Cartoon Network Launches Animation Development Studio in Abu Dhabi

TBS Arabia (Turner Broadcasting Systems Arabia) today announced plans to launch a brand new Cartoon Network animation development studio, Cartoon Network Studios Arabia, as part of the agreement signed with twofour54 Abu Dhabi. The studios have opened in order to support local talent from across the Middle East, and from the already established Cartoon Network Animation Academy, aiming to develop new productions and take the finished product across the whole region and to a possible global audience.

The initiative is a further example of TBS Arabia’s commitment to growth in the Middle East. The new studios aim to reflect MENA culture by developing the indigenous creative stemming from the region; exploring the art, colour and story-telling, bringing it to life through original animation.

In 2010 the Cartoon Network Animation Academy was launched in collaboration with twofour54; training talented young individuals in 2D animation. The Cartoon Network development studio promises to continue building on this commitment; nurturing talented graduates from the academy -offering them internships working within the development studio and putting their creative ideas into practice – whilst being guided by established professionals.

Michael Carrington explained why he believed that it was imperative to work with local talent from the region:

“We are very proud to bring the development studio to MENA. Having already touched-base with a variety of content providers in the region since the launch of Cartoon Network Arabic I know that there is a wealth of talent here and lots of great stories that can be brought to life via our channel. It has always been our goal for Cartoon Network Arabic to produce local content in collaboration with local people that can be enjoyed all over the region but that might also have the potential to enthral our various global audiences too.”

The Cartoon Network Studios Arabia is headed by Michael Carrington (General Manager Cartoon Network Studios Arabia) and run by newly appointed Adam Khwaja (Creative Director, Cartoon Network Studios Arabia) who joins TBS Arabia with a wealth of experience working on many different kids formats across multiple platforms, including game shows, interactive content and animation productions.

Both Michael Carrington and Adam Khwaja bring with them solid experience of working within the market and an understanding of the core Cartoon Network values. In the initial phase Khwaja will employ a Production Coordinator, two Studio Artists and a number of interns all sourced from the Middle East and will be based in a brand new studio located at Twofour54, set in the heart of the content creation community in Abu Dhabi.

Talking about the opening of the studios, Wayne Borg, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer at twofour54 said: “Animation is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing media disciplines in the region and one we are focusing heavily on. Since we signed the agreement with Cartoon Network, we have seen the first class of students enter the world’s first Cartoon Network Animation Academy. The next phase of our agreement is the opening of the development studios and this will contribute significantly to our efforts to build the talent pool by providing career development opportunities for Arab animators, especially graduates from our Academy.”

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