Top Young Animator award for CBS Charleville student


Jude O’Brien, a 5th year student at CBS Charleville, has won the prestigious Young Animator of the Year Award at this year’s Animation Dingle Festival. This competition was open to all secondary school students from all over Ireland. Students were invited to submit a short, animated film based on the theme of ‘Look to the Sky’. This national award YAOTY is an annual event.

Set in magical Dingle, on the most westerly peninsula of Europe, Animation Dingle is a festival that was created for students and has been moulded by them over the years. This festival wanted to draw attention to the talented young people in Ireland and give them a spotlight in which to showcase their skills, so they run the YAOTY awards, which do just that!
Jude was introduced to this competition when he was in Transition Year, a year when students can mature, develop and gain new skills. He explains that “I first heard about the festival in Transition Year through the TY notice board, but I didn’t have anything to animate with. I decided to do some research and realised that I didn’t need much to start, just a computer and some free animation software. I use Blender, which is mainly a 3D animation software, but it has some 2D capabilities as well. I waited for months for the theme of the short film and it finally came. The theme was ‘Look to the Sky’ and within a week I already knew exactly what I wanted to do. I broke down the key words of the theme Look and Sky and thought of different ways I could go about them.  Synonyms of look, see, what is the opposite of seeing? Being blind, and that was my inspiration for the main character, a short and old grumpy blind man.  The short film took me (not including procrastination) about two months. This was my first animation above three seconds and in colour. I entered it and got shortlisted along with ten other people and I won. Yay. So now I will be getting 1 or 2-weeks of work placement at one of JAM Medias studios (and a good looking trophy).”
This year Jude attended the virtual Dingle Animation Festival and Awards Ceremony, which was presented by Irish comedian Alison Spittle. Listed as ‘One of the top Not-To-Be-Missed events in the World’ by Animation Magazine, Animation Dingle was attended by all the major animation colleges and studios within Ireland, along with delegates from Disney, Amazon, RTÉ, CBBC, CBeebies and many more.
With all this in mind, we are likely to see this young artist on the credits of major animated films in the coming years.