Illusion moves into TV, live theater

Company signs pact with Dori, Nickelodeon

Illusion Studios, Argentina’s biggest toon-pic producer, is expanding into TV and legit as it seeks to bolster profits.

It has inked with Israeli telenovela producer Dori Media Group and Nickelodeon Latin America to produce a live-action and animated version of “The Wizard of Oz” in Argentina.

With 52 half-hour episodes, “La maga y el camino dorado” will bow in September on Nickelodeon in Latin America, said Gaston Cami, Illusion’s head of international relations.

Illusion and Dori this year also will produce “Olivia & Yo,” a 120-episode live-action and animated novela about an animator who must learn to live with her own caricatures.

“Television provides a constant presence and a steadier stream of revenue” than film projects that take one to two years before revenue starts coming in, Cami said.

TV series also offer potential for spinoff businesses like merchandising, games, concerts, CDs and legit productions that can bolster profits.

For that reason, the outfit, which produced a minute of animation for Cannes-selected “Maradona by Kusturica,” also is extending into mobile content and theater.

Following its production earlier this year of “Slava’s Snowshow” in Buenos Aires, Illusion plans yearly to bring in one foreign legit production and produce a second based on its film and TV projects.

An idea is to produce “Valentina es como vos,” a feature aimed at tween and pre-tween girls due out in Argentina and Mexico theaters this year.

“We want to become an entertainment leader in all areas,” Cami said.

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