Award Winners 2023

Winners Announced at this years RTÉjr Animation Dingle Awards

Ireland’s premiere animation festival, presented with Jam Media, last night announced their winning films of 2023!

The festival wishes to thank our industry partners Screen Ireland and the support from Enterprise Ireland in achieving this festival. We are most grateful for the support from: Coimisiún na Meán, The IDA, Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet and The French Embassy of Ireland.

Across the Festival programme, in the fishing village of Dingle in West Kerry, there was participation from broadcasters and streamers from Ireland, UK, USA, Germany, France, South Africa, Canada and included: Apple TV+, BBC, Disney, Gaumont, Lego, Milkshake!, Paramount, WDR, RTÉjr, Sony Kids, and Spin Master Entertainment.  

“Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support the 11th annual Animation Dingle Conference and Festival bringing together Irish animation’s creativity, storytelling and innovation in an awe-inspiring Kerry location. The event showcases Ireland’s international standing as a centre of excellence for animation and celebrates the work of an increasing contingent of award-winning Irish animators.

An important aspect of the event is the way it connects young Irish talent and creativity. It provides new entrants, graduates and third-level students with access to international decision-makers who they can look to for advice, direction and valuable insights.

Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support the Irish Digital Entertainment sector ranging from start-up stage right through to leadership development, innovation supports and facilitating key in-market events with international buyers”. Eileen Bell, Senior Business Development Advisor at Enterprise Ireland.

We began our call to the animation world early last year and it was wonderful to present here in Dingle to over 700 registered animators, the results of our selection process. 119 short animated films from 26 countries were exhibited here on the Dingle Peninsula on the west coast of Ireland. The winning films were announced at The RTÉjr Animation Dingle Awards on Friday night in The Dingle Skellig Hotel in County Kerry, Ireland.

Without further ado, here’s a complete list of winners:

Best Irish Student sponsored by RTÉjr: The Small Makings of a Storm by Avery Angle, IADT

The Small Makings of a Storm went on to win an incredible 4 awards on the night!

The film also won the Best 2D Award sponsored by Toon Boom; the Best Art Direction/Design Award sponsored by Jam Media and the Best Music/Sound Design Award sponsored by Egg Post Productions.

Judges were so impressed with this beautiful animation and had this to say about the film.

“Majestic and epic wonderful colour palette – Perfectly complete film. Could watch all day ” Suzanne Kelly RTÉjr

“The style of music employed in the animation was aptly suited to the enchanting world depicted. Through the interplay of music and sound design, a captivating and immersive environment was created, characterised by a rich texture that effectively complemented the visuals. Overall, the soundscape served to fill the auditory space, resulting in a seamless fusion of sound and image”. Mark Gordon, Score Music Draw.

“Beautiful design, confident bold art direction, powerful atmospheric piece” Mark Cumberton, Jam Media

“Gorgeous. The style is a bit like Hokusai meets the Lion King.” Eimear O’Mahony RTÉjr

There were Honourable Mentions for His Dancing Shoes in Best Music/Sound Design, Small Hours in Best 2D and in Best Art Direction/Design.

Best International Student sponsored by CBBC: Friendly Fire by Tom Koryto Blumen of Bazalel Academy of Art and Design

Sarah Muller of the BBC said Friendly Fire was “Unique and exceptional”

There was also a special mention in this category given to the incredible Close your Eyes by Manon Bérardengo, Audrey Defonte, Léo Depoix, Denis Koessler, Clémentine Laurent, Pierre Guislain, Chloé Boursier from Pôle 3D, France.

Taking home 2 awards was the impressive stop motion film His Dancing Shoes by Domhnall Cotter from IADT

Best Animation Award sponsored by MILKSHAKE! Best Writer Award sponsored by Animation Ireland and National Talent Academy for Animation.

“Beautifully emotive and a sensitive exploration of the grieving process. So much story has been successfully conveyed using minimal body movement but with detailed focus on the stories our eyes tell. Stunning”. Kyle Jenkins, Milkshake

“A beautiful and captivating story, as well as heartbreaking. Nicely transitions between the present and the past. A lovely well told story of a lost love.” Deirdre Barry, NTAA

Best Stop Motion Award sponsored by Aardman Animations went to Stay by Yu Sun, London College of Communications.

