Epic Pictures Sign Up “War of the Worlds: Goliath” for Global Distribution Rights ;Multiple Malaysian Feature Films Go Global in AFM

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 7 November, 2011 - 11:26


The National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) has revealed during their participation in the American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA, USA that a series of feature films have gone global, and recent key results will help elevate Malaysia to a High-Income Society and transform Malaysia into a regional hub for digital content development. Major Malaysian Film making the AFM headlines include: “War of the Worlds: Goliath”, “Vikingdom”, “The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines”, “23:59”, “SeeFood”, “Between Two Skies”, etc. Tuan Haji Mohd Zulkifli Wahab, Deputy Director General of FINAS, in association with Malaysia’s Global Creative and Media Agency (GCMA) lead a delegation to Los Angeles during 2-9 November 2011.

Eleven Malaysian Companies represented here in AFM included: Tripod Entertainment, Imaginex Studios, Primeworks Studio, Media Prima, Astro Entertainment, KLIFF, Golden Screen Cinemas, LineClear Pictures, Nusantara Edaran Filem, Measat Broadcast Network Systems and MM2 Entertainment. Leading the Malaysian headlines, Tripod Entertainment (“Tripod”) of Malaysia today announced a major success story with its stereoscopic 3D animated feature film “War of the Worlds: Goliath” which has been picked up by Epic Pictures Group, Inc for global sales.


Slated for release mid-2012, the animated steampunk movie is Malaysia’s first in stereoscopic 3D, featuring a hybrid 2D cel and CG animation approach by Tripod’s production crews in Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Los Angeles. The movie has the support of the Malaysian Government, specifically the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (“FINAS”), Multimedia Development Corporation (“MDeC”), Bank Simpanan National and Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (“MAVCAP”). “War of the Worlds: Goliath’s Executive Producer is Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and owner-publisher of “Heavy Metal” magazine.

The movie is produced by Tripod’s co-Founder Leon Tan, and directed and co-produced by Tripod coFounder Joe Pearson. David Abramowitz, the creative force behind the “Highlander” TV series, also co-produced and wrote the screenplay. The movie features the voice talents of the “Highlander” TV series cast Adrian Paul, Peter Wingfield, Jim Byrnes and Elizabeth Gracen; and sci-fi stars Adam Baldwin (“Chuck”, “Serenity”, “Firefly”) and Mark Sheppard (“Battlestar Galactica”, “Firefly”, “Supernatural”). “We‟re thrilled to have Epic Pictures as the global sales agent for War of the Worlds: Goliath‟,” said Kevin Eastman, Executive Producer. “They totally get our creative vision and story, and with Epic on board, we will reach the many thousands of fans waiting to see our little epic.”



Tripod’s “War of the Worlds: Goliath” partners in this production include veteran Seoul animation studio Sun Min Image Pictures, Kuala Lumpur’s Studio Climb for the bulk of preproduction design, and Malaysia’s top audio facility Imaginex Studios for music, sound design, mixing, and voice casting/direction, who also helped win Malaysia’s first International Emmy nomination this year for “Saladin: The Animated Series”, another Malaysian animation TV series, produced by the Malaysian Government and Qatar’s Al Jazeera Children’s Channel. “War of the Worlds: Goliath” is a stereoscopic 3D animated feature with a running time of 85 minutes, targeting audiences 18-30 years worldwide – the key consumers of sophisticated sci-fi stories and anime.

The movie’s storyline is set fifteen years after the failed Martian invasion of 1899, as explained by Joe Pearson: “It’s 1914, but with a different twist from our history books. We’ve built a retro-futuristic steampunk world using discarded Martian technologies, but at the eve of World War I, the Martians launch a massive second attack, and a small international army, A.R.E.S., becomes Earth’s last line of defense.” A.R.E.S.’s ragtag human army of steam-powered battle walkers, heat-ray biplane squadrons and armored Zeppelins, face off a Martian fleet of killing machines and flying wings, and at the heart of the conflict is the young crew of the A.R.E.S. battle walker “Goliath”. They will be tested to the limits of their courage in this new war of the worlds. “Through the eyes of the Goliath crew, we will experience intense human conflict in the face of war, courage under fire, and the struggle for freedom,” says Leon Tan. “It promises to be a great rollercoaster ride and a rip-roaring action-adventure piece.” Young British captain Eric Wells leads the crew but is still plagued by childhood scars of the first invasion. Lieutenant Jennifer Carter left New York‟s elite society to answer a higher calling at A.R.E.S. Lieutenant Shah, a Malayan warrior-prince skilled in the use the keri’s blade, is the Pilot of the Goliath. Corporal Patrick O'Brien is the charming roguish Engineer who struggles with his oath to A.R.E.S. and his desire for a free Ireland, and rough tough African-Canadian Gunnery Sergeant Abraham Douglas rounds up the team. On another note, another Malaysian feature film “23:59” has also been confirmed by Thailand’s Sahamongkolfilm International for world sales rights to its first non-Thai film. Released this week and directed by Gilbert Chan, the film tells the story of a mysterious murder that happened in 1983 in an army camp. Previews were held on 21 prints with just 4 sessions per location.

