- Animasia, LemonSky Animation, Primeworks Studios, Wau Animation ink lucrative deals
- MDEC coins ‘Animy’ to bring Malaysia's US$1.7 bil creative content players under single banner
THE Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) kicked off the 7th edition of the week-long Kre8tif! Conference in Cyberjaya on Wednesday the 8th. The week-long conference and festival had grown from a Malaysian-based event to become a regional platform to highlight local heroes and companies as well as gather the very best minds globally from the industry.
In this year’s edition, 40 of the region’s top creative minds are participating to inspire innovation and explore major trends across the creative sector. According to MDEC, there is a greater emphasis on the need for the industry to think differently and discover fresh innovative ideas that would put the region in the forefront.
“This year’s Kre8tif conference is more of a celebration of what Malaysia has to offer from our culture, stories and characters. We need to make sure that it is a commercially viable and sustainable industry so that companies can thrive and create more jobs,” says Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, MDEC vice president of creative content and technologies.
MDEC expects the Malaysian creative industry to see greater growth this year as collaborations by several animation studios are starting to bear fruit.
“We have seen a growth of exports in the creative sector, particularly animation, which made US$1.7 billion (RM7 billion) in total revenue in 2017,” Hasnul shared.
He called on local animation studios to create content for a global audience rather than just the smaller Malaysian market. Focus on making content that is marketable in different countries to make it more attractive to overseas distributors, he urged.
Despite it being a US$1.7 billion industry, Hasnul notes that the Malaysian creative sector is still under the radar as many are still not familiar with it. Hence, there is a greater need to highlight the achievements of local players and strike more deals across the region.
“We need to make sure that the creative industry is commercially viable and sustainable with our companies thriving in order to create more jobs.”
This year MDEC has proposed that made in Malaysia animations be termed Animy. Similar as to how the term ‘Anime’ is closely associated with Japanese animation, Hasnul hopes that Animy will act as the clarion call for the local creative industry to gather under one banner and drive the industry forward.
Inking lucrative deals
Following the opening ceremony, local animation leaders that included the likes of Animasia Studio, Lemonsky Animation, Primeworks Studios and Wau Animation announced exciting new projects and developments.
First off, Animasia Studio, the studio behind Chuck Chicken, signed merchandising partnership agreement with two food manufacturers to feature themed popcorn and biscuits. It also signed with Malaysia’s MCM Studio Entertainment to develop an indoor theme park in Johor feature the titular character Chuck Chicken.
Games and animation studio LemonSky Animation also revealed that its first original intellectual property (IP) AstroLOLogy will be distributed in China and Spain as well as striking a YouTube partnership via WildBrain in the United States and YoBoho New Media in India.
In addition, Media Prima’s Primeworks Studios has inked a deal to co-develop new animation projects with three Malaysian studios: Blindspot Studios, Giggle Garage and The R&D Studio.
Following a successful run in 13 Southeast Asian countries, Wau Animation is taking its animated series, Ejen Ali to the next level with the release of a movie slated for a 2019 release. The animation studio is also set to air its second season in Indonesia later this year.
Malaysia’s communications and multimedia minister Gobind Singh Deo praised local studios for adopting fresh approaches in promoting Malaysian intellectual properties and capabilities at an international level.
“We are proud that these homegrown studios continue to set the bar for the local industry to thrive and transcend borders through the infusion of our rich local culture and digital proliferation,” he said.
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