Economy November 9, 2015 | 6:49 am

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Animation studio coming to Juan Dolio

U.S. Entertainment magazine Variety reports that Lantica Media CEO Antonio Gennari and AG Studios’ Alex Garcia have inked an exclusive landmark deal to establish an animation studio in the Dominican Republic, in association with AG Studio’s Anima Estudios, the largest animation studio in Latin America. In addition, both companies’ production arms, Lantica Pictures and Colombia-based Itaca Films, will co-produce and co-finance English and Spanish-language live action pics and TV shows.

The new animation studio, as-yet unnamed, will set up shop at the Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios, a Lantica Media company managed by Pinewood Studios Group.

The first project AG Studios and Lantica will be considering is the production of feature films based on the “Leyendas” (Legends) franchise, using Caribbean legends for the stories.

In what is expected to dramatically bolster local talent, all productions will be made in the Dominican Republic, using Dominican-based artists and mentors from Mexico-based Anima Estudios. This will complement a vocational training program that Lantica Media has been spearheading that encompasses underwater cinematography and diving to script supervision and film accounting.

Burgeoning live-action production in DR will be further boosted by the new pact, which will draw on both companies’ expertise and make use of the Pinewood DR Studio facilities, which includes a 60,500 sq. ft. water tank with natural horizons. Phase two growth plans for the facility includes three smaller stages to complement the three large ones now on the site, Gennari said.

Both the partnership’s live-action and animation productions can tap the republic’s 25% freely transferable tax credit for all qualifying local spend above and below the line for a minimum spend of $500,000, and 18% VAT and custom duties exemption of temporary imports on eligible goods.

“This partnership is another step towards reaching our goal of maximizing the potential of the Dominican audiovisual industry while enhancing our financing models and increasing the overall production flows in the Dominican Republic,” Gennari said.

“This was an opportune time for AG Studios to expand into the Dominican Republic, utilizing our size and position in Latin America and operating the region’s most successful animation studio,” Garcia said. “Lantica has become the largest media company in the Dominican Republic and an exclusive collaboration merging our resources was very fitting.”AG Studios is evaluating Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and possibly the U.S. to set up at least one more animation studio, per Garcia.

Albert Martinez, VP of Lantica Pictures and Rodrigo Guerrero on behalf of AG Studios will oversee the launch and the operations of the newly formed Animation Studio. Itaca’s Rodrigo Guerrero and Lantica Pictures’ Rafael Munoz will manage the partnership’s live action films production operations.

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