Sesame Tree (with special guest star Oscar the Grouch!), Big City Park, Big & Small, and Pajanimals - their new production is a beautiful mixed media animation based on original drawings by artist Joanne Carmichael who created characters based on what washed up on the beach near her home on Aaran Island.
Casting for the voice of the lead character Lily took place back in December 2011, and young Orlagh attended the launch this morning.
Lily is 5 years old and lives on the Island of Arranish with her Dad. They live in a little hut on the beach packed full of jars, knick-knacks, driftwood and some very special friends … all made by Lily from salvage washed up by the seaI've embedded a rare clip of Driftwood Bay that gives a taster of the style of the animation:
Across the way is Driftwood Bay … another island that Lily can see from her window, and it is here that the characters that she has created in her imagination come to life.
Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily’s imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay. And so, accompanied by her best friend Gull, the clever seagull, an adventure begins as they head off ‘across the way to Driftwood Bay’.
Creative Director and Executive Producer, Colin Williams explained this morning that the Driftwood Bay has "retained 75 people from across the local creative sector to work specifically on Driftwood Bay over an 18 month period", putting £2.5 million into the local economy.
repeat photo-opportunity with muppets! Peter Robinson was quick to point out that Sixteen South was an example of the local creative industries having success outside of the spotlight on Titanic Quarter.
With strong advance sales, the fifty two 7 minutes episodes of Driftwood Bay will start to appear on screen from Spring 2014 in Australia, Finland, Ireland, Israel, North America, Norway and the UK (Nick Jnr). Let's hope Orlagh's Finnish, Swedish, Hebrew and Norwegian is as strong as her Northern Irish accent that helped to sell the show!
It's amazing to realise that Belfast is hosting an animation factory that will produce over 350 hours of animation, and to be dubbed into multiple languages.
Driftwood Bay's in-house band who provided the original music for the animation played at the launch - adding to the celebration of local talent.