Warner. Bros Discovery backed Bright Little Lab’s first Ventures programme has selected the first children’s media projects it will be backing: Duppy Village by Kenton Thomas and Hey Yenny Han by Young Park.

Submissions came in from creators around the globe including Korea, India, the United States and from communities that are all too often underrepresented in global media.

“There have been some really standout ideas that feel totally unique and this process has served as a brilliant opportunity to build relationships with creators from around the world. We are really excited to have made our first selections and hopeful there are still more to come” said Sophie Deen, CEO and Founder of Bright Little Labs.

“We live in a multipolar, multicultural world. The economic reality is Nollywood overtook Hollywood in 2021 and China has the largest box office in the world, but too often global media is stuck in a financial model that is twenty years out of date based on how the world used to be” says Marcus Ryder, Founder of Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity and board member of BLL. “This is not about ‘altruistic diversity,’ this is about financially astute diversity that reflects the world we live in.”

Duppy Village is a modern take on West Indian Folklores. The series follows 14 year old Eudah Lee as she is taken from her mundane life and thrust into a supernatural quest. When her grandma becomes ill, she learns that the women in their family carry an ancient duty – to keep their world and the spiritual world separate, and to stop Duppies from escaping and wreaking havoc. If a Duppy does escape, it is now Eudah’s responsibility to track them down and send them back.

Kenton Thomas is a RADA trained actor and playwright, born and raised in Bradford, West Yorkshire. His latest short film Imagine If Black Boys Just Smiled At Each Other was funded by Channel 4 and will be released later this year. Kenton was inspired by his grandmother’s stories of Duppies and her childhood in Jamaica.

Hey Yenny Han is based on creator Young Park’s childhood in Los Angeles’ Koreatown where the animator grew up around his mother’s fashion shop and built friendships with the children of other immigrant families, Hey, Yenny Han introduces our youngest audience to modern multicultural life and ancient cultural traditions. Gem Plaza, the fictional setting of the series, is a melting pot of small businesses run by first and second generation immigrants from all over the world. It is a central hub of its community, but for Yenny Han, her friends Alejandro and Riya, and all our viewers, it’s an animated Sesame Street set in a typical urban strip mall. Every storefront is a window into a different culture stocked with colourful characters as well as unusual objects and unique traditions creating meaningful new ways to learn and play.

Young Park is the founder of Park Star Media, a creative production company based in Los Angeles and Seoul. He has recently worked on a co-production with WildBrain, a digital-first series ‘SuperBinks’.

Bright Little Labs is a Warner. Bros Discovery backed award-winning kids’ media scale-up producing entertaining content and products with a focus on inclusive role models and learning-inspired adventures.

Pippa Considine

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