A new animated short film created by primary schools in Dublin, Derry/Londonderry and Belfast recently premiered at the 2nd Shared Island Forum in Dublin Castle.
Titan and Friends brought together 60 school children in a story that takes place all over the island of Ireland.
In Autumn 2022, Fighting Words, Fighting Words NI and Nerve Centre brought together three classes of primary school students to create a new story set in and around their school communities at the invitation of the Shared Island Initiative.
Our very own animator, Dee Gribbin and audio engineers Aidan Deery and Mik O’Connell from Nerve Centre visited each school along with mentors from Fighting Words to create and record a brilliant story in three parts.
In the classroom, Dee Gribbin sketched up the children’s visual ideas for how their animated characters might look before converting these into full-blown animation once the children were recorded reading their story.
The story kicked off in Dublin, with students from St Mary's Primary School in Dorset Street. They created Titan, a cat with big dreams, and his best friend Eddie, whom he meets in the Reptile House at Dublin Zoo.
Titan wants to take over the world because he doesn't believe the humans are doing a very good job. Eddie suggests approaching a special group of rats in Derry/Londonderry for some help.
The next stop was St. Patrick's Primary School in Derry. The action picks up in city, where Titan and Eddie find the rats in a pet shop after a visit to the city walls on a skateboard with their new friend Steve. The rats agree to help in exchange for tickets to a match at the Brandywell.
It turns out that the gang needs the help of a fox in Belfast and they meet another new friend, a dog called Riley, on the way there.
The story finishes with Titan and his new friends finding the fox in the school grounds of Nettlefield Primary School in Belfast after a snack at St.George's Market.
It's up to Titan to decide if he wants to go through with his plans for world domination...
Watch the animated short.
Premiere at the Shared Island Initiative Event in Dublin Castle
The finished film was completed in late November 2022 and had its premiere to over 150 invited guests at the Government of Ireland's Shared Island Initiative event at Dublin Castle on 5 December.
The Shared Island initiative aims to harness the full potential of the Good Friday Agreement to enhance cooperation, connection and mutual understanding on the island and engage with all communities and traditions to build consensus around a shared future.
The event showcased the work completed to date as part of the initiative, announced plans for the future and showcased creativity of people across the island, including music and dance as well the screening of Titan and Friends.
Screenings at Schools
The students met each other at a Zoom call in October so they all knew how the story ended. Excitement built, however, as the date approached when they could see the finished animated short.
Titan and Friends was screened to all participating schools shortly before the Christmas holidays.
The pupils from St. Patrick's Primary School visited Nerve Centre cinema on 13 December for the premiere of their film.
All the young authors were delighted to see their ideas brought to life in animation on screen.
After the screening, they participated in a T-shirt making workshop where they each produced their own T-shirt featuring characters from Titan and Friends.