Montréal, Québec is the home of Cinesite’s new state-of-the-art animation studio. The visual effects and animation studio expects to produce nine feature animated films over the next five years. The announcement was made by Antony Hunt, CEO of the Cinesite Group, and the Premier of Québec, Philippe Couillard at the opening of the new 54,000-square-foot Animation Studio in downtown Montréal. The new facility will have the capacity to employ 500 permanent staff to work on animated films by 2020.
“Cinesite is amongst the world leaders in the visual effects and animation industry,” said Premier Couillard. “Our government supports this project’s realization, which will promote the advancement in Québec of a leading-edge expertise in the production of animated films, a rapidly growing field at the moment. In doing this, my government is actively working to increase the competitiveness of Montréal. This investment acknowledges the talent, creativity and quality of Québec’s labor force and the importance of Montréal as a world player in this industry.”
“The support we received from the Premier of Québec, Mr. Couillard, along with the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Investissement Québec, has allowed us to make this decision to invest, for ourselves and the city of Montréal,” said Peter Nagle Chairman of the Cinesite board. “Together we can use this investment to kick-start a world-class animation hub in one of the coolest cities in the world. This will also allow our award winning visual effects capacity to increase by 100%. This is very exciting and our Cinesite team is working alongside the founding members of Animate Montréal, which we also announced today. This initiative will help focus attention on what is needed to get Montréal animating; I expect we will all be busy.”
Investissement Québec on behalf of the Government of Québec is advancing a loan of $2.4 million to support the creation of infrastructure to allow Feature Animation production. An additional loan guarantee of $19.6 million towards an overall budget of at least $90 million is being advanced to the production company to help with the financing of each of the first three animated films. Six more films are planned to follow, which will bring the facility at full capacity with over 500 new permanent jobs by 2020.
“After Cinesite’s resounding success in the visual effects industry in Montréal, the opening of an animation studio will further strengthen the local digital production ecosystem,” said Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal. “This cutting-edge field has added 500 workers, attesting to the quality of the training programs offered here and confirming Montréal’s standing as a true smart city with a deep pool of creative talent. I would also like to highlight Montréal International’s strategic support. The organization has been working tirelessly to promote our growth sectors to foreign investors and consolidate our position as a competitive business city.”
“Drawing on the sophisticated techniques developed over the last 20 years in the visual effects industry, we wanted to build a new creative home for the world’s best storytellers, writers, directors and animators,” said Eamonn Butler, Cinesite’s Head of Animation. “Whether you are an established filmmaker or an emerging writer, we want you to think of our studio as a new destination where your work can be nurtured and flourish.”
Comic Animations will join SPA Studios and Atresmedia Cine to co-produce the animated feature Klaus at the new facility. The holiday season film will be written and directed by Sergio Pablos (Despicable Me, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Tarzan) and produced by Jinko Gotoh (The Little Prince, Finding Nemo). The Project will be a treaty co-production with Spain. Comic Animations and Dublin-based River Productions will begin development on an animated feature inspired by international stage phenomenon Riverdance. In addition to these projects, Comic Animation and its partners have an active development slate that includes several more feature animation films in various stages of development.