Canada’s 9 Story Media Group has expanded into Asia for first time with the acquisition of Indonesian animation studio BASE.
The Bali-based company, founded in 2015 by Lily Wang (pictured, right) and Daniel Harjanto Setyawan (pictured, left), is comprised of two entities—PT Bali Animation Studio and PT Bali Animasi Solusi Ekakarsa. Wang and Setyawan will continue to lead the 270-person animation operation, reporting to 9 Story COO Cathal Gaffney. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This deal marks 9 Story’s first acquisition in Asia and takes the producer-distributor’s total employee count to more than 1,000 staffers internationally. It comes on the heels of 9 Story’s Dublin-based subsidiary Brown Bag Films collaborating with BASE on Disney series Vampirina.
Company president and CEO Vince Commisso told Kidscreen’s sister publication Playback Daily that the objective in buying BASE was not to produce more animated content, but rather to bolster 9 Story’s ability to get feedback/ideas and recruit talent from international markets. “To produce the quality of content that we are aiming for—and, quite frankly, that the market is going to demand in the future—we need to be able to draw on talent and input from various territories around the world,” he said.
BASE will continue to produce content for its existing clients, with 9 Story adding its own IPs to the BASE pipeline at the “earliest appropriate time,” added Commisso.
9 Story has already done a significant amount of global expansion with high-profile acquisitions in the US and Europe. It acquired Irish animation studio Brown Bag Films (which also has operations in Manchester, England and an LA office) in 2015, and New York-based Out of the Blue Enterprises early last year.
Last week, the company announced plans to launch a New York-based live-action division, which will be led by 9 Story chief creative officer Angela Santomero and VP of live-action development and production Jeremy Slutskin.
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