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Ireland’s RTÉ Ups Animation Investment

Dedicated Irish children’s channel commits to $6.3 million annual investment in animation commissions over three year period and launches $11.4 million annual international co-production fund.

DUBLIN, IRELAND -- RTÉ announced an increased investment in animation as well as a brand new RTÉjr schedule across television, radio and online and a new RTÉjr Android app for 0-7 year olds. The announcement includes a number of new initiatives to further strengthen its support and development of the Irish animation sector at all levels.

  • Over the next three years, RTÉ has committed to increase its baseline investment in animation commissions to over €550,000 per annum, calculated across 3 years.
  • In addition, a new Animated Shorts for TV Scheme has been established seeking up to five original shorts for TV broadcast. This scheme is aimed at supporting the development of new ideas for broadcast. 
  • RTÉ has also announced a new scheme to further support Irish animation companies develop International co-production partnerships with a dedicated fund of €100,000 per annum. The new scheme will see RTÉ actively seek at least one opportunity per annum over the next three years to support an Irish animation company collaboration on an International Co-production. 

“There is a wealth of talent in Ireland’s animation industry. Over the past 10 years RTÉ has worked with approximately 15 Irish animation companies on 34 original series. We have watched and supported Irish companies to go out into the global market with their ideas and have seen how their creative and business talents are respected internationally,” said Sheila de Courcy, Controller RTÉjr and Cross Divisional Head of Children's Content.

De Courcy added, “The new schemes announced today further underline RTÉ’s commitment to support the growth and development of the Irish animation sector, from emerging talent in our new TV shorts scheme, to a focus on international co-production, to increased investment in the commissioning of animation programming.  We love having Irish animation on RTÉjr and are proud to play a part in enabling Irish animation to reach Irish and international audiences”

A brand new autumn schedule for RTÉjr, RTÉ’s ad-free tv, radio and online service for 0-7 year olds was also announced. RTÉ’s first radio arts series for young children begins on October 18th will be hosted by Abie Philbin Bowman. 

In addition, RTÉjr announced that its popular RTÉjr app is now available for Android as well as iOS devices, further adding to the range of RTÉjr online services. The App which is ad-free and available for free download enables youngsters to watch the RTÉjr TV channel live as well as the best of RTÉjr TV and radio programming available on demand and to download offline.

The new RTÉjr season will debut a range of brand new children’s shows covering themes such as education, wildlife, family, history, culture and art/crafts including new animation series Havananimal as well as RTÉ’s first radio Arts series for young children, CAKE

New series Havananimal has been created from songs written by legendary broadcaster and musician Shay Healy, with recordings from Duke Special and animation by award winning director Kealan O’Rourke and Igloo Films. 

Shay Healy commented, “I'm overjoyed to have Duke Special sing the songs in Havananimal. His voice is a beautiful instrument and it is perfect for the animation.  I originally wrote the songs for my grandson over 20 years ago and it’s fantastic to see how Kealan and Igloo Films have brought the songs to life through their wonderful animation. I look forward to seeing the series on screen and hope that children really enjoy it”.

Havananimal is one of 8 new series announced today across RTÉjr which include Makers, a series about Irish crafts made especially for young children Magical Sites, an engaging new series about Ireland’s most important national monuments; Out and About which follows the Doyle family’s adventures on days out and about in their local area in North Mayo; I Want a Pet for the animal mad youngsters out there; Our Seaside, an observational documentary series exploring day to day life with the Lynn family, Dig In Diner a new food series hosted by waitress Muireann (Muireann Ni Chiobhain) and featuring Digger the Gardener

“We are very proud to announce our new programs for the season, which feature a huge range of strong public service content across many genres. Our new Android app adds to the service we provide for Ireland’s youngest citizens and will further enhance the RTÉjr experience for little ones,” concluded
Sheila de Courcy.

Source: RTÉ

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.