RENDR Festival welcomes award-winning animators to speaker line-up

Member News  |  30 January 2023

Speakers include the longest-serving writer and producer of The Simpsons.

A still from Armour, an animated short film by Blue Zoo

RENDR, a new creative industries festival taking place in Belfast next month, has added to its blockbuster line-up of speakers with leading talent from the animation industry whose credits include The Simpsons, WolfWalkers, My Father’s Dragon and upcoming animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.

Taking place over two evenings from 23-24 February at Portview Trade Centre in Belfast, RENDR, which is supported by NI Screen, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council, will welcome creative minds from across the global film, gaming, animation and immersive tech industries to explore the space where creativity and technology collide.

Mike Reiss, the longest-serving writer and producer of The Simpsons, by Matt Groening

Attendees will gain insight and inspiration from over 30 speakers whose expertise spans the breadth of the creative industries. Among the speakers is Mike Reiss, the longest-serving writer and producer of The Simpsons. Reiss, who co-wrote The Simpsons Movie, will discuss his illustrious career as part of the team behind the long-running animated sitcom, offering an insider’s perspective into the creative process that has seen the show rise to the status of cultural phenomenon.

Also announced as a speaker is Tara Rueping, an art director at Warner Bros. Animation whose most recent work includes the upcoming animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, a prequel to the 1984 feature film Gremlins which is due to air later this year on HBO Max.

Tom Box, co-founder of the Emmy-winning animation studio Blue Zoo, will also speak at the festival. The first major animation studio in the world to achieve B Corp status, its work includes children’s TV shows Pip and Posy, Numberblocks, It’s Pony and The Adventures of Paddington.

My Father’s Dragon, the animated feature produced by Cartoon Saloon for Netflix.

Other speakers include Gio Ferrari, animation director and head of story at Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, creators of the Oscar-nominated WolfWalkers and recent Netflix feature My Father’s Dragon; Colin Williams, founder of Sixteen South, the BAFTA-winning animation studio behind series such as Lily’s Driftwood Bay, WildWoods and Big City Park; and JAM Media’s Theresa McCearney and Richard Gordon, creators of comedy-adventure series Nova Jones and other children’s programming.

RENDR is delighted to welcome such a prestigious line-up of speakers from the animation industry to Belfast. The festival is an opportunity to hear from world-class talent whose expertise and experience encompasses some of the most celebrated animated features and TV series of recent times. We hope RENDR can inspire audiences while celebrating the work of some of the industry’s most prominent and influential creatives.

Michael Weir says, Festival Director at RENDR

For the full list of speakers and to book tickets, visit and stay up to date with the latest developments and announcements on the festival’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.