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Top animators from Netflix, Amazon and Disney heading to Dingle to find future talent

This is the sixth year of the animation festival in Dingle.

John Rice alongside other animators
John Rice alongside other animators

WORLD LEADING ANIMATORS and buyers will descend on Dingle this week to discover new talent at the Animation Festival.

Students will get the chance to impress top animators flying in from Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Apple.

John Rice from Jam Media, the company behind the festival, told TheJournal.ie that it’s possible that the next big sensation in animation comes from a chat started in Dingle.

The only rule is that it’s only students who are allowed to pitch.

“It allows for students to approach them [professionals] and network and socialise, students can just go up and say hi.”

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Rice explained that the festival isn’t just about conferences and screenings – there’s a speed dating style chat where students spent five minutes with each professional animator.

“Last year the festival held ‘Pitch with a pint’. Six students were chosen, they got up in front of six professionals and had six minutes, the best pitch won a six month internship with Jam Media.

That’s one of the reasons key people come back year on year – pitches getting past.

Rice added that the student who won last year auctioned an idea and travelled around Europe and LA with Jam Media pitching. Rice said, “It seems likely very exciting things will happen to him.”


Rice says he hasn’t heard of this being done anywhere else in the world, adding that it started as a networking event but evolved.

This is the sixth year of the festival – which has sold out for the past two years.

The festival can accommodate 650 people, half students and half professionals.

DSC_0680 John Rice addressing the guests

The student tickets sold out first but the professional tickets sold out by 2 January, Rice added that international contributors have also increased this year.

Luminaries attending include Bobby Podesta from Pixar (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc) Peter Lord from CBE (Wallace and Gromit), Dan Katcher (Game of Thrones),  Ryan Woodword (Space Jam, Spiderman, Avengers, Thor, Iron Man etc) and Keith Sintay (Pocohontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame , Mulan , Tarzan etc).

With millions of children in 120 territories around the world now watching programmes created in Ireland, animation is poised to becoming one of the highest growth exports.

The animators will be here to discover new talent that could inspire future creative partnerships.

Read: ’It’s a compelling story about women’: A look at the Oscar-nominated animation made in Kilkenny>

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