Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, which owns, among many things, production company d-rights, is establishing a New York-based rights management arm that will expand its business into more programming areas and Western territories.
The new Sunrights, headed up by former d-rights MD Hiroya Nishimura, will eventually take over the management of all properties in the US for d-rights and will handle Euopean territories as well.
But what sets Sunrights apart from d-rights is its intended focus on managing third-party properties. While d-rights typically manages its own properties, namely the boys-centric Beyblade franchise, Sunrights will also look to represent much broader licensed properties. It will also look to develop original content for both a North American and European audience. A few properties are already in the pipeline and the company is seeking co-production partners.
“We are looking for any kind of product and are not limited to boys’ animation,” says Sunrights president Hiroya Nishimura. “We want to handle other types of preschool programming or girls programming, and we want to be aggressive.”
With more than 20 years of experience in both animation and character licensing, Nishimura produced the first Beyblade franchise and held the role of EVP of Geneon Entertainment, in which d-rights had a stake. His initial team at Sunrights is expected to grow this year along with the company’s entertainment properties. He says a major announcement will be made once the company is officially established by the end of this month.