South African animation studio Triggerfish has said it will set up its first international studio in Galway.
The project, supported by IDA Ireland, is expected to create 60 new jobs over the next three years.
Founded in 1996, Triggerfish was instrumental in the birth of the South African animation industry.
It has animated the Oscar-nominated Roald Dahl adaptation Revolting Rhymes as well as Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler adaptations such as Zog, The Snail and the Whale and the Stick Man.
Triggerfish is currently producing Netflix's first original African animated TV series, Mama K's Team 4.
"To keep up with demand, we started outsourcing work to Irish animators in 2019 and were quickly won over by both the quality of the work and the dedication to the craft," Triggerfish's chief executive Stuart Forrest said.
"In many ways, the Irish creatives seem very similar to what we always look for in South Africa: a passion for animation, a love of story and the deeply felt ambition to create award-winning and entertaining work," Mr Forrest added.
"We need more capacity to keep up with our ambitions and Galway ticked all the boxes for our European base," studio producer Andy Wonnacott, who will head up the Galway branch, said.
He said that Galway has a similar time zone to South Africa, is very well connected, with both flights and broadband connectivity, has a thriving creative community and offers "loads of really fantastic business support".
IDA Ireland's chief executive Martin Shanahan said the Triggerfish move is a great investment for Ireland and Galway is a great choice of location, given the availability of highly skilled creative talent there.
"The 60 new roles being created is a welcome boost to the economy of Galway and the West region. It is a huge vote of confidence in Ireland and demonstrates our continued strong value proposition and our agile and adaptable business environment at a time of unprecedented global flux due to the Covid-19 pandemic," he added.