Rubicon, Layalina, and Fat Rock Announce Arab/American Children's Production
'Jordanian Animation Studio, American Foundation, and Hollywood Distribution
Company Join Together to Produce and Distribute a Unique Animated/DVD Series
For Arab and American Audiences'
AMMAN, Jordan, WASHINGTON and LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Ms. Randa Ayoubi, CEO of Rubicon in Amman, Ambassador Richard Fairbanks, Chairman of the Board of Washington, DC-based Layalina Productions, Inc. and Mr. David Pritchard, CEO of Los Angeles-based Fat Rock Entertainment, announced today a first-ever co-production of a thirteen episode series created specifically to address the cultural void that currently exists between the United States and the Arab world. Distribution will be principally for the fast growing worldwide DVD market. The production will also air on satellite and television broadcast networks both in the Middle East and in the United States. The production will follow the exploits of two pre-teen boys, one Arab and one American. The boys meet in Amman, Jordan, where their respective grandfathers, who are life-long friends, are working on a massive archeology excavation project. There, the mischievous boys become friends, and through their adventures uncover an ancient treasure room containing a time travel mechanism that takes the boys back to great historical moments in the Middle East and the United States that illustrate to the boys the similar values and cultural developments that are shared by both cultures today. Layalina Productions, Inc. was created by Richard Fairbanks in 2002 as a non-profit TV production corporation to produce and license thoughtful Arabic- language programming for the Middle East. Layalina's educational, entertainment, and children's shows aim to strengthen the existing bridges of mutual understanding between the U.S. and the Arab world, and to create new ones. "This production, entitled "'Ben & Izzy' is the first step in helping children from both cultures discover and appreciate the deep, rich history and shared values from each others' past", said Ambassador Fairbanks. Based in Washington, DC, and supported by an impressive list of individuals from the United States, Layalina will also assist in the financing and distribution of "Ben & Izzy. "What attracted us to the project in the beginning" remarked Ambassador Fairbanks, a former Special Middle East Peace Negotiator and Chairman of Layalina, "was the unique format of using a children's adventure story to explore the cultural differences and similarities in the two boys' upbringing. We are delighted to have Layalina involved with this exciting project." Ms. Randa Ayoubi, CEO and founder of Rubicon in Amman, which will be the principal animation studio and production company on "Ben & Izzy," said, "This project is the culmination of a lot of creative cooperation and hard work by the staff at Rubicon and our partners in the U.S., Fat Rock Entertainment. Rubicon, as a shareholder in Fat Rock, has been working to create a project that we could co-produce and that would both educate and entertain a worldwide children's audience. Rubicon's state-of-the-art production facility in Amman was built for just this kind of production." David Pritchard, founder and CEO of Fat Rock Entertainment, and the creator of the "Ben & Izzy" project, stated, "As a distribution company, Fat Rock is always looking at creative ways to bring new content to targeted audiences and to have relationships with content creation companies that feed our pipeline. The parties that have joined together to make this happen" Pritchard continued, "are a compelling and credible combination. Laylina is a group of caring world leaders who share Richard Fairbanks' vision to use media and especially "edutainment" to bridge the cultural and social rift that has formed between the Arab world and the West. Rubicon is a talented group of animators, artists and software techies in Amman who set out three years ago to build a high quality 3-D animation and computer graphics hub which takes advantage of the Middle East's highly educated and technically skilled labor force." Fat Rock will supervise the production through their US production partner, Sabella Dern Entertainment, one of the premiere US independent animation studios. The parties plan to announce shortly the entire creative team who will produce the series. That team will be lead by the multiple Emmy winning animation producer, David Pritchard ("The Simpsons", "King of the Hill", "Dr. Katz, Licensed Therapist") and SD Entertainment, headed by animation director Paul Sabella (formerly of Hanna-Barbera and MGM Animation) and animation producer Jonathan Dern (formerly of DIC and MGM Animation). Writing teams and animation teams selected from both the Arab and American creative communities will soon join these executives. Distribution partners are being lined up and will be announced shortly. The series will be produced in both Arabic and English languages and the programs will be marketed on television and as a boxed DVD / Home Video set to the over 300 million Arab language consumers in the world. Rubicon and its investment partners, along with Layalina, have joined together to contribute and raise the production budget for the thirteen- episode project, estimated at $5,000,000. The three party agreement and the financing strategy for the project was put together by Baman Rusby of Atoka International in Washington, DC. Web-sites: www.fatrock.net www.rubicon.com.jo www.sdentertainment.net
SOURCE Fat Rock Entertainment
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