise Ireland, an enormously popular guest a few years ago, Peter Lord from Aardman Studios, with over 50 years in the business of animation, is delighted to be coming back to Dingle to share his insights and, presented by Screen Ireland, Making The Frame Work, which includes a look back at over 20 years of Irish animation, panelists include; Emma Scott, Screen Ireland; Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director Brown Bag Films, COO 9 Story Group; Niamh Herrity, Co-Founder, CEO, Pink Kong; Alan Shannon, CCO, Jam Media; Aisling Conroy, writer, director with And Maps And Plans and chaired Maurice Galway, Festival Director.

Presented by The Embassy of France in Ireland, an all female round table discussion – Women in the Animation Industry : Steps in the right direction? will bring together an exciting all female animated discussion with industry experts such as Cécile Blondel from Gobelins, Paris; Lithuanian founder and producer of Art Shot Agnė Adomėnė, Mexican Producer Nidia Santiago from IKKI Films in France, Jo Allen, producer for BBC Children’s Acquisitions and Independent Animation and Eimear O’Mahony Head of Childrens and Young People’s content in RTE.   John Rice will have a Fireside chat with this year’s recipient of The Murakami Award Robert Cullen. Rob is the Emmy nominated creative director and founder of Boulder Media and is currently directing his first feature film based on My Little Pony to be released in 2021.

The Big Pitcher event sponsored by Dreamworks Animation, will now be virtual but JAM Media will still be spearheading this drive to uncover the next big, upcoming Irish Animator, with the assistance from judges: Tara Sorensen, Head of Creative Development, Apple; Sarah Muller, Head of BBC Children’s Commissioning & Acquisitions; Suzanne Kelly, Group Head of Children’s & Young People’s Programming RTE; Peter Gal, Chief Creative Officer at DreamWorks Animation Television; Louise Bucknole, VP Programming Kids, ViacomCBS Networks International, UK & Ireland and chaired by Mark Cumberton, COO, JAM Media.

Workshops are supported by Screen Skills Ireland and Animation Skillnet, Marie Lum, animator and storyboard artist based in Los Angeles will be giving a workshop live from LA titled; Deaf, Disabled, and Neurodiverse Opportunities in Animation.

Meet Allison Rutland, hosting “Animating Characters”’ as part of Beehive Theatre, Workshop Programme. Allison has been working as an animator for over 15 years. She has a background in Fine Art and went to Sheridan College for Computer Animation. She animated on several feature films, such as “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”, and “Where the Wild Things Are. Allison joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2009, and has animated on “Toy Story 3”, “Brave”, “Monsters University”, “Inside Out”, “Finding Dory”, “Coco”, “Incredibles 2” and was a Directing Animator on “Onward”.

Mad Max Fury Road’s Brendan McCarthy will be  taking a look at The Graphic Novel, while The Screen Composer’s Guild of Ireland are also present with ‘Composing for Animation’. A panel conversation with some of Ireland’s leading composers for screen examining how Irish composers and music has responded to the growth in the animation sector.   The ever popular Sketch Trail will see students led through live drawing workshops with JAM Media’s Art Director, Borja Espana Guillot.  All, of course, with Discord to maximize interaction and a sense of communication and sharing.

Key Events which are front and centre for students each year are now inventivity integrated into the platform and on Discord – the festival’s Studio Pub Trail where students can upload portfolios and pitch to studio heads, and studios are actively hiring! You can find Brown Bag Films hiring in Kennedy’s Pub, while Cartoon Saloon are reviewing and hiring in Dick Mack’s Bar, Jam Media are reviewing student portfolios in Foxy John’s Bar and you’ll find Lighthouse Studios offering positions to both professionals and students throughout the festival from McCarthy’s Bar.

Virtual Animation Dingle has it’s usual host of Irish and International Student and Professional Shorts, feature films including: Oscar®-nominated, Cartoon Saloon’s Wolfwalkers; from France, Calamity from director Remí Chayé; Winner of The Best Animated Feature at this year’s César awards,  Josep from the director Aurel; and Anca Damian’s Marona’s  Fantastic Tale. Most of the features include Q&As with the directors.

“It’s been an incredible year of viewing work and learning new ways to exhibit film and bring people together. Our virtual festival is bringing Dingle out into the world for all to see.  Having attended virtual events and festivals myself over the past year,  I have been able to assess what it is I would like to see for Virtual Animation Dingle.  I hope that you enjoy the platform; we have worked hard to bring you a festival that is easy to navigate, intuitive and easy to enjoy – a one ticket, all-you-can-eat-animation festival experience.  We have over 2500 minutes of digital content. ”

Festival Director/Co-Founder, Maurice Galway

‘While disappointed that the physical festival is not possible this year, the opportunity to expand the festival to a global audience is incredibly exciting. This year’s lineup of speakers, events and films is stronger than ever and is truly world class. The format remains the same as in previous years; Conference on 24th, followed by workshops, screening and the always fun awards on the 25th. We can’t wait to show the world the magic of Animation Dingle!’

Festival Director/Co-Founder, John Rice

Cleverly, the Virtual Animation Dingle Festival is easy to use. It is a one Pass and all-you-can-eat-animation, so no need to buy separate tickets to events.  Tickets allow full access to the best in animated short and feature films, workshop programmes, panel discussions and interactive student-centred events.  To appeal to its student following, Animation Dingle has integrated Discord onto their platform, allowing students to chat to studio heads, book meetings with them, upload their portfolios for reviewing…everything that they would expect from an annual visit to Dingle Town can be expected via the platform.

The 2-day festival closes with its popular YouTube Kids Animation Dingle Awards hosted by the indomitable and very funny Alison Spittle and followed up with the Boulder Media sponsored Awards Party with live DJ Efa O’Neill. The recipient of this year’s Murakami Award is Robert Cullen. Festival judges deciding on the winners of the next generation of great animators include the stellar line-up; Peter Lord of Aardman Animations; Patricia Hidalgo, Director of Children’s + Education, BBC; Orion Ross, Vice President, Original Programming – Animation, Media Networks Europe & Africa at The Walt Disney Company; Suzanne Kelly, Group Head of Children’s & Young People’s Programming RTE; Lousie Bucknole, VP Programming Kids, ViacomCBS Networks International; Eimear O’Mahony, Head of Childrens and Young People’s content in RTE; Sarah Muller, Head of BBC Children’s Commissioning & Acquisitions; Kyle Jenkins, Acquisitions & Programme Manager, Channel 5 Broadcasting; Steve Henderson, Director of Manchester Animation Festival; Mandy Kean, Founder & CEO of Mustard and Sean Feeney, Head of Production, GFM Animation.

And if that wasn’t enough, there are over 360 directors represented in and out of competition with the best picked animated shorts you’ll find anywhere virtual this year from Ireland and across the globe. An estimated total of 2,500 minutes of content and a shared experience with over 2,000 animators attending and participating in the event.

At a time when we can travel nowhere, Virtual Animation Dingle carries us away not only to the beautiful worlds of animators, but also to Ireland, to Dingle and to the Atlantic Ocean. This was crucial for the festival this year in pulling the virtual platform together.  Each guest, panellist and contributor to the Festival will be placed in a Dingle context.  All venues are Dingle identified: even the Conference takes place in the iconic Dick Mack’s Pub and the Studio Pub Trail places each Irish studio in its own Dingle pub, so when they hold meetings they do so in their own pub.

This year visit Virtually, but hopefully next year we will see you in Dingle!

Tickets are on sale globally at Eventbrite now!

Festival Digital Programme can be found at


Further information

Maurice Galway

Festival Director/Founder

Animation Dingle

00 353 87 9139962