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WarnerMedia OneFifty Acquires Baobab Studios’ ‘Namoo’ for HBO Max

Oscar-nominated director Erick Oh’s poignant animated short, about the beautiful and heartbreaking moments of a man’s life, to premiere on the streamer January 27.

WarnerMedia OneFifty, WarnerMedia’s hub for new content and projects from underrepresented creators, has acquired Erick Oh and Baobab Studios’ Oscar-shortlisted animated short, Namoo, which will be released January 27 on HBO Max.

“WarnerMedia's 'artist studio where innovation happens,’ OneFifty has built a track record of identifying incredible artists whose vision we believe in, and acquiring their extraordinary, groundbreaking content,” said Axel Caballero, Vice President of Arts & Cultural Innovations and Head of WarnerMedia OneFifty. Namoo, along with newly acquired shortlisted live-action short When the Sun Sets, joins WarnerMedia OneFifty’s growing catalogue of critically acclaimed Oscar contenders that includes the 2021 Oscar-nominated short White Eye, 2022 Spirit Awards nominated film This is Not a War, and Sundance Sloan Winner Son of Monarchs.

Namoo is a narrative poem come to life through hand-crafted animation. Inspired by the passing of Oh’s grandfather, Namoo – which translates to “tree” in Korean – follows the beautiful and heartbreaking moments of a man’s life, from beginning to end. It was written and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Oh (Opera) and marks his most personal and ambitious work to date. The film was produced by nine-time Emmy Award-winning Baobab Studios, executive produced by John Cho and produced by Larry Cutler, Eric Darnell, Maureen Fan, and Kane Lee.  It most recently received the Best Animated Short prize from the 2022 Gold List Awards.

Check out the trailer:

“I’ve been making short films for 10 years, and it’s extremely rare for independent filmmakers to find a way to share them with a wide audience,” said Oh. “I can’t tell you what a huge honor and pleasure it is to have HBO Max launch Namoo; their reach together with the caliber of their content is amazing.”

“We are excited to work with HBO Max, a brand which is synonymous with quality,” said Maureen Fan, producer of Namoo and CEO/Co-founder of Baobab Studios. “It has also been a delight to work with the WarnerMedia OneFifty team who are so indie-artist friendly and passionate about Namoo.”

Leslie Cohen, Senior Vice President of Film Acquisitions for HBO/HBO Max, finalized the deals for both titles. Amanda Trokan, Director of Content Acquisitions for HBO Max, worked on the negotiations for Namoo; Rebecca Vazquez, Vice President of Content Acquisitions for HBO Max, worked on the negotiations for When the Sun Sets.

Source: WarnerMedia OneFifty

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.