Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor joined Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director, Brown Bag Films/COO 9 Story Media Group and Neil Court, Executive Chairman of 9 Story Media Group today at the inauguration of its new 30,000 square foot animation studio in Smithfield, Dublin.
A subsidiary of Toronto based 9 Story Media Group, Brown Bag Films employ 184 creative and production staff in its headquarters in Dublin, a studio in Manchester and an office in Los Angeles, and is known for producing hit animated children’s series including Octonauts, Doc McStuffins, Bing and Henry Hugglemonster. Brown Bag is currently producing the CG adaptation of Richard Adams’ beloved novel Watership Down for Netflix and BBC.
The company intends to grow its footprint to a team of 255 by 2018, as it continues to expand its global reach with award winning content. Recruitment is ongoing with a number of open positions currently available on the company’s website.
Speaking at the opening event Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “I am delighted to be here in Smithfield at the opening of Brown Bag Films’ new flagship studio. It is hugely encouraging to see this company move into an expanded space with plans for future job growth. Brown Bag is a great Irish success story since its foundation 22 years ago and is a fine example of what an innovative Irish company can achieve in the global market. This exciting company is successfully competing in the dynamic and very competitive world of creative animation. It is clear to me that this announcement is a further illustration of the range of Irish talent available for dynamic companies across diverse sectors. I wish Brown Bag Films’ and their team every success for the future.”
Founded in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O’Connell, Brown Bag Films is renowned for its rich heritage in 3D animation and content, which includes producing four of the top ten pre-school TV shows in the U.S. and entertaining 100 million kids across the globe. 9 Story Media Group is best known as an industry-leading 2D animator, with one of the largest studios in North America, and a highly successful international distribution division. Following last year’s acquisition, Brown Bag Films and 9 Story Media Group have joined forces to become a global leader in providing best-in-class content for young audiences. The combined company now boasts a team of almost 500 staff, locations in 4 different countries, 14 Emmy® awards and 2 Oscar nominations. As part of the integration following the acquisition, Cathal Gaffney was appointed Chief Operating Officer of 9 Story Media Group.
Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director, Brown Bag Films/COO 9 Story Media Group, said: “With an eight year history in Smithfield, we were keen to maintain our roots here. Our new studio sets an incredibly high standard and is the perfect home for our outstanding creative and technical talent. This is a very exciting time to be working in the kids content business and we are currently recruiting for talent to work with us on exciting shows like Watership Down and Doc McStuffins.”
Neil Court, Executive Chairman of 9 Story Media Group, said: “I am so proud to be part of the exciting expansion of Brown Bag Films. The Smithfield site is one of the most creatively driven and technically advanced studios in the world. The investment in the new space demonstrates our unwavering commitment to growing our production capabilities in Ireland.”
Commenting on the expansion, Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland said “Brown Bag Films continues to draw international attention to the vibrant animation sector in Ireland through its award winning productions. Ireland’s combination of creative and technical talent, and our love of storytelling and the visual arts makes it the perfect location from which to grow and develop global content. IDA Ireland warmly support this investment, and the opportunity to create high quality jobs for talented people in this exciting growth area.”
BBF is a client company of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.