Irish-based animated children’s series exported to South Africa


Photo: Lifeboat Luke

Dublin-based Animation Company Kavaleer Productions recently received news that Lifeboat Luke the 52 x 5 minute pre-school series co-produced by the company, has been sold to M-Networks, a South African hi definition channel by the series’ international distributor Monster Distributes.

Lifeboat Luke continues to grow its global broadcast platform with sales already confirmed to the US, Denmark, Slovenia and 22 territories in the Middle East via the Al Jazeera network, with many more territories in negotiation.

The first thirteen episodes were financed and produced in Belfast by holding company Luke the Lifeboat Limited (LTL Ltd.). Irish broadcaster RTÉ expressed an interest in the series and on a recommendation Kavaleer were approached by producers Richard Morss and Darryl Collins in 2006 to co-produce 39 further episodes of the show.

Together, Kavaleer and LTL Ltd. managed to secure €1.7million of funding for the second batch of episodes from a number of sources such as the Irish Film Board, Northern Ireland Screen, The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, private investors and RTÉ. Additional funding was also obtained via the section 481 tax relief incentives.

Straandlooper, as the creators of the series, came up with the storylines, wrote the treatments and had final script approval. These completely prepped scenes were then sent to Kavaleer for animation. The approved animation would then be sent back to Straandlooper in raw file format.  39 episodes were successfully produced in this manner over an eight-month period.

Lifeboat Luke is the creation of award-winning director and animator Alastair McIlwain, and is set in the mad magical but fictional Irish seaside town of Donaghadoo. The series features the fast and funny search and rescue adventures of Lifeboat Luke and his friends both human and animal.