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Italy’s Iervolino Entertainment, the film and television production company founded by producer Andrea Iervolino and co-owned with Monika Bacardi, is planning to invest €100 million ($118.6 million) in the production of animated content along with an additional €8.5 million ($10.1 million) in its new production subsidiary in Serbia.

The new Iervolino Studios, which comprises two facilities located in Belgrade and Novi Sad, will produce animated projects for the global market, among them the short animated series “Puffins,” featuring the voice talent of Johnny Depp. Produced by Iervolino and Bacardi, the toon is a mobile-first, short-content format animated series consisting of 250 five-minute episodes currently available on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.

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Andrea Iervolino Iervolino Entertainment

Like the company’s animated series “Arctic Friends,” “Puffins” is a spin-off of its 2019 animated film “Arctic Dogs,” which featured the voice talents of Jeremy Renner, John Cleese, Anjelica Huston, Heidi Klum, Alec Baldwin and James Franco. “Puffins” also reteams Depp and Iervolino Entertainmental after the actor toplined Ciro Guerra’s epic 2020 drama “Waiting for the Barbarians,” which also starred Mark Rylance and Robert Pattinson.

Iervolino Studios aims to create high-quality short animated content for streaming platforms. The Serbian division currently employs more than 70 professionals — from directors and producers to screenwriters, editors, storyboard artists, animators, modelers and composers — but plans to eventually increase that number to around 600. Iervolino Studios has also entered into a co-production partnership for animated content with Belgrade-based Archangel Digital Studios, founded by Miloš Biković.

“With demand for animated content reaching new heights globally, the need for experienced, high-level animators and animation facilities is also proliferating, and we now offer a tremendous solution in Iervolino Studios, Iervolino said. “Animation work has been a passion of mine for many years and I’m proud to have realized a new vision with our partners in Serbia, who are best-in-class collaborators in every way.”

Iervolino Studios is also supporting the development of animation and film in Serbia through cooperation with the education sector, supporting industry initiatives and investing in education and training of employees. “Being able to educate and train the next generation of animators at our studios is particularly gratifying to me,” Iervolino added.