The film was produced by Clover Films, Gorylah Pictures, Innoform Media, mm2, MP Entertainment, Passion Music & Entertainment and Malaysia's Primeworks Studios. Its cast is headed by Singapore star Mark Lee and features a large crew of youngsters including Henley Hii, Tedd Chan, Lawrence Koh, Josh Lai and Tommy Kuan. An $ 11 million 3D action production, “Vikingdom” was also widely launched at AFM, a coproduction between Malaysia‟s KRU Studios and Epic Pictures Group, which commenced its production October 15th, 2011 in Malaysia. Dominic Purcell from TV‟s Prison Break stars in the English-language tale of a Viking warrior forced to face his violent past. Epic is selling worldwide rights under its first of six picture deal with KRU. Craig Fairbrass, Natassia Malthe Conan Stevens, and Jon Foo (“Tekken”) also star. “Between Two Skies”, a high-budget co-production project between LineClear Pictures, FINAS and Australia’s A2K Media, will also rise with the opportunity to create Malaysia’s culturally-adapt world-class movie, revealing the truth about Malaya being bombed 70 minutes before the world-renowned bombing of the Pearl Harbour during World War 2. Last but not least, “SeeFood”, a high-quality 3D animated feature between Silver Ant and Al Jazeera Children‟s Channel, partially supported by Malaysia‟s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), has secured a series of record-breaking distribution deals worldwide to multiple nations in Asia, Latin America and Europe through their distribution company – Golden Network Asia.


IN AFM, Grindstone Entertainment Group of United States has acquired all North American rights of “SeeFood”. Other sales include: Select Media Holdings for India, China Lion (Beijing) Cultural Media and Beijing Bona Film & Television Culture co. for China, K& Entertainment for South Korea, Wild Side for France, Splendid for Germany, Duka Film for Turkey, California Filmes for Latin America, Luxor for Russia and former CIS regions, Kino Swiat of Poland, Hollywood C.E. for Czech Republic and Slovakia, Blitz for Ex-Yugoslavia, Samfilm for Scandinavia, MT Entertainment of Indonesia, AV-Jet for Taiwan, IPA-Asia Pacific for Thailand etc. To sum all these up, Malaysia, in support by the private and public sectors, will be the exciting nation to look forward to in the next several months and years to come, where content development is assured to be an increasingly important sector to its high-income society & economy, and a crucial strategic partner for TV and film production. The Malaysian Government has announced new grants, worth RM 100 million, available for the content industry during the upcoming summer. Tuan Haji Mohd Zulkifli Wahab, Deputy Director General of FINAS said, “Today, Malaysia has the capability and capacity to be one of the leading hubs for content development. We have now reached an exciting milestone of maturity where Malaysia, collectively will need to cherish and value local world-class cultural contents, and help promote universally-appealing contents worldwide.” To add to the excitement, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia, which earlier announced its plans on its establishment of its US$ 120 million studio complex in the South of Malaysia, will also be adversely helping and guiding the Malaysian Content industry grow and prepare Malaysia as a major global content player in 2012.

The studio, due to be completed in 2013 and jointly built by Pinewood Shepperton of UK and the Malaysian Government Investment arm Khazanah Holdings, expects to generate an economic profit of RM 1 billion over a period of eight years and also create 3,000 direct jobs and potentially another 5,000 indirect jobs a year from the rising number of foreign films and television shoots. Michael Lake, CEO of Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios said that he was truly impressed and excited over the high degree of commitment, resources and attention that the Malaysian Government has dedicated in the hopes of transforming the film and television production industries, and is convinced that Malaysia will be a major power in the Asian content business in a few years to come. During 2 – 9 November, 2011, FINAS, and facilitated by GCMA is making its presence felt at the Malaysian Office Suite at the American Film Market 2011 at Suite 766 & 767 (Leows Hotel, Santa Monica, CA, USA) FINAS will be next in action in Asia Television Forum 2011 at Marina Bay Sands Casinos & Resort, where they will be leading more than 50 Malaysian TV and film production companies.

FINAS is also expected to organize a half day conference during ATF on 7 December 2011, emphasizing on international co-production, distribution and public & private incentives offered by the Malaysian Government. About National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (FINAS) National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (FINAS) was formed in the year 1981 through Malaysian Film Corporation Development Act, 1981 (Act 244). FINAS is under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture. The main objective of National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) is to promote, develop, facilitate and nurture film productions in Malaysia. Our vision is to uphold the National Cultural Heritage through films. Our mission is to develop the local film industry into the international standard. For filming, FINAS is the best source of information for permits, locations and a one-stop centre for all your local requirements to ensure a smooth and successful shooting experience in Malaysia.