Berlin: AMBI Group Inks Five-Feature Deal With Dubai Animation House

Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino - H 2015
Courtesy of Rogers & Cowan

Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino's consortium partner with Dubai-based Barajoun for a slate of family features with individual budgets in the $50 million range.

Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino have turned to the Middle East to expand the growing animated film slate of their AMBI Group consortium.

The company on Wednesday announced a deal with Dubai-based animation studio Barajoun for five features with “individual budgets in the $50 million range” over the next five years.

The titles — family-centric CGI-animated films and live-action features based on popular IP — will be fully financed by AMBI and Barajoun and co-developed between their two studios in Toronto and Dubai.

AMBI Distribution, AMBI’s sales arm, will oversee worldwide distribution for the new films and will also handle Bilal, Barajoun’s animated feature that recently bowed at the Dubai Film Festival. The pic, inspired by the true story of a historic African hero and featuring the voice of Suicide Squad star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, will be offered to buyers this week at the European Film Market in Berlin.

Following the launch of its AIC Studios in Toronto, AMBI has already revealed two upcoming 3D animated films: Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad, featuring Alec Baldwin, James Franco, Heidi Klum and John Cleese among the voice cast; and Groove Tails, starring Jamie Foxx.

AMBI also has a remake of Christopher Nolan’s Memento and religious title Beyond the Sun, reported to feature the big-screen debut of Pope Francis, in the works.