SANTA MONICA, Calif. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia and MUMBAI, India, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) Toronto, the premier independent production and distribution studio, and Crest Animation Studio's U.S.-based subsidiary, RichCrest Animation (RCA), have announced a three-picture coproduction and cofinancing arrangement to produce three top quality, state-of-the-art animated feature films.
The announcement was made by Lions Gate Family Entertainment Executive Vice President Ken Katsumoto and Seemha Ramanna, Managing Director of Crest Animation Studios Ltd.
Lions Gate will distribute the three films worldwide except in India. The first film under the new agreement will be the previously-announced SYLVESTER AND THE MAGIC PEBBLE, based on the Caldecott Medal-winning story by the creator of the blockbuster SHREK. A second, currently untitled feature project is in development, and the third project will be identified in the near future.
"There is tremendous growth potential for quality, CGI feature films in the family entertainment space. This agreement with a world-class partner is typical of the efficient financing for which we're known and allows us to develop, produce and distribute feature films of superior animation production quality within Lions Gate's financial model," said Katsumoto.
The Company noted that the deal also extends Lions Gate's strategy of targeting specific moviegoing audiences such as family entertainment, urban family and horror. The pact gives Lions Gate Family Entertainment, under the management direction of Lions Gate Family EVP Anne Parducci, a total of four major theatrical projects in its family entertainment pipeline under the creative leadership of Katsumoto. The projects also include FOODFIGHT!, produced under a separate deal and slated for fall 2006 release.
Seemha Ramanna, Managing Director of Crest Animations Studios Ltd., said, "This is a significant milestone for Crest and a pioneering feat for the Indian animation industry. 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. With this agreement, Crest will emerge as one of the few production houses in the world that can produce CGI feature films."
The deal was negotiated for Lions Gate by Wayne Levin, Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations and General Counsel.
Lions Gate is the premier independent producer and distributor of motion picture, television, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on- demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library is a valuable source of reliable and recurring revenue and is a foundation for the continued growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lions Gate brand name is synonymous with original, daring, quality product in markets around the globe.
U.S.-based RichCrest Animation is a subsidiary of Crest Animation Studios Limited. A focused and dedicated player in the computer animation space, Crest has built creative, technological and production benchmarks to deliver world- class quality to the U.S. market. Crest is currently pegged at the leading edge of television computer animation globally. Having established its presence in the television computer animation space, Crest is now foraying into the theatrical and home video segments.
In addition to "Arthur's Missing Pal," RichCrest recently completed production on five direct-to-video productions for Nest Entertainment and is currently in CGI production on American Greetings' "The Get Along Gang." RichCrest is committed to theatrical releases and is in development on two other CGI features.
Crest Animation Studios Limited has identified creative skills and technological savvy as its core strengths from its inception as Crest Communications Ltd. A focused and dedicated player in the computer animation space, Crest has built creative, technological and production benchmarks to deliver world-class quality to the mainstream U.S. market. Crest is currently pegged at the leading edge of television computer animation globally. Crest Animation Studios' shares are listed under the scrip name "CRESTANI" on BSE (Code 526785) and "CRESTANI" on NSE (ISIN Code INE774A01012).