The Murakami Award

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

Recipient of The Murakami Award 2023 – Steve Woods

Steve Woods works in animation, documentaries and dance films. In 1989 he helped set up the Galway Film Fleadh. He lectures at the National Film School at Dun Laoghaire, where he teaches experimental animation. He also occasionally writes and talks on film and animation and curates for film festivals.

Steve’s company is Cel’ Division. He specialises in short films but also is known for his installations and directing workshops. As well as producing his own work people approach him from time to time with an animated project which other producers might consider ‘left of field.

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: Eileen Bell, Enterprise Ireland; Robert Cullen, Creative Director and Founder of Boulder Media; Nora 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

The Murakami Award is sponsored by Brown Bag Films