Stepping out of its domestic arena, Hyderabad, India’s Padmalaya Telefilms has entered into a major co-production and distribution partnership with Italian toon studio Mondo TV.
The US$14-million deal will see the two prodcos create 52 hours of animation across four series. Part of Indian broadcast conglomerate Zee Group, Padmalaya will manage 20% of the global rights to these shows, as well as selling them in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In these same three territories, for a term of six years, the company will also distribute 1,000 hours from Mondo TV’s library, including titles such as Sandokan, The Tiger of Malaysia, The Jungle Book and Robin Hood.
Padmalaya animation director Rajiv Sangari says that since the rates for 2-D animation are decreasing in India, it’s becoming less economically viable for companies to limit their work to service projects. ‘For the first time, we shall be playing a very active role in both ends – production as well as property rights sharing,’ he says.
The first co-pro to come out of the deal, Fab 5 (26 x 24 minutes), will target the three to eight set with stories about a boy and his animal friends in an amusement park. Next up will be Jungle Tales (26 x 24 minutes), which takes an educational approach to retelling famous animal fables for four- to 11-year-olds. And Sinbad the Sailor, an action-oriented take on the classic adventures (26 x 24 minutes), will round out the slate.
Padmalaya also plans to open a 3-D animation studio in Mumbai this June, and is in discussions with Mondo about partnering on the project.
With the ink barely dry on its deal with Mondo, Padmalaya has also signed an international co-production deal with London-based Ealing Animation and Scottish studio Mallard Media. The three companies will partner on a 2-D toon about the exploits of a pair of bulls called Clootie and Dumpling (52 x 10 minutes), who always seem to stumble into adventures like flying to the moon in a rocket, despite the fact that they live on a sleepy farm in Scotland. Padmalaya will manage production and part of the post-production, in return retaining 35% of the rights.