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MediaCorp goes into anime

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Singapore broadcasting giant MediaCorp, has hopped onto the bandwagon of one of the biggest Asian animation projects Yona Yona Penguin.

yona.jpgYona Yona Penguin was unveiled in Cannes last year as a co-venture between Japan’s Madhouse Inc. and French company Denis Friedman Productions. This all-CGI 3D project by renowned Japanese animation director Rintaro, is currently in production and has created huge anticipation in the film industry. The budget is now signposted as US$13 million (S$17.7 million), up from the previously announced US$12 million. Madhouse is probably most known for its recent production of cult-hit Paprika.

“As an investor in the film, we see this as a first step to a potential long-term collaboration with Madhouse,” said Lucas Chow, CEO of MediaCorp. “As the distributor in Singapore and Malaysia, we will use our multiple platforms to publicise the film, aiming to bring the film to as wide an audience as possible.”

Yona Yona Penguin, a tale of fantasy and adventure of three children in search of friendship and courage, will be presented in Japanese and French with English subtitles. It is targeted for a worldwide theatrical release in mid-2009.

“Though 3D animation is represented well by Pixar titles and other Hollywood films, Madhouse’s mission is to merge that type of technology with the sensibility and expertise of 2D animation – an aesthetic that has been cultivated for over 40 years,” said Rintaro in a recent report.

Aiming to establish itself as the region’s hub for media businesses as well as in the financing, making and trading of media content and services, Singapore has been stepping into international film productions. This year at Cannes, Singapore has brought a record line-up of 20 film projects to the prestigious film market. From 2003 to 2007, Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) seeded about S$190 million worth of co-production deals.

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