Dune Dune

Heady times at DNEG, which has announced plans to expand its presence in Canada, shortly after receiving a $250 million investment.

The vfx giant is set to open a new location in Toronto, covering vfx for film and episodic projects, feature animation, and technology (including AI and machine learning). The studio will create up to 200 jobs, initially on a work-from-home basis. It will also house a team for DNEG unit Redefine, which offers services to international markets like China and India.

The company will also create up to 300 jobs across its Vancouver and Montreal bases, including up to 100 in Vancouver for its young feature animation division. The two studios currently have around 500 and 800 employees respectively, with Vancouver focused on feature vfx (including the upcoming Dune), and Montreal also covering episodic and animation.

Last week, news broke that the U.K.’s Novator Capital Advisers have injected $250 million in Prime Focus Limited, DNEG’s parent company. The firm will own a 15% stake in DNEG. Prime Focus founder Namit Malhotra, who remains in his current roles as DNEG chairman and CEO, is increasing his ownership stake in the parent company from 35% to around 70%.

The investment comes as DNEG starts exploring opportunities in areas such as gaming and original IP creation. It is also growing its feature animation unit, whose first film Ron’s Gone Wrong will be released by Disney in October. An adaptation of The Great Gatsby is among the projects in the pipeline.

DNEG employs nearly 7,000 in all across eight locations, including a recently announced studio in Bangalore, India. It has won six Oscars for its vfx work, including for First Man and Tenet.

Last week, Vancouver-based animation producer Mainframe Studios announced that it would open a Toronto base, creating 100-plus jobs. It too will initially operate on a remote basis.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news of DNEG’s expansion.

Image at top: “Dune”

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Deputy Editor of Cartoon Brew.