Wellington’s Pukeko Pictures today signed an agreement deal with the Animation School of the Beijing Film Academy and Grand Entertainment Ltd. (GZ) to establish the “International Animation Technology Joint Research Centre” to actively promote the development of animated projects and open up the expanding international, Chinese and film and television markets.

Formed to promote film and television cultural exchange between China and New Zealand, and develop animation technology in the synergy of enterprise, academia and institutional research, the deal between the three parties will also provide a platform for collaboration in the film and television fields between Chinese entities and international enterprises.

The first collaboration project between Pukeko Pictures, the Animation School of the Beijing Film Academy and Grand Entertainment Ltd. (GZ) consists of planned co-productions on the internationally successful animation series, The WotWots, created by Pukeko Pictures at the world-famous Weta Workshop. These plans include special co-produced The WotWots TV episodes that will be unique to the Chinese home market.

“Pukeko Pictures is extremely thrilled to be joining with the Animation School of the Beijing Film Academy and Grand Entertainment Ltd. (GZ) as this joint venture will uniquely put us at the forefront of Chinese co-productions globally. This exciting collaboration will see film and television cultural exchanges between China and New Zealand — from technical ‘know-how’, the sharing of international resources and partners and will enable us to capitalize, co-produce and distribute international and Chinese film and television projects. It also extends to furthering the education and training of upcoming talent in the industry through joint academic activities and hosting annual regional industry conferences” said Pukeko Pictures’ Chief Executive, Andrew Smith.

The partnership also sees Grand Entertainment Ltd. (GZ) creating the annual Sir Richard Taylor Award of the Animation School of the Beijing Film Academy, which will fund winners and outstanding students to further their studies in animation.

“For China’s film and television industry to grow, innovation is needed, through more collaboration with top-notch international companies in the field. The Animation School of the Beijing Film Academy is very thrilled to be working with Pukeko Pictures and Grand Entertainment in seeking more opportunities for the sharing of resources and know-how, and the exchange of culture and ideas, in the development of the industry.

At the same time, it is our hope to provide more platforms for the nurturing of the future generation of film and television talent in China”, said Prof. Sun Lijun, Dean of the Animation School and Vice-Principal of the Beijing Film Academy.

This tri-party agreement builds on the strong the solid success of The WotWots in the Asian market. The WotWots has multi-platform broadcast in China, including free-to-air, satellite, IPTV, internet, mobile TV, and is growing a significant fan base throughout China.

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