Jimmy Murakami Aidan portrait
Venue: St James Church
Date: Saturday March 16th
Time: 5pm

Jimmy T. Murakami will receive The Inaugural Murakami Award for his lifetime achievement in Animation.

It may seem surprising that a Japanese American is one of the great European animators. But with a track record in Europe stretching back the best part of three decades, Jimmy Murakami is very much a part of the European scene. Born in California, he has spent much of his life based either in Dublin or London.

Following a course in Choinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, Jimmy joined the UPA Burbank Studio in 1956. The following year he moved to New York to join the Pintoff Studio, where one of his films was the Oscar nominated The Violinist.

In 1960 he moved to London and worked for four years as a producer and director with TV Cartoons. His films with the studio included the BAFTA winning The Insects and Charlie (which won a Gold Award at the Venice Film Festival).

In 1965 Jimmy returned to California to establish Murakami Wolf Films, producing and directing theatrical shorts, documentary film, television specials and commercials. Among the projects that he directed and animated at this time were The Breath (Annecy Grand Prix), The Magic Pear Tree (an Oscar nomination), And of Course You, Golden Eagle Award winner and The Good Friend.

In 1971 he set up Murakami Films in Dublin, producing both live and animated TV commercials. In 1980 in Los Angeles, he directed a live action feature film Battle beyond the Stars-a space version of The Seven Samurai-for cult producer Roger Corman.

In 1982 he was the supervising director on one of the best-loved animated films ever-the Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning TVC animation special The Snowman. In 1987 he went on to adapt and directed another Raymond Briggs book for TVC with the feature film version of When the Wind Blows, Grand Prix Feature Film winner Annecy 1987.

More recently, he has worked as director of a series of 13 half-hour programmes of The Story Keepers for Shepherd Films, Dublin ITV and Fox Network and 26 half hours of Inspector Mouse, produced by Alegro Animation in Dublin and PMMP in Paris.

Christmas 1998 saw the screening of his latest work a director, Oi Get off Our Train. Made by Varga/TVC in London, this was a 28-minute television special for the BBC, Miramax and ZDF.

Jimmy Murakami has completed directing a new feature film version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol-The Movie produced by London based Illuminated Film Company and released for Christmas 2001.

2006 Jimmy received a Honorary Doctorate Award from the University Dundee.

Sé Merry Doyle (DREAMING THE QUIET MAN) will present Jimmy with this life time achievement award

Sé directed the documentary on Jimmy NON-ALIEN which screened in Dingle IFF 2011

There will be an exclusive screening of Jimmy’s animated short film THE GOOD FRIEND to close the presentation

The Good Friend

A 10min short film made around 1968. The film was the first grant aided film awarded by the newly formed American Film Institute in Los Angles. An observation into how a friendship can effect your relationship.


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