Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s Iervolino Entertainment announced plans to invest €100 million (~$118.6 million USD) in animation production, plus an additional €8.5M ($10.1M) in its new Serbian production subsidiary. Dubbed Iervolino Studios, the venture will produce animated content for the global market from two facilities, in Belgrade and Novi Sad.
One of the projects on the new studio’s slate is short-form Arctic Justice spinoff series Puffins, which voice stars Johnny Depp. The 250 x 5′ mobile-first CGI series (available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video) follows five puffins — led by Johnny Puff — who live in a high-tech world called Tana and go on important missions for walrus mastermind Otto. The show introduces important themes such as gender and racial equality and environmental stewardship in a kid-friendly way.
Iervolino Studios currently employs 70+ creatives in Serbia, including directors, producers, writers, artists, animators, etc., working to create high-quality short-form content tailored to streaming. The company plans to build to about 600 staff. The new outfit has also struck a co-production agreement with local live-action prodc Archangel Digital Studios, and is supporting the growth of animation in Serbia through education, training and industry initiatives.
Andrea Iervolino told Variety: “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 … 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.”