Industry Unites to Launch Figaro Pho Animated Series 10 Feb 2012

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Mischievous Figaro to entertain the children of the world in huge creative collaboration

A no-borders approach to creative story telling in Australia

Omnilab Media’s Ambience Entertainment in partnership with Chocolate Liberation Front (CLF) announced the commencement of animation on the Australian animated TVseries The Adventures of Figaro Pho, by children’s illustrator and creator/director, Luke Jurevicius, at Iloura’s film and television VFX studio in Alexandria, NSW.

Ambience Entertainment Producer, David Webster says, “This Australian series is a great example of how an industry can work together from both a financing and creative point of view and cross state borders tomaximise talent and support for the project. Figaro Pho will employ a team of 47 people in Sydney, 22 creative, post and story board artists in South Australia, and a team of 10 in Victoria including writers, story editors and production staff.”

The new 13 x 30 minute episodes follows the charming and mischievous character, Figaro Pho who suffers every weird and wonderfulphobia from A to Z. Additional collaborator, Creative Director Deane Taylor (Popeye, The Pink Panther, Ren & Stimpy and Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas) provides his unique and imaginative art direction.

Chocolate Liberation Front’s Producer, Dan Fill added, “It is a very unique project in that it is entirely produced in Australia and showcases the best creative artists, writers and technically proficient animators from three Australian states to the local and global market.  The series takes advantage of private investment, distribution advances from Germany, Canada and Australia and major commitments from ABC TV, the South Australian, NSW and Victorian state screen agencies as well as Screen Australia. Thanks to Omnilab Media who provided gap financing which enabled us to complete the deal.”

The property is based on 26 shorts originally created for ABC TV in 2008 and has significant contribution from the national broadcaster and South Australian Film Corporation who came on board early and remained committed to the project over several years of development. The new series was developed in assistance with ABC3’s Commissioning Editors Carla de Jong and Simon Hopkinson who nurtured the project from the very start.
The series was awarded Best Animation Series in The World at the 2009 Kidscreen awards, Best Overall Animation and Best Direction as voted on by international children’s broadcasters and two AFI awards.

ZDF Enterprises has secured distribution rights for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while Distribution 360 has all rights for Canada.  ABC Commercial, which is also the distributor of the original shorts Figaro Pho, holds distribution rights for the rest of the world including the USA, Australia, Asia and South America. The series will air on ABC3 in 2012.