Kilkenny Animated, a new festival in visual storytelling, to take place next month

The Marble City will host a new and eclectic festival supported and funded by Fáilte Ireland and Kilkenny County Council

Mary Cody


Mary Cody


Kilkenny Animated, a new festival in visual storytelling,  to take place next month

Kilkenny Animated is a brand new festival of visual storytelling, hosted by double-Oscar nominated Kilkenny animation studio, Cartoon Saloon and produced by Naoise Nunn and local festivals and events company Schweppe Curtis Nunn.
The festival will celebrate the creativity and craft of the many aspects of animation, cartoons and illustration set among Kilkenny’s medieval streets and slipways. This is all against the background of the huge success of Cartoon Saloon, established nearly 20 years ago by Tomm Moore, Paul Young and recent Golden Globe nominee, Nora Twomey. The studio has been nominated for best animated feature Oscars for Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea and there is growing expectation that Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner may be named as the studio’s third Academy Award nominee when nominations are announced on January 23.
Added to the success of Cartoon Saloon has been the setting up in Kilkenny of another animation studio, Lighthouse Studios – a joint venture between Cartoon Saloon and Canadian studio Mercury Filmworks – which already employs dozens of highly skilled animation craftworkers with hundreds more posts in the animation industry expected to be filled by the end of this year. All of this is helping to develop Kilkenny’s reputation as a global hub for animation.
Kilkenny Animated takes place between February 23 and 25 in Kilkenny and will feature a broad programme of exhibitions of cartoonists and illustrators; standup comedy shows with animation, screenings of animated shorts and features; projections on buildings, dance shows that incorporate live animation; workshops for kids and grafitti installations. The aim of the festival is to make accessible to everyone the enjoyment and appreciation of all aspects of visual storytelling.
One of the centrepieces of the festival will be the special hometown premiere of The Breadwinner at the Watergate Theatre on Sunday, February 25 – an opportunity for Kilkenny people and visitors to see the multi-award winning animated feature in the place is was made and with a special post-screening interview and Q&A with director Nora Twomey.
Comedians Bec Hill and Howard Read (together with his animated sidekick, Little Howard) will present a special standup comedy show which integrates animation in brilliant and surprising ways; there will be screenings of TG4’s animated series Cúl an Tí with accompanying live music performances; and there will be performances from a ground-breaking Hungarian dance group which uses live animation in its shows.
Cartoonists and illustrators who will be exhibiting include Matt Diffee of the New Yorker magazine; Peter De Seve, one of Disney’s most prolific character designers ("Scrat" from Ice Age, Mulan, Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life and Tarzan); Carter Goodrich (lead character designer on Despicable Me, Hotel Transylvania, the CROODS and Brave; José Luis Agreda; Mattias Adolfsson; Nick Galafianakis; Dave Coverly (Speedbump); Alé Mercado and Annie West. The full programme will be announced next Tuesday, (January 16). There will be a very special graffiti installation in the Abbey Quarter in a former Smithwick’s Brewery building featuring local artists Dan Leo and Mick Minogue.
Kilkenny Animated is supported and funded by Fáilte Ireland and Kilkenny County Council. For more see