ACE Producers has selected 18 experienced independent producers for the ACE Animation Special 2021. The intensive workshop is designed to deepen their knowledge of developing and producing long form,feature film and series animation production for an international audience including cinema, broadcast as well as streaming. Producers applied with animated features and series projects in early development. Originally set to take place during Animation Dingle it was postponed to late June 2021 in Dublin due to the current situation. The selected producers will kick off the workshop with an online session in March giving them the opportunity to benefit from the online Animation Dingle programme.

The ACE Animation Special is supported by Screen Skills Ireland, Screen Ireland, Animation Skillnet, BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) and Animation Ireland in close collaboration with Animation Dingle.

Of this year’s event, ACE director Jacobine van der Vloed said, “We’re thrilled to be joining with our Irish partners once again for the Animation Special. Of course, the fact that we’re not going to be in Dingle in March is disappointing for all involved, but after our experience last year, we’re confident of delivering a dynamic workshop that will offer our producers the key knowledge to make their way in the animation industry.”


  • Simonetta Amenta (ACE Italy), Eurofilm
  • Emilie Blézat (ACE France), SCIAPODE
  • Maria Blicharska (ACE Poland/France), Donten et Lacroix/Blick Productions
  • Fiona Copland (New Zealand), Field Theory
  • Valérie Delpierre (Spain), Inicia Films
  • David Epiney (Switzerland), Alina film
  • Marion Guth, (Luxembourg), a_BAHN
  • Chris Hees (United Kingdom), Bridge Way Films
  • Niamh Herrity (Ireland), Pink Kong
  • Nicole Kellerhals (Germany), X Filme Creative Pool
  • Tamsin Lyons (Ireland), Ink and Light
  • Michael Margulis (Ukraine), Kapi Animation
  • Errol Nayci (Netherlands), Storytellers Animation
  • Kristy Neville (Canada), Wildling Pictures
  • Sébastien Onomo (ACE France), Special Touch Studio
  • Iris Otten (ACE Netherlands), Pupkin Film
  • Aleksandar Protic (Serbia), MIR MEDIA GROUP
  • Vanessa Robinson (Ireland), Little Moon Animation

Topics covered include story development, visual world building and asset creation, international production workflows in multi-country co-productions, financing strategies, physical line production, the integration of an animation department into an existing (film-) production company as well as an assessment of the demands and expectation of broadcasters.

Among the experts of this year’s edition are Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning Magic Light Pictures producers Martin Pope and Michael Rose (“Zog and the Flying Doctors”), BAFTA-winning producer Claire Jennings (“Coraline”, “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit”) and renowned animation producer Simon Quinn (“Isle Of Dogs”). The full list will be announced shortly. Last year’s expert line-up included Peter Lord founder of Aardman Studios, Chris Dicker, then head of development at Jam Media, Cartoon Network’s Sarah Fell, Michael Ryan of GFM Films and Jean Baptiste Babin of Backup Media.

Please find more information here:


For more information please contact: alwilliams@ace-producers.com


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ACE Animation Special – Report

16 producers were selected for the ACE Animation Special, of whom 13 eventually participated in what became a 4-day online version of the workshop (18th – 21st March 2020).

Focusing primarily on the creative and financial aspects of animation production, the ACE Animation Special also offered sessions on the development process, co-producing, international distribution, audiences and business strategies. The workshop included sessions on the different approaches needed for animated TV series as well as offering the producers a chance to work on their projects.

Besides the solid and active partnership with Gareth Lee from Screen Skills Ireland and Maurice Galway and John Rice of Animation Dingle, the ACE Animation Special was generously sponsored and supported by partners Screen Ireland, BAI, Animation Skillnet, IDA, Animation Ireland and Unreal Engine.

Having been forced to cancel the physical event 5 days before it was due to start, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ACE management redesigned the workshop into an online compatible version to be ready to begin on Wednesday the 18th of March. Converting a programme to be held online held many challenges but also opportunities. For example, the timing of the sessions was challenging for the two Canadian participants, however ACE recorded each of the sessions so that nothing would be missed. Also, the length of the sessions was shortened as staying engaged with a session on screen is more difficult than in person.

The ACE management succeeded in maintaining most of the sessions that were initially planned and only four consultants were unable to attend due to work engagements brought on by the crisis. Interviews, case studies, plenary sessions, group sessions and one-to-one meetings were all integrated. Due to the fact of it being held online, it was possible to invite additional consultants, such as producers Pavel Strnad and Roman Paul, who did a case study on “Alois Nabel” and “Waltz with Bashir” respectively.

All sessions were moderated by ACE members Lisa Marie Russo and Martin Pope, the latter conducting many of the session himself as an established animation producer.

The first day concentrated on choosing material and featured an interview with Aardman Studios founder Peter Lord. The second day revolved around animatics, world and story development with input from Jam Media head of development Chris Dicker. The third concentrated on the physical production of animation with sessions by producer Simon Quinn and an interview with Cartoon Network’s Sarah Fell. The fourth and final day was specifically about financing and distribution including sessions by GFM Films’ Michael Ryan and Jean Baptiste Babin of Backup Media.

The week following the workshop, ACE held one-to-one meetings between the producers and consultants online. Producers were matched with four different consultants in order to speak about their projects or ask questions relating to the workshop’s sessions.

Although many were initially sceptical about the possibility of holding the workshop online, the participating producers all expressed themselves to be extremely pleased by how well it worked and how much they learnt from it. Go to the testimonials page of the ACE website for some quotes from the participants.