The Murakami Award

Jimmy T. Murakami, 1933-2014, was one of the founding fathers of Irish animation.
Eileen Bell

Recipient of The Murakami Award 2022 – Eileen Bell

Eileen is originally from the Kansas City, where Walt Disney created the concept for Mickey Mouse. She began her career in publishing, before starting her Business Advisor role in Enterprise Ireland.

With Enterprise Ireland for over two decades, she has supported companies to scale and grow, collaborating with the sector nationally and internationally.  In the early years Eileen was a Market Advisor based in the World Trade Centre in Amsterdam and from 2004 moved to the role of EI’s Digital Entertainment lead working across Animation, VFX, TV & Film and Technology.  

Eileen has worked on key initiatives to build business capability in the sector, such as supporting the establishment of the Animation Ireland CEO Forum.   

She is a member on key strategic industry groups including the Government Departmental AV Steering Committee, Animation Skillnet. and the National Talent Academy for Animation.

Eileen is a very passionate supporter of the Irish screen industries and has a particular affinity to the animation sector and community, a sector which is globally recognised for its unique innovation, creativity, and storytelling.  

Jimmy T. Murakami, 1933-2014, was one of the founding fathers of Irish animation. He was a key figure in the establishment of the thriving Irish animation industry that we know today.

In 1965 he launched his own company, Murakami-Wolf Productions, with business partner Fred Wolf. Murakami settled permanently in Ireland while working on Roger Corman’s, ‘The Red Baron’ in 1971. His work in the 1986 feature, ‘When the Wind Blows‘ produced some of the animator’s most acclaimed work with ‘The Snowman‘ remaining an enduring children’s favourite to this day. Murakami Films opened in Dublin in 1989, with the studio producing popular television series such as ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘. Cathal Gaffney of Brown Bag Films, called Murakami “a founding father of Irish Animation”.

At Animation Dingle 2013, Jimmy T. Murakami, received the inaugural Murakami Award for his lifetime achievement in Animation. Of the event, he said

“I have been to hundreds of film festivals, all over the globe, for what seems to be the last hundred years, and in my opinion the Dingle Film Festival is the best among them all”.

Past recipients include: Robert Cullen, Creative Director and Founder of Boulder MediaNora Twomey, Co-founder and Creative Director of Cartoon Saloon, Darragh O’Connell and Cathal Gaffney, founders of Brown Bag Films; Aidan Hickey; Don Bluth & Gary Goldman; Oscar nominated Tomm Moore, Song of the Sea; Oscar winner Richie Baneham Avatar;  Oscar nominated Jimmy T. Murakami, The Snowman