Ulster University honours Belfast BAFTA winner

Colin Williams, Creative Director of TV production company Sixteen South, has been recognised for his achievements in the industry

Colin Williams, Creative Director of Emmy-nominated and BAFTA award-winning children’s TV production company Sixteen South, has been named as First Trust Bank/Ulster University Distinguished Graduate of the Year. 

The Distinguished Graduate of the Year Award is sponsored by First Trust Bank and recognises graduates for outstanding achievement in their chosen field.

Williams graduated from Ulster University with first class honours in Design in 1995 and since then his career has gone from strength to strength.

His children’s TV production company Sixteen South employs over 100 people, has won more than 30 major international awards and is rated among the UK’s top independent TV companies. Its shows include Lily’s Driftwood BayPajanimals and Sesame Tree, a co-production within the USA team behind Sesame Street

Under Williams' direction, Sixteen South produces all of its shows in-house in Belfast, playing a key role in the city's growing reputation for excellence in the creative industries.

Williams said: 'I'm really honoured to receive this award. Ulster University is where I realised my passion for design and grew many of the skills I use today. For me, studying at Ulster was a great place to delve into the subject I'm so passionate about, grow confidence in my own abilities and make life-long friends.'

Eddie Friel, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Ulster University, said: 'We are delighted to award Colin with our Distinguished Graduate Award. Colin is an excellent ambassador for Ulster University; his creativity, drive and ambition have allowed him to excel in his chosen field. Colin has distinguished himself as a highly creative producer and entrepreneur whose work has been met with worldwide acclaim. His success serves as an inspiration to Ulster University students and alumni.'

Mark McKeown, Business Centre Manager, First Trust Bank, said: 'We have been proudly supporting the Distinguished Graduate Award since 2001 to help recognise the invaluable contribution that graduates make to the lives of others and to society as a whole. We offer our congratulations to this year’s deserving winner, Colin Williams. As founder of the multi-award winning Sixteen South TV production company, now rated among the UK’s top independent TV production companies, Colin and his team are helping put the Northern Ireland creative industry on the map and we are delighted to award Colin this prestigious accolade.'

This year’s trophy was designed by Ulster University’s Belfast School of Art graduate Anna Smyth, BA Hons Contemporary Applied Arts-Ceramics 2017.