Cartoon Network Sets Up At Twofour54 To Boost Arab Animation Industry

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 14 April, 2010 - 14:25

Cartoon Network is providing a massive boost to the fledgling animation industry in the Middle East & North Africa region with news that it is to open a dedicated animation training academy at twofour54 Abu Dhabi.

The ambitious plans announced at MIPTV in Cannes, will see the development of a number of projects focused on the development of Arabic animation. As well as the Animation Academy, the new partnership will see the opening of the Cartoon Network development and production studios, all of which will be based at twofour54.

Tony Orsten, CEO of twofour54 said, "Cartoon Network is planning to revolutionise the creation of Arab animation. When we launched twofour54 this is exactly the type of partnership we envisioned - one that impacts across the full content creation chain - from training through to broadcast. This partnership will not only facilitate the creation of Arabic media content, but also supports our aim to develop a sustainable media and entertainment content industry here in Abu Dhabi."

The first phase to become operational will be the new Cartoon Network Animation Academy and development studios, which will launch in September 2010. Working closely with twofour54 tadreeb, the region's premier vocational media and entertainment training academy, the academy will offer young Arabs innovative, animation focussed training, with the specific aim of developing animation skills across the region.

The courses will offer comprehensive vocational training in all aspects of animation. This training will be complemented by a programme of master classes, which will be presented by Cartoon Network and highly regarded industry experts. A key attraction will be the internships to the Cartoon Network's international studios will be offered to the academy's leading students.

The new animation development studios, also launching in September, is where ideas and concepts for animation will be generated and trialled before taking the best Arabic creative concepts through to production. Young Arabs will be given the opportunity to engage with Cartoon Network experts who will provide the guidance, knowledge and tools required to ensure that their creative animation ideas turn from concept into reality.

Launching in early 2011, the production studios is the final phase of the partnership. These studios will translate viable ideas from the development studios into a commercial product - Arabic animated programming for the region.

Speaking on behalf of Turner Broadcasting Jeff Kupsky, President TBS EMEA, said, "We are very pleased to be working with twofour54 on this project to stimulate the talent that exists here. It will allow us work with them to develop innovative local content to compliment Cartoon Network's global brand and programming strength."

Alan Musa, VP & GM, Middle East, Africa & Pan Region said, "Cartoon Network has built a strong reputation in the Middle East so it made tremendous sense for us to invest directly in the region. Demand for quality Arabic animation is on the rise and our projects in Abu Dhabi will facilitate further growth in the industry."

"The academy will offer training programmes that will develop the skills of the region's animators and find the talent that exists in the region and the development studio will ensure their creative animation ideas get off the ground. This is a very exciting opportunity for Arabic content creators and we look forward to working with twofour54 to realise the potential in the region."

"All of our partnerships, including this Cartoon Network agreement, add to the twofour54ecosystem," added Wayne Borg, Chief Operating Officer, twofour54. "The training academy is raising standards and producing talented individuals who are able to fill the new jobs being created. Cartoon Network is one of the world's most recognisable cartoon brands and will provide tremendous opportunities for talented young Arabs to create animation relevant for the region."