Ten "next generation" animation projects, including an augmented reality (AR) card game and a language-learning app for children, have been announced as the recipients of a new Screen Ireland funding stream of €400,000 awarded in partnership with Animation Ireland.
The Animation Concept and Innovation Fund, aimed at "innovative, high-concept development and business growth opportunities" in the sector, is part of an animation support package announced by Minister for Media Catherine Martin in 2020.
Among the recipients are Pink Kong Studios, which is developing a mythology-themed AR card game called StoryVerse, and Dream Logic Studios, which is expanding its film The Ghastly Ghoul into AR and virtual reality formats.
Little Moon Animation will work on an app that teaches children new languages through immersive storytelling and interactive game play, Magpie 6 Media will develop a voice-activated artificial intelligence story experience and Algorithm will create Landfall, an immersive experience that uses meteorological and topographical data visualisation to explore Ireland’s relationship with the north Atlantic.
The other companies winning a share of the fund were Ink and Light, Moetion Films, Wiggleywoo, Treehouse Republic and stop-motion puppet animators Studio 9.
"These original and exciting concept proposals will allow companies to explore new storytelling avenues and technical ambitions," said Désirée Finnegan, chief executive of Screen Ireland, the State development agency for film, television and animation.
‘Bursting with talent’
Animation Ireland chief executive Ronan McCabe said the fund was “a huge milestone” for the sector.
“Our animation studios are bursting with talent, innovative ideas and creativity and this fund is aimed at helping them develop these ideas into commercially successful projects,” he said.
The Irish animation sector, which is otherwise supported through the section 481 screen tax credit, has been in rapid growth over the past decade, with major companies like Brown Bag Films, Boulder Media, Cartoon Saloon and Giant Animation winning critical acclaim and commercial success.