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Business – Indian firm buys rights to make Chaplin animation

Aminah Sheikh

“A day without a laugh is a wasted day,” said Charlie Chaplin in his famous comedy character. Now, several decades later, that icon of the silent film era will dawn on our television screens in an animated avatar.

An Indian animation and special effects company, DQ Entertainment, headquartered in Hyderabad, has acquired the animation remaking rights of Charlie Chaplin from the Chaplin family, in collaboration with two French companies, Method Animation and MK2.

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The legendary comedy show will be produced by them in animated format, as a television series and as movies.

While a formal announcement is expected in this week, the production is already reported underway. Tapaas Chakravarti, the Chairman and CEO of DQ Entertainment was not available for comment.

Sources say DQ is also in talks with multiple channels internationally to telecast the animated series worldwide, including Europe, Japan, Australia, UK and China. The telecast rights in India are yet to sold.

The Charlie Chaplin series had started in the early 1900s, featuring a character who captured the hearts of generations with his toothbrush mustache,a funny walk and two prized possessions, a hat and a bamboo cane.

The sources said the TV series will first go on air, followed by the movies.

DQ plans to raise around Rs 150 crore through an Initial Public Offer, for which it is divesting close to 25 per cent of its equity. Earlier, the company had announced filing of its Draft Red Herring Prospectus, on September 30 last year, with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The lead manager for the issue is SBI Capital Markets and the syndicate banks are YES Bank and India Infoline. According to sources, the company will raise an additional Rs 62 crore from internal accrual and bank loans.

DQ is a production house for visual effects, digital animation for television, feature films, and animation games for PCs and consoles. It has worked with Walt Disney Television Animation, Marvel Comics, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Electronic Arts, the BBC Group and NBC Universal, among others. Some of the projects have been The Jungle Book, Casper, the Iron Man animation series, Ravan, Omkar, Little Nick and Tara Duncan.

In December 2007, DQ had listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange and raised $56 million. The funds were used to boost its distribution network globally, to develop production facilities in India and other business plans.

Currently, it employs around 2,800 permanent staff and 700 freelancers. It has offices in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Paris, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.

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January 7, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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