Crest, Lionsgate partner on 3D

Polar bear story is second of three-picture co-pro deal

NEW DELHI -- Lionsgate Entertainment will partner with India's Crest Animation Studios to co-produce a stereoscopic 3D animated feature “Norm of the North” as the second film of a three-picture co-production deal inked in 2005.

“Norm of the North” revolves around a polar bear, and is written by Steven and Daniel Altiere. It is set for a first quarter 2012 release.

The first Lionsgate/Crest co-production is upcoming CGI animated feature “Alpha and Omega," a comedy about two mismatched wolves, featuring the voices of Justin Long, Hayden Panetierre, Christina Ricci, Danny Glover, Dennis Hopper and Larry Miller.

Directed by Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck, “Alpha and Omega” is expected to premiere in October 2010.

Financial terms and budgets for the co-productions were not given.

In a joint statement, Lionsgate president of motion picture production Mike Paseornek and Lionsgate executive vice president of family entertainment Ken Katsumoto said, “Our partnership with Crest has gotten off to a terrific start with “Alpha and Omega," and “Norm of the North” is an ideal follow-up.”

Crest Animation Productions CEO Noah Fogelson added, "We are delighted to be producing “Norm of the North” with our friends at Lionsgate. This is a wonderful story, full of humor and heart, and stereoscopic 3D technology will bring it vividly to life.”
In March 2000, Crest acquired Los Angeles-based Rich Animation, while in August 2006, leading New York-based investment group DE Shaw acquired 14.99% in Crest and up to 26% in its U.S. subsidiary RichCrest Holdings Inc. for about US$40 million.