Introducing Our Judging Panel


Animation Ireland believes in a fair and transparent evaluation for all entrants to the Irish Animation Awards. The judging process is carefully considered  and commits to providing objective and quality assessment on all projects submitted. By consulting with the AI Board and IAA committee we choose respected industry professionals, the majority of whom are international and with no direct relation to any of the projects. We assign two judges per category based on each judge’s own reputation and expertise.

All of our judges are briefed on their assigned category and taken through an orientation process, during which they are introduced to their co-judging partner, the overall awards program and how to best appraise the competing projects; all in-line with the IAA  judging criterion which is set out by the AI Board and IAA Committee. The criteria and marking system vary for the appropriate category, and include benchmarks such as; effectiveness of storytelling, strength and clarity of communication; pacing, timing and flow; and audience connection. We appointed a Chair Judge Jackie Edwards (BBC) to assist in resolving any judging issues that may arise.  All winners are kept in strict confidence between the judges and the IAA Coordinator until the awards ceremony.

Animation Ireland saw another significant increase in entries this year and our wonderful judges have been judging entries since January.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank our judges for generously giving their time and helping us in our mission to celebrate the talent in the Irish Animation industry.

Our Judges

Chair Judge: Jackie Edwards (BBC/ CBeebies)

Best Animated Preschool Series (up to 6 years): Patricia Hidalgo (Turner)  & Jillianne Reinseth (Entertainment One) 

Best Animated Short Film: Beth Parker (Disney) & Sheila de Courcy (Sheila de Courcy) 

Best International Short Film: Darragh O’Connell (Brown Bag Films)  & Moe Honan (Moetion Films) 

Best Writer for Preschool Animation (up to 6 years): Eryk Casemiro (Nickelodeon) &  Mellie Buse (ADASTRA)

Best Writer for an Animated Series: Richelle Wilder (Adorable Media) &  Ciaran Murtagh (Ciaran Murtagh)

Best VFX as part of Animated TV Series or Film: Ryan Woodward (Ryan Woodward)  &  Sueann Rochester (Axis Animation) 

Best Animation for Apps, Gaming and Interactive: Colum Slevin (Oculus/ Facebook)  & Chris Conlon (Pewter Games) 

Best Design and Art Direction:  Shannon Tindle (Netflix)  & Bridget Phelan (Aardman Animations) 

Best Director of an Animated TV Series: Geoff Walker (Factory/NBC Universal) &  Sarah Cox (Aardman Animations) 

Best Animation: Keith Sintay (Encore Hollywood)  &  Stuart Sumida (Anatomical & Animation Consultant/ Disney/ Dreamworks) 

Best Music: Sharon Fullarton (ARTEUS)  & Peter Decraene (Creative Conspiracy) 

Best Sound Design: Shannon Mills (Skywalker Sound) &  John Cobban (ARTEUS) 

Best Irish Feature Film or Special: Matthias Lechner (Disney) &  Mark Oftedal (The Monk Studio) 

Best Newcomer: Ernie Gilbert (Wild Canary/ Disney Jr) &  Davey Moore (Davey Moore)

Kid’s Choice Award For Best  Pre-School Animated Series(up to 6 yrs)

Pupils from Scoil Choca Naofa, Kilcock, Co. Kildare

Kid’s Choice Award For Best  Animated Series (6-12 yrs)

Pupils from Scoil Uí Riada Gaelscoil, Kilcock, Co. Kildare

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