Young Director Award organised in association with shots, has announced that Academy Films‘ Co-Managing Director and Owner, Medb Riordan, will be this year’s Jury Chairperson.
The YDA, which is now in its 27th year, is recognised as one of the most prestigious awards shows for – and accurate indicators of – the next generation of directing talent making its way into the advertising industry.
This year’s jury will feature a host of international advertising luminaries and will be chaired by Riordan, who boasts a remarkable career at Academy. Starting as a receptionist in 2008 Riordan rose to become Co-Managing Director and Owner in 2018. Over the past 15 years she has overseen projects with renowned directors, musicians and brands, leading the company to multiple awards, including a D&AD Black Pencil in 2021.
“The YDA is one of the most important global awards for emerging talent, seen as a rare badge of honour and an unparalleled uplift to careers.”
In 2022 Medb produced the acclaimed feature film Earth Mama, directed by Savanah Leaf, which premiered at Sundance in 2023 and which has been met with critical acclaim, earning her a nomination for Breakthrough Producer at the British Independent Film Awards. She expanded Academy Films to the US in 2023, affirming its global success under her leadership.
“I am both honoured and genuinely excited to be chairing this year’s jury,” said Riordan. “Discovering and championing new talent has been a passion of mine from the off, starting my career with YDA winners Us, 10 years ago. The YDA is one of the most important global awards for emerging talent, seen as a rare badge of honour and an unparalleled uplift to careers. For me, it’s about mining for gold across all filmmaking mediums. I’m excited to work with Francois and the YDA team to secure an inspiring jury, diverse in regional and creative backgrounds, and to rise to the challenge of awarding the world’s next best filmmakers.”
“..shaping the film industry as we know it. Her ability to seamlessly navigate both the worlds of advertisement and entertainment in such a short career span is commendable.”
“I’m delighted to welcome Medb as our Jury Chair for this year’s Young Director Award,” said Francois Chilot, the YDA’s President. “She’s a true leader among the younger generation of producers, shaping the film industry as we know it. Her ability to seamlessly navigate both the worlds of advertisement and entertainment in such a short career span is commendable. Medb’s selection as the chair is a testament to her exemplary career trajectory and unwavering work ethic. I’m confident she will inspire the 2024 young directors, showcasing what’s achievable through dedication, innovation and creativity.”
The YDA attracts hundreds of global entrants each year, celebrating and rewarding new directors from across the globe. Previous YDA winners include such talented and successful filmmakers as Hanna Maria Heidrich, Andreas Roth, Salomon Ligthelm, Oscar Hudson, Charlotte Regan and many more.
Winners of the YDA 2024 will be announced at a special ceremony on Thursday 20th of June, during this year’s Cannes Lions festival and you can find out more information about the YDA’s 2024 categories and how to enter this year’s event when entries open later this week.