“Beast of Burden” Given Green Light by China Film Animation
Animated Feature “Beast of Burden” Given Green Light by China Film Animation, Huhu Studios & Qi Tai Cultural Development Group
(Beijing, April 21, 2015) – China Film Animation of Beijing China and Huhu Studios, New Zealand announced today the commencement of the 3D animated feature film Beast of Burden. With financial backing from Qi Tai Culture Development Group, the project will be the first China-New Zealand Collaborative Production on a 3D animated feature film.
Jun Huang, President and CEO of China Film Animation said, “For some time we have been working towards partnering with Huhu Studios from New Zealand on animated feature films. We are thrilled with the Beast of Burden story, and delighted to be getting the project underway.”
A proposed China-New Zealand Co-Production between China Film Animation and Huhu Studios, Beast of Burden is written and directed by Kirby Atkins (Nickelodeon's “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron”). In a fictitious past, now-extinct creatures called ‘Thoriphants’ are forced into a life of servitude for human farmers. But one family of Thoriphants discover a life altering secret about their species and will embark on a miraculous adventure where they must be braver and stronger than they ever imagined they could be.
This family feature will be produced by Trevor Yaxley, CEO of Huhu Studios and Mr. Huang of China Film Animation. “It is both a joy and an honour to be co-producing this project with China Film Animation,” adds Yaxley. “We are delighted about the process of joining the best of the China animation industry with the best of the New Zealand animation industry. With the help of our friends from Qi Tai, this is the beginning of a close relationship for many years to come.”
Fu Leilei, Vice President of Beijing Qi Tai Culture Development Group said, “Our team at Qi Tai are looking for sound investment opportunities from emerging media markets. We are proud to be helping make history between China and New Zealand. We believe the project will strengthen the film industry on an international level.”
The representation of distribution rights outside of Greater China for the project were granted exclusively to Stratagem/SMIE by Jun Huang of China Film Animation and Trevor Yaxley of Huhus Studios. Stratagem Entertainment’s Chairman Michael Cerenzie and SMI Entertainment’s Kenin Spivak will serve as Executive Producers on the film.
“We are excited and honoured to be working with China Film Animation’s Mr. Huang, Huhu Studios and Qi Tai Culture Development Group on this first and historic deal between China and New Zealand. We look forward to this being the first of many feature films that we make as a team together. I have worked very closely with Mr. Yaxley for the past several months in structuring the deal and have been extremely impressed by both his creativity and keen business acumen. I have had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Huang in Beijing over the recent weeks personally, and feel that now, with the final addition of Qi Tai, it makes the group complete” adds Cerenzie.
William Morris Endeavor has come on board to handle the US domestic distribution of Beast of Burden and the subsequent films for the group, led by Graham Taylor, Head of Global Finance and Distribution.