Ireland’s Animation Dingle (animationdingle.com) has capped another digital edition with the presentation of its annual awards, celebrating the best animation from around the country and the globe. Students and industry professionals competed across 15 categories with the added industry-focused Murakami Award — which is given each year to a new recipient who has made a significant contribution to Irish animation, named for Jimmy T. Murakami (1933-2014).
Animation Dingle celebrated 10 years this year, and the program was fresher than ever — introducing new elements from VR and gaming and examining the ever blurred lines between. (Perhaps this will be the newest category to join the Animation Dingle Awards in 2023?)
Over 100 films from 20 countries worldwide were under consideration in the film competition this year. The winners were determined by a panel of expert judges: Peter Lord of Aardman Animations, Patricia Hidalgo of BBC, Orion Ross of Disney, Suzanne Kelly of RTÉjr, Lousie Bucknole of Milkshake!, Eimear O’Mahony of RTÉjr, Sarah Muller of BBC, Mandy Kean of Mustard Studio, Kate Morton of BBC, screenwriter Will Collins, Deirdre Barry of Salty Dog Pictures, illustrator Ben Hennessy, Louise Burgess of Milkshake!, Rob Cullen of Boulder Media and Mark Cumberton of Jam Media.
Animation Dingle Awards 2022 winners:
The powerful protest short The Seine’s Tears from Pôle 3D (France) won over the judges in three categories, taking the prizes for Best International Student (sponsored by CBBC), Best Director (sponsored by Enterprise Ireland) and Best 3D/CGI (sponsored by Boulder Media). The student short was created by Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Philippine Singer and Alice Letailleur.
- “Very poignant and emotional story, incredibly well executed, credible and engaging character design, impeccable art direction, animation, music and sound design and ambiance. This film showcases and brilliantly masters a great array of different techniques.” — Patricia Hidalgo, BBC
- “Deeply affecting, it is so memorable that this shocking historical event is brought to life in an effective and sympathetic way — bringing the tragic history of 1961 to a new audience.” — Sarah Muller, BBC
- “Startling, enthralling and moving film.” — Kate Morton, BBC
- “Really moving — Fantastic character design and immersive storytelling.” — Suzanne Kelly, RTÉjr
This Is Why by Sean Roberts from IADT won Best Irish Student (sponsored by RTÉjr) and Best Writer (sponsored by Animation Ireland and the new National Talent Academy for Animation).
- “Really nice storytelling sensitively realized.” — Suzanne Kelly, RTÉjr
- “A very relevant and relatable story, well told from both sides.” — Deirdre Barry, Salty Dog / NTAA
Another IADT project, Patrick O’Callaghan’s The Forty Foot, snagged a double win for Best Design/Art Direction (sponsored by JAM Media) and Best Animation (sponsored by Milkshake!).
Best 2D (sponsored by Cartoon Saloon): Shelly Banks by Alex Hughes from BCFE.
- “Loved this film…I laughed out loud.” — Suzanne Kelly, RTÉjr
Best Stop Motion (sponsored by Aardman Animations): An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It by Lachlan Pendragon from Griffith Film School, Australia.
- “This is done with immense flair and inventiveness. The voices are great and for me, tonally, it doesn’t put a foot wrong … Just clever and funny.” — Peter Lord, Aardman
Best Music/Sound Design (sponsored by EGG Post Production Studios): The Guitar by Domhnall Cotter from IADT.
- “Brilliant storytelling through very intricate and subtle sound design.” — Eimear O’Mahony, RTÉjr
Best Irish Professional Short (sponsored by the IDA): Fall of the Ibis King by Josh O’Caoimh and Mikai Geronimo.
- “Really strong film, I really enjoyed it.” — Ben Hennessy
- “It’s a really intense watch and thoroughly enjoyable.” — Mandy Kean, Mustard Studio
Best International Professional Short (sponsored by Nickelodeon): Affairs of the Art by Joanna Quinn.
- “Fantastic! The narration and comedy of the piece is brilliant, with a really unique hand drawn style and design. As an observational comedy, it is really well constructed and the storytelling blends well with the animation. The core character comes across as larger than life and has some funny, yet darker moments to draw on the emotional engagement for the audience watching. This is an outstanding piece of work and I thoroughly enjoyed watching this!” — Louise Bucknole, Milkshake
Best Animated Short Audience Choice Award (sponsored by Lighthouse Studios): Catalyst by Caitlin Gillespie, Patrick Gallagher and Matthew Kernaghan of Ulster University.
Murakami Recipient 2022 (sponsored by Brown Bag Films): Eileen Bell, Senior Business Development adviser with Enterprise Ireland.
Best Sting presented by JAM Media and Animation Dingle: The Call by Shay Commander from University of Dundee.
- The Littlest Biggest Fan by Jack Casserly in TUS Athlone
- Magical an Phiast by Nico Rylands from BCFE
Young Animator of the Year (sponsored by the Disney Channel; selected by Orion Ross from Disney): Planet Play Pause by Max Hendrickson from Mount Temple Comprehensive School.
- “Even without character animation, it tells a moving, magical, cosmic story and provokes a strong emotional response through its mood, music and beautiful combination of hand-made and electronic design. It starts small and really builds to something powerful.” — Orion Ross, Disney