India's DQ takes on 'Elephant'

Animation company makes foray into live-action TV series

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HONG KONG -- Indian animation company DQ Entertainment is to take a jumbo-sized step into live-action production with the greenlighting of "Toomai The Story of An Elephant Boy."

The series is based on the Rudyard Kipling story "Toomai of the "Elephants," which inspired previous movies and TV series, but modernized for the 21st century with an ecology theme. It will follow a 12 year-old elephant handler and his friends as they trek to an elephant sanctuary in Kerala.

The budget will exceed €.5 million ($10.9 million) and be funded by DQE and through pre-sales. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation was an early buyer and a trailer will be unveiled for other potential partners at next week's MIPCOM in Cannes. Delivery is scheduled for late 2010 and first broadcasts in 2011.

While it will be shot entirely in India, in creative terms the series will mix Indian and European elements. It will be directed by an unnamed European director and three Indian assistant directors. Cast will be headed by three Europeans with the remainder Indian.