Corus puts vets on ground in Europe, Asia


TORONTO -- As MIPTV gets under way, Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment on Monday said it has hired two veteran consultants to secure international co-production partners in Europe and Asia for its Nelvana Studios cartoon division.

Toronto-based Corus recruited former Telemagination managing director Marion Edwards, based in London, to comb Europe for production partners, while Singapore-based Derek Reeves will do the same in the Asia-Pacific market.

"These two regions (Europe and Asia) are our main focus, and we need someone on the ground to ensure we're scouting for new content, and working with producers in the region to ensure a true presence," Corus Kids vp international Irene Weibel said.

Both consultants will work for Nelvana on a non-exclusive basis. A veteran animation producer, Marion Edwards operates her own company, Red & Blue Prods. Before that, she was managing director of Telemagination, the 2-D animation studio.

Edwards will first manage for Nelvana the Canada/France co-production "Willa's Wildlife," comprising 52 11-minute episodes based on "Oswald" creator Dan Yaccarino's book "An Octopus Followed Me Home."

Derek Reeves, who co-founded Limelight Studios in New Zealand, will oversee "The Future Is Wild," a 3-D CG-animation Canada/Singapore co-production based on the Animal Planet special of the same name.

Nelvana is co-producing the "Future" series with Singapore's ST Electronics as part of a long-term strategic partnership to co-produce, co-invest and co-distribute 3-D animated television series and DVDs.

In their latest cooperation, Nelvana and ST Electronics on Tuesday are scheduled to sign a letter of intent at MIPTV to co-produce a series of animated direct-to-video titles.

The first two projects in the partnership will be "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "Franklin the Turtle."