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Cinesite Acquires Canadian Studio L’Atelier Animation

Expanding its international footprint with another acquisition – previous buys include Image Engine and TRIXTER - the independent animation and VFX company plans to build on the Montreal studio’s existing footprint to meet growing demand for animated content.

Cinesite has acquired Montreal studio L’Atelier Animation, expanding its creative and production capacity to meet Quebec’s demand while giving it access to Montreal’s highly skilled talent pool. While the senior management at L’Atelier Animation will continue to lead the Montreal business, the company’s general manager Benoit Blouin will work with Cinesite Animation COO Brad Wald to integrate the two companies. The goal is to expand the existing Montreal footprint and meet the growing demand for animated content with additional employees dedicated to making content under both brands. Cinesite will also benefit from favorable exchange rates and attractive tax credits. Terms of the deal were not released.

As with Cinesite’s 2015 acquisition of Vancouver-based VFX studio Image Engine and the 2018 purchase of TRIXTER, L’Atelier Animation will retain its brand and creative center while strengthening its position as a major force in animation.

Established in downtown Montreal in 2012, L'Atelier Animation specializes in feature-length 3D animation and series and is best known for Leap (Caramel Films/Quads), which generated over $110M in international box office revenues. Its most recent production to reach audiences is Fireheart (Entertainment One), produced by Les Films Seville, Anton, Main Journey, Caramel Films, and M6 Films SND. Olivia Cooke led the cast with Kenneth Branagh and William Shatner. The studio has also worked on the series Robozuna (Kidscave Entertainment and ITV Studios). It is currently in production on the feature 10 Lives (GFM Animation), directed by Chris Jenkins (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King).

“As one of the largest independent studios producing animation, we are always looking to grow our team with talented artists, and the L’Atelier team has a strong track record of producing outstanding work while taking great care of their clients,” noted Cinesite COO for Animation Brad Wald. “Bringing our two teams together will allow us to serve our clients even better and on a greater scale in both feature films and episodic television. I know we will have great success working together and continuing to meet the growing demand for animated content.”

L'Atelier General Manager Benoit Blouin said of the partnership, “I am so proud of where our team’s incredible talent has brought L'Atelier. We have been admirers of Cinesite for years, so joining the Cinesite family will allow us to reach new heights together. We believe this deal will have a significant, positive impact on the animation industry in Quebec.”

The announcement comes during increased demand for global animation content across Asia, the US, and Europe. To date, Cinesite has delivered 10 feature films with recent credits including Paramount Pictures Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank and MGM’s The Addams Family franchise. Currently in production are Aniventure’s upcoming films Hitpig and Animal Farm and the six-part Disney+ series Iwaju.

Source: Cinesite

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.