Singapore film unit boards animated project

CANNES — Singapore shingle MediaCorp has boarded “Yona Yona Penguin,” one of the biggest animation projects to emerge from Asia recently.

Project, which is now in production, was unveiled in Cannes last year as a co-venture between Japan’s Madhouse Inc. and French company Denis Friedman Productions. It is being helmed as a 3D all-CGI project by renown Japanese animation director Rintaro. Budget is now signposted as $13 million, up from the previously announced $12 million.

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

Pic, which is sold in multiple territories by Hong Kong-based foreign sales agent Golden Network, is a tale of fantasy and adventure, as three children left on their own find friendship and courage.

“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,” Rintaro said.

International release in Japanese and French original versions is skedded for mid 2009.

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