Malaysia’s Funcel Confirms Cross-Border Collaboration with Koreans

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 6 July, 2011 - 15:03

One of the Malaysia’s leading animation studios, Funcel Sdn Bhd (Funcel) recently secured two deals worth RM5 million as a result of their participation in the 5th Busan Contents Market, held at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre (BEXCO) on 12th – 14th May, 2011.

In its first deal, Funcel secured the deal with a popular Korean e-Learning /animation studio- Jellyfish World Co. Ltd. for a joint-production of a 2D educational animation TV series. The co-production IP will be based on one of the programme titles suggested during their meetings in Busan, either “YoYo Pet” or “Young Ghost Buster”. In the context of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed by both parties and witnessed by Malaysia’s Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), spin-off businesses such as development of casual /social games, e-Learning multimedia contents, and character licensing were also considered.

The second deal was secured between Funcel and Magic Image Co. Ltd. (Korea) where a MoU was concretized, mutually agreeing to help cross-distribute its animated programmes between Korea and Malaysia.

“Funcel is pleased to be working with Korean animation producers, currently one of Asia’s most fast-paced and innovative creative & cultural economies in the world”, said Azrul Hassani Baharom, Funcel’s Chief Executive Officer. “For a Malaysian-based animation entity, the collaboration with Jellyfish World and Magic Image represent an invaluable opportunity for us. It allows us to move beyond our shores to learn and explore a new standard of producing and distributing original and rich cultural contents that are appealing to the global audience”, said Azrul.

Commenting on the collaboration, Kamil Othman, Vice President - Creative Multimedia Division of Multimedia Development Corporation (MDec) reiterates that the synergies created under a co-production environment will always be beneficial to the parties involved, as they can now draw the strengths from two different work cultures, especially in the case of South Korea where exportable culture contents is already entrenched in their production philosophy. This is something that Malaysia is also striving towards.

“We are pleased that currently Korea has the highest frequency of successful on-going animation collaborations with Malaysian companies, and Funcel’s new collaborations with the Koreans will certainly continue and sustain the growth of Malaysia’s library of exportable content to the world”, said Kamil. Malaysia is currently having co-production ties on other projects with Korean studios, namely Synergy Media, Pixtrend, Sunmin Image Pictures, NHC Media, Toonzip, and more.

With its great experience to date, Funcel successfully produced eight award-winning animations, targeting 9 – 14 years old, which has been broadcasted in multiple regions worldwide such as: Joji (13 eps x 24 mins), Supraboy (13 eps x 24 mins), Toopye (26 eps x 24 mins), Jaguh (13 eps x 24 mins), Atang & Nyet (52 eps x 24 mins), Dunia Air Tawar (13 eps x 24 mins), Puyoo World (13 eps x 24 mins), and Planet Saga (13 eps x 24 mins).

Funcel, today operating three state-of-the-art animation facilities with 80 strong creative talents (Pre-Production Studio, Main Studio and Post-Production Studio) in Malaysia, is also working on “7 Satria” (26 episodes x 24 minutes) with renowned Japanese animation studio – Gonzo, inspired by Hiroyuki Kitakubo (the award-winning director behind original anime – Blood: The Last Vampire), which acts as the strategic partner and consultant to a project with co-production partner - FINAS (National Film Development Corporation). “7 Satria”, expected to complete in fall 2012 will be preparing to make its first major appearance in MIPCOM Junior later this year. The first 13 episodes will be expected to be ready for distribution in 1st Quarter of 2012.

Set in Malacca’s golden age, “7 Satria” tells a story about the seven heroes protecting the Malacca Sultanate from the nemesis who are determined to cause the downfall of the Sultanate. Portraying the cultural and Malay heroism to the global arena, this epic action / adventure consists of elements of brotherhood, honour, loyalty, patriotism, moral and values.

Already during its planning and production stages, “7 Satria” has established strong interest amongst international broadcasters and distributors worldwide. With the inherent distribution network of Funcel and its leading-edge anime-creativity led by Gonzo, “7 Satria” is poised to be The Animation Series to look out for in 2012 and ready to make in-route into multiple territories upon completion.