Independent production and distribution studio Lions Gate Ent. has entered into a three-picture co-production and co-financing arrangement with Crest Animation Studio’s U.S.-based subsidiary, RichCrest Animation. Lions Gate Family Entertainment will distribute the trio of animated features worldwide, except in India.
The first film under the pact will be the previously-announced Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, based on the Caldecott Medal-winning childrens book by Shrek author William Steig. A second, yet-untitled feature project is in development, and the third project will be identified in the near future.
"This is a significant milestone for Crest and a pioneering feat for the Indian animation industry," comments Seemha Ramanna, managing director of Crest Animations Studios Ltd. ” This partnership with Lions Gate reflects confidence in Crest’s ability to produce full-length feature films of world-class quality as well as our recognition of Lions Gate as a content leader in the family space and a superior distributor of quality theatrical releases."
Lions Gate Family Entertainment, under the management direction of exec VP Anne Parducci and the creative direction of exec VP Ken Katsumoto, now has a total of four major theatrical projects in the pipeline. In the fall of 2006, the company will distribute the CG-animated movie Foodfight!, produced by Larry Kasanoffs Threshold Animation Studio. The film features the voices of Hillary and Haylie Duff and explores the hidden, afterhours world of a supermarket.
RichCrest is producing Arthur’s Missing Pal, the upcoming feature film debut for the loveable aardvark star of many childrens books. Also in the works are five direct-to-video productions for Nest Ent. and a CG production of American Greetings’ The Get Along Gang. On top of that, the company says its developing two other CG features.