Animation Lighthouse in Kilkenny

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Lighthouse Studios is a newly announced animation studio to be based in Kilkenny, Ireland. A joint venture of Cartoon Saloon (also of Kilkenny) and the Canadian animation studio Mercury Filmworks, the new studio is expected to open up at least 140 new jobs in Ireland. Both partners will continue their own separate TV and film operations, and use the new studio to develop children’s and family TV entertainment, for multi-platform global distribution.

No management team has been announced for the joint venture, but the new studio will report to a board of directors comprising executives from both Mercury Filmworks and Cartoon Saloon. No projects for the fledgling studio have been announced yet, either. It is expected that more information about the studios first development and production projects, as well as hiring details, will be released in the coming weeks.

Cartoon Saloon began as an informal partnership between a group of animators brought together by Paul Young and Tomm Moore in 1999. Cartoon Saloon has since grown into a multi-award winning animation and illustration design studio. Cartoon Saloon is probably best known for two of it’s feature animated films which have been in the running for an Academy Award, Brendan And The Secret Of Kells and Song of the Sea.

Canadian animation studio Mercury Filmworks has close ties with Walt Disney Television, producing shows such as Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Tangled: The Series, among other TV series.

Mercury Filmworks’ CEO Clint Eland spoke of his company’s “enormous respect” for its Irish counterpart and said that the new studio would be “the best parts of each”.

Cartoon Saloon is currently finishing up The Breadwinner for a 2017 release. The film is executive produced by Angelina Jolie, and tells the story of Parvana, a young girl living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

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