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Toonz & First Serve Form Animation Joint Venture

Trivandrum-based Toonz Animation India and California-based First Serve Ent. have announced the formation of a joint venture First Serve Toonz (FST), which will produce and distribute animation programming for the international marketplace as well as operate a consumer products licensing business, reports the trades. FST will announce its first major project in the next few weeks.

"While First Serve International brings global experience and perspective to the joint venture, Toonz will deliver cutting-edge creativity and high production values, P. Jayakumar, ceo, Toonz Animation India, told ANIMATION 'XPRESS, FST will leverage on the strengths of the two partners to become a significant player in the business."

Tennis legend turned entertainment entrepreneur Vijay Amritraj, chairman of First Serve International, said, "My company is excited to team up with Toonz at this time as India and its animation industry accelerate to new highs. Our joint venture is strategically positioned to take advantage of a tremendous growth in animation and consumer products business in our region and around the world."

The new ventures brands will be co-financed by Toonz and First Serve. The animation production will be handled at Toonz' Trivandrum facility while the distribution would be handled globally by First Serve.

Ed Borgerding, who spent 20 years with Walt Disney, has been named the ceo of First Serve Toonz.

First Serve International Llc., with offices in Los Angeles, London and India, produces and distributes motion pictures and television programming. FSI also offers consulting and marketing services to media companies and markets media related products as well as engages in related businesses such as consumer products licensing.

Founded in 1999, Toonz Animation India is a world-class animation studio delivering content for film, television, DVD, Internet and other interactive platforms. Based in Technopark in Trivandrum, Kerala, Toonz has been a leader in India since the country emerged as a potential player in the international animation industry, offering extensive training through its own schools and a worldclass animation festival, Week With the Masters Animation Celebration.

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