Kilkenny Animated is now in its 5th year of visual storytelling, incorporating cartoons, animation and illustration in a series of exhibitions, talks, performances, workshops and experiences that celebrate the creativity and craft of the visual image.

The festival is hosted by five time Academy Award® nominated animation studio, Cartoon Saloon and award winning Lighthouse Studios and is set against and inspired by the backdrop of Kilkenny’s medieval streets and slipways at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. Kilkenny Animated is the first festival of its kind in the world to bring together so many different aspects of visual storytelling for the enjoyment and appreciation of wider public audience.

In the past there has been hilarious stand up comedy with 2D animation and anarchic projections from Bec Hill and Howard Read; spell-binding and award-winning dance with live animation from Hungarian group Bandart; the premiere of animated series Cul an Ti (TG4, Paper Panther, Cartoon Saloon) with live music from Kila, Lisa Hannigan and special guests; and the Hometown Gala Premiere of Cartoon Saloon’s Golden Globe-nominated feature The Breadwinner, with a special post -show interview with director, Nora Twomey.

There has been amazing programmes of workshops, talks and slideshows from some of the world’s greatest character designers, illustrators, animators and cartoonists who, between them, are responsible for work at Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, New Yorker magazine. The New York Times, The Irish Times, Washington Post, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and the Jim Henson Company among many, many others.

Cartoon Saloon

Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon is a four-time Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, BAFTA and Emmy nominated animation studio formed by Paul Young, Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey. From award-winning shorts to feature films and TV series, Cartoon Saloon has carved a special place in the international Animation industry.

In 2010 the studio’s first feature film, The Secret of Kells, was nominated for an Academy Award® and in 2015 Tomm Moore’s follow up feature, Song of the Sea, garnered Moore a second Oscar® Nomination and a nomination for Producer Paul Young. Song of the Sea was also the first animated feature to win Best Picture at the Irish IFTA Academy awards.

Golden Globe® and Academy Award® nominated The Breadwinner was released in November 2017 to huge critical acclaim. Directed by Nora Twomey, it is based on the internationally acclaimed young adult novel of the same name by Canadian author Deborah Ellis.

The Short Film Late Afternoon, written and directed by Louise Bagnall and produced by Nuria González Blanco has won multiple international awards, including in the Best Animation Short category at the 2019 Oscars.

Their Emmy nominated preschool series, Puffin Rock, is currently being broadcast worldwide in over 30 countries along with streaming on Netflix. Dorg Van Dango, is a comedy tv series for 6-11-year-olds co-created by Nora Twomey and Fabian Erlinghäuser and currently broadcasting on RTE and Nickelodeon.

Cartoon Saloon’s 4th feature Wolfwalkers, directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, premiered in 2020 and is available to watch on Apple TV.

The studio’s 5th feature My Father’s Dragon, directed by Nora Twomey, will be released late 2022.


Lighthouse Studios

Lighthouse Studios is an active supporter of Kilkenny Animated. This year’s festival showcases some of the latest and greatest projects to come out of Lighthouse including the hit series, The Cuphead Show, for Netflix, and the award winning adaptation, El Deafo, for Apple TV+. Look out for Lighthouse crew offering their animation advice and experience in talks, sharing their talents in workshops and also some sneak peeks of future Lighthouse projects.



Schweppe Curtis Nunn

Kilkenny Animated is co-directed, with Paul Young of Cartoon Saloon, and produced by Naoise Nunn of Schweppe Curtis Nunn, which company is involved in some of Ireland’s leading festivals and events including the Bram Stoker Festival, Electric Picnic, Body&Soul, The Irish Times Theatre Awards, Kilkenomics and many more.


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