“Loved the powerful emotions at play here, where the narrative and themes were held together perfectly by the technical approach. Wonderful.” Mark Simon Hewis, Aardman Academy

The Best 3D/CGI Award went to Synchrony, directed by Julia Le Bras-Juarez, Emmie Marriere, Marianne Fourmanoit, Laura Techer, Louise-Marie Rousselie, Jean Delamarre, Alexis Prost from Supinfocom Rubika 

The award is sponsored by Boulder Media and Paul O’ Flanangan had this to say about the film

“Intriguing story. Lovely character animation and acting. Great design and render. Beautifully storyboarded.”

Special mention was given for The Most Boring Granny in The World by Damaris Zielke

The Best Director Award sponsored by Triggerfish went to Small Hours by Marta Sniezek & Christian Spurling from IATD

“Beautiful, sensitive animation.“ Stuart Forrest, Triggerfish

Best Irish Professional Short sponsored by the IDA: Colour! by Britt Bailey

“The concept of the film may seem simple, but it is so relevant and actual. The sharpness of the treatment highlights situations and emotions lived and experienced by the minorities. As part of minority people in a western country, I can only be highly concerned by the topic and deeply touched by the message. The graphism is sober but leaves room for poetry and emotions. 

Messages are true and sincere. One of them resonates deeply inside me: Never reject what we are and where we are from.” Denis Do (Funan)

AND the recipient of Animation Dingle’s Best Irish Professional Short Award is also eligible for consideration in the Animation Short Film category of the Academy Awards®   

An Honourable Mention went to Regular Rabbit By Eoin Duffy

We are honoured to mention that Animation Dingle is now a qualifying Student Academy Awards® festival. This means that Student Films selected into our competition and nominated for an award are eligible for consideration to be nominated in the Student Academy Awards® 

Best International Professional Short sponsored by Nickelodeon: Ninety-Five Senses by Jerusha Hess & Jared Hess, USA

“This is a wonderful film and the different animation styles take you on a visual journey that is a treat to watch. It is a smart monologue taking you through the senses of seeing, smelling, hearing, taste and touch and how these are woven into a reflective telling of a life before death – it’s a really clever structure and juxtaposition. The story covers so much – comment on the future and screen use, the smell memories evoke, remembering childhood memories, the remorse of causing a death, the materials you feel around you that you don’t necessarily notice, reflection on your life, the wishes you once had, regret and redemption, all create an emotive and thought provoking film that ends with his death. It’s a lovely story and has lightness, sadness, comedy and tragedy in equal measure. It’s lovely to see the journey translated into so many different styles all coming together to make sense as one united film with a great pace.  An excellent film and narrative!” Louise Bucknole, Paramount

Honourable Mention The Smile By Erik Van Schaaik

The Big Pitcher Winner, Fay Antar with her project On Eir. Fay wins a 6 month paid internship with Jam Media and will get to pitch at Cartoon Springboard later this year.

Best Sting sponsored by Monster Entertainment went to Frankenphiast by Matthew Jackson University of Dundee

Honourable mentions for The D.M.C.A Lab by Jack Finnerty MTU and Midnight Fusion by Rían O Loughlin TUS Athlone.

Winner of the inaugural Best Game Sting was VR Trouble by Oísin O Connell, BCFE. This was the first year of the award, presented at Animation Dingle Studio Fair, the game was selected the winner by Nancy Xu Virtual Production Producer, Epic Games, Unreal Engine. “All of the games are excellent, fun to play and addictive. VR Trouble is very complex, visually high quality, and the painting experience was excellent.” 


Young Animator of the Year(YAOTY) sponsored by the Disney Channel, the award went to Earth Nua – A New Utopian Age by Eoghan Micheál Bonner from Gairmscoil MhIc Diarmada.

“Excellent design throughout, and some really excellent classic-style 2D animation.  Graphic and cartoony.  And stylish!”  Orion Ross from Disney

And finally:

Murakami Award 2023 sponsored by Brown Bag Films was presented to Steve Woods.

Irish Animator Steve Woods was honoured with the festival’s greatest accolade, The Murakami Award, sponsored and presented by Cathal Caffney, Managing Director BBF, COO 9 Story Group. The award is in the name of the late Jimmy T. Murakami and Jimmy’s wife, Ethna Muramkai was also present. On the night Tom Moore, Richie Baneham, Alan Shannon and Darragh O’ Connell paid tribute to Steve who gave an emotional and heartfelt acceptance speech.

Animation Dingle is delighted to announce these winners and to announce also that animation is alive and kicking in Ireland with a robust sector awaiting all these creative upcoming animators – the future is bright.