The brand new National Talent Academy for Animation (NTAA) has opened for registration and aims to increase the number of skilled staff in the sector and create a greater awareness of its long-term career potential. An initiative of Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland, the new Academy is a major development for the Irish animation industry that seeks to further enhance Ireland’s reputation as a global hub for animation production.
Led by Animation Ireland, the Academy will be providing mentorship programmes, workshops, masterclasses, placements, networking opportunities, support and advice to the animation community.
As well as offering support and opportunities to talent already working in the industry, recent graduates and college students, the NTAA will encourage people from other sectors who may not have seen animation as a career, but quite often have transferable skills, and school-aged children who might be considering a future in the animation industry.
Leading Irish animation producer, Deirdre Barry, has been appointed as the new Academy’s Programme Director. Commenting on the announcement, Deidre Barry said; ‘’I am looking forward to working with the industry and stakeholders to help drive the future of Irish animation. We will be encouraging people from all backgrounds, regions and walks of life to consider animation as a career, with a particular focus on diversity and inclusion. As long as you have the talent and the work ethic, there should be an opportunity out there for you.”
Deidre went on to say; ‘’There has never been a better time to work in the animation industry. Ireland has developed an international reputation over the years for developing high quality programming, and some of the world’s greatest animation studios are based here, with creative talent that can rival any country in the world. With the number of projects currently in production and in development, there is an unprecedented demand for Irish-based talent and we will showcase animation as a viable and highly rewarding career path.’’
Interested applicants can learn more and register their interest here
The first programmes are rolling out this month with the launch of the NTAA Mentorship Programme, featuring Mentors from 8 key areas of production – Intellectual Property Development, Scriptwriting, Storyboarding, Design, Editing, Music Composition, VFX and Studio Set-up. The NTAA Mentors are all experts in their field and a callout will be going out shortly for potential Mentees who wish to progress further in these areas under the guidance of an industry expert.
The NTAA is joined by a Steering Group of industry experts including Chair Sheila de Courcy (Media producer, writer, consultant), Ronan McCabe (CEO of Animation Ireland), Moe Honan (Moetion Films), Andrew Byrne (Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland), Gareth Lee (Screen Ireland), John Phelan (DBIC), Gary McHugh (Young Irish Film Makers), Catherine Hehir (Cartoon Saloon), Stephen Kelly (Ability Focus), Tim Morris (VFXAI), Yvonne Hennessy (Technological University of the Shannon), Sean Smith (Animation Skillnet) and Eileen Bell (Enterprise Ireland).
Deidre Barry has over 25 years of experience in the global animation industry, having started her career in Los Angeles with HBO. She has worked as a producer on multiple productions and with global names such as Warner Bros., NBC, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Deirdre has also worked with Animation Skillnet to deliver numerous courses and regularly lectures in colleges around the country.