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Sixteen South splits into three

UK-based children’s television producer Sixteen South is restructuring as a group of three companies to focus on original production, 2D animation and distribution.

Colin Williams

The three areas will be covered by Sixteen South Originals, Sixteen South Studios and Sixteen South Rights respectively, with the companies often working together but also being able to operate separately, Northern Ireland-based Sixteen South said.

Sixteen South Originals will create and develop original children’s and family properties for screen that join previous productions such as Claude for Disney Junior and Lily’s Driftwood Bay for Nick Jr and Milkshake.

The originals unit will work with commercial arm Sixteen South Rights in pre-sales and will also team with Sixteen South Studios on 2D animation projects, or work with other animation studios depending on the show and format.

Over the past 13 years, Sixteen South’s animation arm in Belfast has produced 463 episodes of 11 kids’ shows. It has worked with coproduction partners including The Jim Henson Company, Sesame Workshop, WGBH and the BBC. The firm is currently looking for a studio head.

Sixteen South Rights, meanwhile, is an independent distributor involved in pre-sales and rights management. It is led by Alexandros Van Blanken.

Colin Williams, creative director of Sixteen South, maintains overall strategic oversight of all three companies.

Williams said: “With the growing success of all parts of the company, this was the logical next step to maximise our effectiveness across each area. We are really excited about the future opportunities this allows us to create.”

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